During your paid 10 week programme, you will develop towards running a department as a team manager for two weeks in one of our large stores. You will be supported through your programme through a variety of learning which will build your skills and develop your knowledge. It will be a mix of self–led training, development days and experiences which will focus on our store operation, your leadership style and understanding our customers.
As a whole, it was a very insightful and enjoyable experience where I got to learn a significant amount about retail management and my own leadership style, which I think will be very useful for me regardless of the career direction I want to take after this.
There was so much to be doing and so much to learn the day would fly by and that's one of the things I enjoyed the most. Having real responsibility and impacts is also great on an internship. Of course, working in retail always has its more tedious tasks and you will inevitably have to spend a fair bit of time stacking shelves, but it's only part of the job.
As one of the only internships I can think of where you are thrown in to be a manager, this naturally makes it incredibly hard to be truly "valued" simply due to the nature of the job. There are always people in store that have the "I've been here longer than you've been alive" mentality, however the vast majority truly value your input and development, from the shop floor colleagues to the store manager. Regardless, learning how to approach and deal with people who have different perceptions of you I think is a pretty important skill.
Other managers and senior managers were on hand to help at almost all times, despite their own incredibly busy workload. The training days at Head Office were particularly valuable, and the "Insights" report and session was really helpful to learning about our own leadership style, strengths and weaknesses. I think since everyone on the Stores internship is based in different stores it's hard to generalise how support works in stores, but I was pretty content most the time. The only downside is, as I said, due to how busy senior managers are there are times when no one is available to help.
Unbelievably busy, every day. But as someone that enjoys having lots to do this really suited me. There is a bit of a culture within Tesco where it's definitely expected that you stay past your finishing time which is occasionally a little frustrating, but since it was all an educational experience I was happy to do it most of the time.
Since it's a management placement, you're thrown in quite early on. Each intern has it slightly different, but for me I spent two weeks as a shop floor colleague on all different departments, before specialising in one department and being duty management trained. I acted as duty manager for approximately 4-5 weeks, which involved quite a deal of responsibility. The only difficult thing is that there are definitely some managers who are not too happy to step back and let the intern take control, but again that's all just a learning experience.
While I am still waiting to find out if I will be offered the graduate scheme based on my internship, no matter what happens, my experience at Tesco will be incredibly valuable for any future career. I think the management experience I have developed will really help me stand out in any job application, but also the educational experience (especially again through my Insights Report) of learning about my leadership style will help in any role too.
I wouldn't really say this internship has assisted me in my degree studies, but then I never thought it would in the first place.
(To clarify, I was in a store not an office). The general atmosphere was generally pretty good. The colleagues and management were all outgoing and mostly friendly, and I never had any really negative feelings about anything in my store. There were not really any outside of work social activities, but that was hardly a major thing for me personally.
The program coordinator for Stores is absolutely fantastic, and put a lot of effort both before we started and with regular catch ups with us to ensure things were running smoothly (and to fix them when they weren't).
I think a greater deal of communication with our placement store management team beforehand with strictly what is expected of us would have been handy however.
With 3 days of training at Head Office before even starting in stores, a development day looking into our leadership styles, in addition to a great deal of time with our "manager buddy" while training, the company invested a huge amount into us. It is very clear to me that Tesco truly cares about their interns and graduates, and this was far, far from a "we will get an intern in to help with the mundane tasks"; it was entirely based around our training and development.
Very appealing. I will hopefully soon be finding out whether or not I have been offered a place on the Stores graduate scheme, and every intern does a presentation to two senior managers about our internship to see if we would fit the scheme. After the experience I've had, I am really hoping I will get an offer.
Since we are all based on our own stores far from head office, for me personally, not really. There was the occasional after work drink (normally when someone was leaving), but that wasn't with other interns. However, there was a big intern group chat who organised multiple events and socials around where head office is, and for those who live close enough to the area could partake if they wanted. Personally though, it wasn't a major thing for me.
I lived at home, since they allocate you a store based within an hour of your location (mine was a short walk), so costs of living were very cheap. I live in quite an expensive area but then that would completely change for each person applying to be an intern.
It's the area I've lived my whole life, so I know it quite well. Again though, this wouldn't apply to other interns on Stores as everyone is based in a different area across the country and would likely already know their own nightlife. For me, it was pretty good though.
As mentioned, the interns at Head Office organised a variety of activites each week, both social events and other things, but for most Stores interns this was not feasible to get to. My store had a small number of events I took part in, but nothing major. However I wasn't really fussed about this.