A lifetime of opportunities and a future of growth
Tara is M&S, through-and-through. She started with us as a part-time Sales Assistant and had already become a full-time Section Manager by the tender age of 18. Over 22 years later, she’s still among the most loyal in the business, heading up the merchandising team in our Clothing & Home department. Her obvious passion for retail has taken her through a journey of roles, each sharing their own enriching experiences.
Her reasons for building an entire career with us reflect two key characteristics of our company: support and opportunity. “M&S has supported me through a Masters degree, allowing me to work flexibly on a part-time basis,” she says. And as for maximising her prospects for progression, she explains, “M&S is a great brand and has exposed me to different roles, across different levels of the business. I never felt the need to explore another company, as I continue to grow and develop here.”
After performing at the highest level in both our stores and head office, and taking advantage of the developmental courses we have access to, Tara worked her way up through merchandising. “I’ve covered all roles across Menswear, Womenswear, Home, Lingerie and Beauty,” she says. “Now, my immediate objective is to identify growth opportunities and imbed a future-proof process in Childrenswear. However, balancing all our different measures of stock management, sale management and costs is an ongoing part of my role.”
When asked what keeps the job fresh after so many years in the same organisation, Tara places the emphasis on her colleagues: “The pace of the business has increased, but the passion for the brand has never changed. The people who work here care about M&S and want it to succeed.” She also has massive respect and is incredibly fond of the ones closer to her, saying “the team I work with are great; really open to moving the business forward, which I think is really important.”
Other than having the room to grow and positive influences around her, Tara attributes her satisfaction to the simple fact that the work suits her. “The merchandiser role is geared at the multi-tasker,” she tells us. “I like the variation in my role and having a really clear plan on what will drive the business helps you do a good job.” In her time, she’s been able to excel and overcome several challenges, such as presenting to hundreds of people at once in a newly confident manner. She’s even had the privilege of meeting the CEO: “I thought he was a customer. When I asked him if I could help, he explained who he was and I told him he looked different to the posters!”
Tara will always be a firm believer that there are endless opportunities at M&S for proactive multi-taskers. If this accurately describes you, click here to see the roles available.Inside M&S