Alex -Trainee Buyer - Men’s Casual wovens



My Journey to Tesco

I first discovered buying by applying for various placements during my first year of A levels in my summer holidays and spare time with a few different retailers on the UK high street. This was a great help as I was able to get an insight into the roles of a trainee buyer before deciding whether to pursue my interest and begin applying formally.

From the work experience I did I soon realised that due to my passion for clothing and my constant interest in trends and fashion that buying was the right career path for me.  From making this decision I began searching the internet and looking for any buying opportunities available to A level students as I knew I didn’t want to continue my education as far as university.   

Luckily after not too long a friend told me about Tesco Central European Clothing and how they were looking at employing A level students so I applied and after a series of online tests and a telephone interview I was able to attend a graduate assessment centre and ultimately begin my career in buying within the business.

My role at Tesco

I work for Tesco Central Europe within clothing for the F&F brand on Menswear. My job role is a trainee buyer for Mens Casual Wovens and Swimwear.

My job consists of various different tasks surrounding product development and team working. I believe the most key part of my role is to be an effective team player that can work effectively across function with the merchandisers on the team.

When starting out in buying as a trainee buyer you are heavily relied on to become the fountain of knowledge on the team and to ensure the team runs smoothly by ensuring all administration and housekeeping is always kept to a high standard. Alongside this you are able to stretch yourself and get involved in product development and shaping the clothing range that will eventually launch in store. I would strongly advise anyone with an active interest for clothing or fashion to consider buying as a career route.

Why Tesco over other retailers

Choosing Tesco was an easy choice for me, the main reason being because they were willing to give me an equal opportunity to a graduate, this is something I struggled to find at other clothing retailers. From the very first stage of applying considering you are successful with your application you are able to prove yourself on the personal qualities and skills you possess. Whether or not you happen to have a degree or if your education only went as far as A levels is irrelevant, I believe for any A Level student looking to go straight into a working environment this is very important.

The second biggest pull factor was knowing that you are working for one of the biggest businesses in the world. This is where I think Tesco has a great advantage over lots of other retailers, having a company with the worldwide reputation that Tesco has on your CV is something that speaks for itself in great volume. Also considering the size of the business and how many individuals they must employ it is outstanding how valued each and every person feels, hard work and innovative ideas are always accepted and appreciated even at trainee level this I believe gives you a great sense of purpose and value.

Lastly the final reason I choose Tesco over other retailers is due to the opportunity you are given to get on. When you are in the business you are given a real opportunity to actively drive your personal development and to develop key personal and team skills. Tesco has a fantastic training programme set up to support your learning and to help you adopt key skills required to progress within your job role. Training is provided from trainee level all the way upwards.  

What I enjoy about my job and working on my team

Being a trainee buyer in general is a very enjoyable and rewarding job. My favourite part of the job is being able to work in fashion and spend every day developing product and working towards hopefully each style becoming a best seller.

Becoming part of a team is great as well especially as you know everyone on the team shares similar interests and beliefs to yourself. By working so closely with other members of your department you develop some great friendships and as a result have a great social life with your team.

Also by moving regularly from one area of the clothing business to another within the buying function you are also able to gain key skills from working with various different people. The skills you can develop and learn from members of the team with internal and external experience is endless.

Where I would like to be in 3-5 years

In three to five years I would like to be working my way up to becoming a buyer within Tesco and passing on my knowledge I have learned from others on to new members of Tesco clothing.

Tesco is a business where if you are willing to put the hours in and try and learn as much as possible they are willing to give you the opportunity to make a name for yourself and climb your way through the ranks in return. It is definitely an organisation I see myself having a long term future at due to the constant exciting opportunities and new areas of the business that are always arising.

With the support of team members and the training facilities available to employees, Tesco is definitely a place where I believe many people will want to build a long term career.

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