7 November, 2017

You can go from school leaver to inspiring leader

Henry believes that his biggest achievement so far is getting on to our school leaver scheme. “It’s competitive and has had some very inspiring leaders who have successfully progressed through the programme. To go through the same training as them and with M&S is a real privilege.”

He also says that it surpassed his expectations. While he was looking forward to a good foundation level of training, he had no idea how much coaching he would get, especially in how to drive, motivate and lead a team.

That’s turned out to be a motivator in itself. “Retailing appealed to me because every day is so different and you get to work with amazing people,” Henry tells us. “Learning how to coach, engage and support your own team’s development and success is a real motivator for me. With some of my family working in retail I had found out that M&S is one of the best to work for, with an excellent benefits package and great values.”

With three different commercial roles after the school leaver programme, Henry still hasn’t become accustomed to the variety. “Retail management at M&S is so much more than you may think. “There’s a lot of detail from analysing sales reports and patterns, to planning for future commercial events and opportunities, to managing and developing people.”

Luckily, Henry has a great role model in Steve Rowe, our CEO. “Steve stands out for me. He’s worked tirelessly all the way through the business from the bottom to the top, learning his trade and developing himself as a business leader.”

Hopefully Henry will follow in Steve’s footsteps – he tells us that he’d like to be a store manager in five years’ time. Just has he was inspired by one of our senior leaders figures and his own line managers, he wants to inspire and lead a large team himself. We’re sure he’ll get there.

Henry is one of our former school leavers who’s proving what you can learn and achieve at M&S. Find out more about the scheme here.

Inside M&S