University and degree: Newcastle Business School – Part of Northumbria University
BA (Hons) Corporate Management
Title – Global Communication and Planning Manager
Why did you decide to do work experience? It was part of an innovative degree offered at Newcastle Business School, the only one of its kind in the North of England, with a unique two year internship that provides the opportunity of applying university based learning to a real business environment.
Can you explain what you did on your work experience? I worked in George for two years on placement, spending one year in Retail Operations and my second year for Global George. In the first year I gained understanding and experience of all aspects of Retail Operations, but in particular how the Central Business communicates to stores. During this time I devised Store Activity Planner, which allowed the business to see at a glance what activity was due to land or be implemented by stores across a 52 week period, thus enabling the business to re-align activity into quieter periods.
I joined Global in summer of 2006 and was able to apply learning from retail to create Global Activity Planner which enabled the business to monitor activity across seven global Markets. I’ve also taken over the management of Global Critical Path management, where I am responsible for agreeing and aligning all critical development milestones for all our markets. This has resulted in me travelling to visit Wal-Mart businesses in Mexico, Canada, Argentina, Brazil and USA. My role involved liaising with the design, buying and branding teams worldwide, to map out critical paths for each of the global markets.
Has your work experience been relevant to your future employment? Since joining in July 2005, I have had a great time in both my roles in George as Trading Operations Assistant and Global Communications and Planning Manager. I spent the first two years completing a work placement at George, whilst studying full time for my university degree. I have learnt so much from my two roles and have met a lot of fantastic people, I have built up a lot of great working relationships and had great mentors at a senior level helping me to develop and grow. By working in these roles I have also had the opportunity to gain a broad understanding of the business operations in the UK and globally.
What did you like best about what you did and were there any downsides? Building relationships and having the opportunity to build up my business knowledge in different areas of both the UK and International Business were both great. Also, I learned to
develop key business skills, had great support from senior individuals in the business,
and did a lot of travelling.
I managed my time well, but if you don’t plan your time it is hard work doing a full time job whilst completing all your university assignments, which need to be completed to set deadlines.
What skills do you need for what you did? You need Time Management skills,
hard work, dedication, ambition and must be up for a challenge. Building relationships is extremely important as you have to have a support base around you to learn key business skills from them.