Getting to know Tara
Everyone that works at M&S is an individual. That’s why we hired them. We spotted something in them that made us say yes to them. Behind every person in every role is a personality. Meet Tara.
1. Tell us about your biggest ambition.
I’d love to travel around the world. Not necessarily all in one trip, but I want to experience new and different places. It’s something I haven’t had the opportunity to do yet (so far my list is Spain and Morocco – not a bad start). But getting out there and exploring the world is my big dream!
2. Who inspires you?
Nelson Mandela went through a lifetime of struggle but he still kept fighting for what he believed in. His determination to make a change was on another level. He is the definition of inspirational.
3. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
No lie, I wanted to be a shopkeeper when I was a kid. I was fascinated by tills, watching shopkeepers scanning items, pressing buttons and printing receipts. So technically, I achieved my childhood ambition when I worked in retail during sixth form!
What do you see as your major strength?
I think it would be my determination. When I decide I want to do something, I will get it done, regardless.
4. What is your proudest moment?
That would have to be when I won the award for the highest-scoring 1st class degree at university. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you how stressful final year is, but I had faith in God and not only did I get through the year, I also came out on top.
5. What’s the most valuable piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
On our M&S induction day we were told: “The only person in charge of your personal development is you”. That was really useful advice, which I took on board when I wanted to make changes to the software engineering graduate scheme. I had specific ideas about how I wanted my development to progress and I knew it was up to me to make the changes I wanted.
6. People aside, what’s the great love of your life?
I love to cook African, Caribbean and British food at home. My ethnic origin is a mixture of African and Caribbean, which has been a big influence on my cooking! But I also experiment with lots of other cuisines. I love food. Food is bae.
7. What are the most important things to you in life – aside from family and friends?
Respect and equality are really important to me.
8. Why M&S?
I joined the graduate scheme through the IT’s Not Just For Boys event and loved the idea of working for a household name. I knew the digital team at M&S was pretty new and growing rapidly and thought it would be a great opportunity to join at an exciting time.
9. And what does it feel like to work here now?
M&S is one of the few companies I think you can feel utterly proud to work at. We work with integrity and it comes through in our brand. We’re always looking to do the right thing for our customers and community. This is shown easily with initiatives like Plan A.
10. Which M&S value – Innovative, Inspiration, In Touch, Integrity – do you most identify with and why?
I think In Touch. As part of the Product Display team on marksandspencer.com I want to make great experiences that people will love. That means finding out what people want and need. I make an effort to find out more about the customers we build things for. Potential customers too. It can really influence the work you do for the better.
11. What motto do you live your life by?
Run towards what scares you. Eventually it won’t scare you anymore.