25 October, 2016

More from Billy

Billy is a Trainee Commercial Manager in one of our Plymouth stores. For him, the School Leaver Programme is an opportunity to gain valuable experience and get paid for doing so. He’s not keen on early starts but isn’t afraid of hard work.

Starting my career and moving on with my life were more important to me than spending more time in education. Here, I have my own team, my own accountabilities and my own duties. My job is demanding but this means I have more opportunity to grow and I’m always striving for improvement. It’s enabled me to leave home at 18. I’ve matured, become a better person and given me a great deal of confidence.

I’d enjoyed my interview so much I really wanted to be successful. So it was amazing when I got the call. My first day is a bit of a blur now. I just remember lots of friendly people and learning so much I didn’t know. I had the best lunch. Ever. It was scary and exciting and bewildering. But I do remember thinking, I’ve never worked anywhere like this – and I think I’m going to love it.

You learn so much so quickly and you don’t even realise what you’ve learnt until you look back. A lot of it is driven by you; no-one will explain unless you ask and you won’t find out unless you do it.  You’ve got to want it. If you don’t want to develop yourself, you won’t. You have to ask how something happens. You have to take the initiative, and go and do it yourself. Then you have the experience to understand what it is you are telling others to do. You can’t give people lots of difficult tasks if you don’t understand the processes required to do them.

My advice to someone starting the scheme would be to spend as much time as you can at the beginning learning every simple process from the customer assistant’s perspective. From this you get a real vision of what their day involves and from that you can tell what works well and what doesn’t. It gives you the understanding you need to make intelligent decisions. This means you’re better able to help your team, improve the store and make more money. You need to build good relationships to work here, so people skills are vital. These are made up of lots of different qualities but being fair, motivational, and a good role model all add up to make a great manager.”

I am proud and passionate of where I work. I am proud of the job I have and I am proud of the team I lead. It’s challenging, it’s hard and it’s stressful at times. But I enjoy every day. I look forward to going to work. I always have something new to do and the business wants the best for you. So it will help you in every way it can.

I’ve learned so much I can’t begin to tell you. I’ve experienced all kinds of roles; worked every possible shift. I feel like I know M&S inside out. I’ve grown as a manger and as person. 

Can you see yourself joining Billy on our Level 4 Apprenticeship Scheme for School Leavers? Click here.

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