I spent the first few months of my placement learning the basics and meeting people across the department, but I was given genuine responsibility from a very early stage. I was involved in projects and also had autonomy to manage my own projects and workload. It’s also been a great opportunity to build relationships across the business at all levels.
Sharing knowledge and building relationships is the fastest and best way to learn and progress, but to do this it’s important to be an authentic and consistent person. It’s also important to seize every opportunity to develop yourself (and a placement at Waitrose offers so many opportunities to do this).
I’m applying to graduate schemes at the moment including the Waitrose Leadership graduate scheme. While I’m not going to be the right person for every organisation I’ve applied to, I do feel that I have a strong CV; every application I’ve made has been considered. Even if I choose not to go down the route of a graduate scheme, I have myriad transferable skills that I’ve learnt and honed on my placement that will stand me in good stead to get a job in many industries. The relationships that I’ve built during my placement are invaluable and also offer potential opportunities to further my career.