Name: Matt Paton
Job: Merchandise Planner, Fashion (Joined Tesco 2003)
Degree: BA Business Studies, University of Hertfordshire
"It’s the fast paced, dynamic and diverse nature of Tesco that first attracted me. You have plenty of opportunities to cross over into different areas of the business.
"As part of the Fashion team, I’ve been involved in the ‘Back to School’ project in a team of five. We began in November 2006 developing sales and profit plans, which we have delivered and implemented this year.
"One of the things about the programme that surprised me the most is the amount of responsibility you get – it’s like having on the job training with full support. Since joining I’ve been involved in a lot of project management and managed a department with a budget of £20 million. You also get a lot of challenges – for instance, the weather this summer had a major impact on our sales and margins and we had to come up with ways of countering this.
"I’ve also had plenty of variety, working in many different fashion departments. This broadens your experience and gives you the chance to see what you like and follow it. I don’t think I’d have had these opportunities to move around at another company.
"You get a lot of support and development on the programme if you need it. The structured merchandising programme provides a variety of training and there’s a master class for sharing experiences every two months that is well worth signing up for. The line managers also offer a lot of support, motivating and encouraging you to learn from your mistakes.
"Tesco’s a great company offering rapid growth and the chance to mould your career in a direction that suits you. At the same time, they’ll develop and support you to achieve your career aspirations."