More from Andrew
Andrew’s retail career began at 16. When he graduated with a degree in IT for Business from Southampton Solent University, he was keen to find a role that allowed him to make the most of his work experience and academic background. He found his ideal role a M&S
“I wanted to work for a retailer I could be proud to be part of. So M&S was the obvious choice. It’s a business that brings integrity to what it does; be that the work we do through Plan A or doing the right thing by customers. That’s what really had me sold.
“Landing the role was a really big deal to me. I was over the moon when I found out I’d got it. So I had a lot of emotions on my first day. But the main one was excitement. It was the end result of many years’ hard work and the beginning of a new chapter filled with possibilities. The experiences I’ve had on the graduate scheme have seen me grow in confidence as they’ve added so much to personal development and professional capabilities.
“I’ve had a good balance of structured and unstructured support towards my development. Training days have been a great help for preparing for future challenges and equip you with how best to deal with them. My mentor has been a great source of advice and feedback, identifying areas where I can improve. Networking is important too. In a big organisation like M&S, you need the help of others to get where you’re going and achieve your objectives.
“I am currently Operations and Finance Lead for M&S for business. It’s the brand’s Business to Business operation and still very new. So what I learned at university about process improvement and business continuity plans is definitely coming in handy. It’s been great to start at the deep end. One of my first challenges came when one of our suppliers went into administration. It was my job to set up a new operation that could fit with our existing processes and provide the same level of service and continuity to our customers.
“Looking back at where I was a year ago, my career has evolved dramatically. I’m now in charge of an operation which turns over £1.5m a week. I lead my own team, manage stock, stakeholders, deliveries and, most importantly, ensure our customers are happy. It’s hard work but there’s nothing sweeter at the end of the week than seeing how much this translates into profits for the business.
“My future is definitely here. Even in my current role there are so many opportunities to develop. So for the time being, I’m happy to learn the lessons that come with doing things on larger scale. It’s all about learning and this is a great place to learn.”
Has Andrew's story inspired you? View our graduate career opportunities here.Inside M&S