9 June, 2017

Experiencing the buzz of a multi-cultural business

“Hi, I’m Valerie and I’m Head of HR for M&S in Europe. What’s great about M&S is that HR here really is about people – the company truly cares about its employees, believes wholeheartedly in building relationships and rewards what they put in to deliver a great customer experience. It’s my job to partner our Regional Director for Europe to deliver a great HR service to our employees in Europe. That means I’m going from country to country, store to store, seeing our business at the sharp end. It’s fascinating working with people from lots of different cultures, it gives me a real buzz.

“I’d worked in the banking and hotel industries before the opportunity to work for M&S came along. It was a great chance for me to move into retail and I was excited by the plans M&S had for international growth and the part I could play in making them happen. I walked into the job with my eyes open. I knew challenges would be thrown at me, and doors would open for me, but that’s what I like – after all, I did once climb a volcano in Guatemala and I never pass by an opportunity to explore the world!

“I started my M&S career as an HR Business Partner in Property and Corporate Governance as well as supporting the Head of HR for International. I was promoted to my current role when we introduced a new regional business structure. How would I sum up my role? I would say it’s about integrity, people development and thinking commercially. I’m really proud of the European HR team I’ve built, they’re a fantastic bunch of people, and I’ve made some great friends over the years.”

Inside M&S