Getting to know... Toby
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 Toby.
1. Tell us about your biggest ambition.
I’d particularly like to go to Las Vegas, but I suppose my biggest ambition’s to travel the world. I just want to see what’s out there.
2. Who was your favourite teacher at school and how did they inspire you?
My performing arts teacher was great. She always treated me as an adult and allowed me to use my initiative. The biggest thing I learnt from her was that it’s all right to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them.
3. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was younger I wanted to be an actor. For as long as I can remember I took part in school performances and I even joined a performing arts school. Although my career didn’t quite pan out that way I still take part in local productions.
4. What do you see as your major strength?
Understanding. No matter what the situation, I’m always there to listen and help if I can. I don’t jump to conclusions before I hear the whole story and always make time for someone when they need me.
5. What is your proudest moment – in work and outside of work?
In work, it was being chosen to help open a new store (Biggleswade) after only a year on the Programme. Outside, it was when I became an uncle and godfather to my niece, Lily.
6. What’s the most valuable piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
‘Fail fast, learn quick’. Four simple words which I try to remember every day. They came from my current store manager, Jo Herd and they highlight that it’s OK to make mistakes, because that’s how you learn.
7. What are the most important things to you in life – aside from family and friends?
Never wanting to stand still and always wanting more. To push myself to be better and achieve more with my time including skills, experiences and career progression.
8. What would you be doing now if you weren’t on the School Leaver Programme?
My second career choice aside from acting would have meant going to university. I liked the idea of being a lawyer. But my career at M&S so far has been successful, so I’ll hold off on applying for my law degree.
9. Which M&S value – Innovative, Inspiration, In Touch, Integrity – do you most identify with and why?
In Touch. I think it’s really important to understand your team and customer. Being in touch is easy to accomplish when you listen to your team and customer. By being in touch I feel I get the most from my team and they know my expectations as well.
10. What motto do you live your life by?
Every day is a new day.
11. You’re cast adrift on a desert island: choose one song to inspire you in your solitude; one personal possession to console you in it; and one M&S product that you simply couldn’t do without.
You have to be optimistic in these situations, so the song would be ‘Things can only get better’ by D:Ream! As for the personal item – that would have to be a picture of my family. And the M&S product? Percy Pigs – what else!