Commercial Manager Trainee at Marks and Spencer

Employer:
Job Title:
Commercial Manager Trainee
Years Experience:
0 - It’s an entry-level / graduate role
Average Rating:
7.1
3.6/5
Date of Review: 23rd Jun 2012
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How would you describe your job in 2-3 lines?
My job is to run a business unit within the store. I am responsible for implementing business policies, sales, managing and leading a team and achieving business KPI's.
What do you actually do on a day-to-day basis?
My job involves being on the sales floor, interacting with section managers and providing them direction, and engaging the sales advisor team. I review sales figures, probe into sections where there are opportunities and use my commercial acumen to develop plans to improve. I drive sales, customer service and work towards business targets.
What are the main positives and negatives to your job?
Positives: No day is ever the same in retail. It is very fast paced. If you are an active person it is good because you are never sat in an office or behind a desk, you are always interacting with people. .
Negatives: It can be tough, especially the hours. Naturally, as being on a graduate scheme it can be a lot of pressure and a lot is expected from you, if you do not achieve you may not receive a job at the end of the year. Have to work at christmas. .
What qualifications and skills are needed to be great at this job?
A degree in any subject is required for the graduate scheme. You need people skills and management skills including other business competencies. A general understanding of the retail industry, competitors and the business is needed.
What advice would you give to candidates applying for a similar role at this company
Online application, first you submit your CV - ensure there are NO errors on your CV. At this point of your application you are competing with 11,000 applicants, they need to reduce this number drastically, therefore silly mistakes will not pass their screening. Online tests including a personality, literacy and numerical test. Do practice ones online first. Then I had the assessment centre. There were four tasks to complete including a group task, presentation and individual task. At the end there is a one to one interview. Just be yourself throughout the day, the assessors can tell when you are not!
What are the best and worst things about your job? Best:
There are lots of opportunities in many different roles, including internationally. It is a well respected and trusted company. Even though the current climate and retail industry is struggling, M&S is still expanding and investing in the stores and staff, the company is striving to succeed and is continuing to make good profits.
Worst:
The graduate scheme is not as structured as I would personally like it to be, therefore there are times when it can be difficult and you can lose direction. Due to the current climate, like most companies, M&S is having to cut costs, this can sometimes be detrimental to the running of a store.
Salary Comments
After a year on the scheme if you are successful and get 'signed off' by your line manager you will become appointed and receive a small increase in salary.
What hours do you actually work, on average? 8amto 6pm.
Retail is never a 9 - 5 job. Expect to put a lot of hours in especially at peak times. On the graduate scheme there aren't concrete hours, you just have to do what is required at the time, this means there are times when you will be doing 12 hour days. You should expect to work weekends and evenings as part of the role.
With the benefit of hindsight, would you choose to do this job again?
Probably
If there is anything else you feel is missing from your job review please add it here...
The reality of the job is that although it is a graduate scheme, your training very much depends upon the store and the manager you are placed with. Every graduate has completely different experiences of the scheme. It is a lot of pressure at times, but then it can also be very rewarding. I enjoy my job, but I sometimes think there should be more commercial management training.
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