9 June, 2017

Eighteen years of business change, personal progress – and discounts on Sauvignon Blanc

“Hi, I’m Lesley, a graduate recruit back in 1997 and now Head of People Planning at M&S. I’d worked in the service industry since I was 14, so when I graduated it was a logical move to apply to M&S. It all went well during the recruitment process and I started in stores, including a stint at Marble Arch. The graduate scheme gave me a really good grounding in the technical aspects of retail and I was given some stretching assignments that were the making of me.

“I then progressed to regional roles and became an HR Business Partner. Various project or retail support roles followed and now I’m in my first central HR position, leading, developing and managing our HR and People Plan. I work with everyone in the HR Group so I get a fantastic overview of everything that’s happening in the business.

“To be honest, I didn’t expect to stay at M&S for this long but the reason I have is because they always seem to find a new opportunity to me. I’ve always had a career plan, but some of my most rewarding roles in terms of personal development have been identified by a line manager. I’ve been fortunate to have had some great line managers and mentors, and M&S has supported me in getting my CIPD qualification and Fellowship upgrade.

“Life for me has never been boring at M&S. I’ve progressed well in my career and met some great people – colleagues quickly become friends. I love the values and ethics of the M&S brand. And the discounts come in handy too. 20% off wine is a bonus and I tend to bulk buy my favourite Kaituna Blue Sauvignon Blanc!”

Inside M&S