Investigating into how Tesco can continue to make progress against its climate change commitments, overcoming know barriers whilst also anticipating challenges that Tesco is likely to face before 2050.
This virtual internship gave me a great insight of what it means to work for Tesco, what their values are and what a future career in Tesco would look like. I managed to meet many people from across the business that were happy to share their expertise and advice. I really enjoyed working on the hot topic of climate change, which gave me a greater boost in researching solutions for the business which could help combat this problem.
All the members of my team came from different university backgrounds, so it was possible to exploit everybody's expertise and soft skills. During the internship, our managers were keen to listen to our findings and questions, and were very helpful in pointing us in the right direction. During our final presentation, the work done over the course of six weeks was greatly appreciated, which made us interns more confident in the work we had done.
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it did not meet our site terms and conditions were extremely helpful with any question concerning the virtual internship. Within the specific subgroups, it was possible to set up meetings with virtually anyone within Tesco to gain more insights about different areas of the business. We got the opportunity to speak with current graduates, current employees and members of the executive board. We were given the opportunity to listen to how career progressions occur within Tesco and how people got to Tesco from other companies. Every week we would have weekly check-ins to make sure everything was running smoothly, and to give any feedback about the internship.
During the internship I was working on a corporate social responsibility project around climate change, and my subgroup was focusing on the trends which could affect Tesco in becoming a net zero carbon business by 2050. Given my background in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, I was able to put some of my technical knowledge in practice, and understand what a career related with engineering would be like in a retail business. We were offered training on presenting skills, on how to keep healthy and focused when working from home and how to deal with stress. The internship allowed me to better perfect my time management skills, team collaboration, presenting skills, and helped me learn how to better approach colleagues without ever having met them. In addition, I was able to gain valuable insights on what companies can do to help combat climate change.
It was the first time Tesco offered a virtual internship to replace the standard one due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it exceeded my expectations. There was a good balance between online meetings, learning opportunities, independent work, and social activities. A lot of information was made available to us, to be able to research information for our project. We were also given access to training tools, so if we had some free time throughout our day, we could take any e-learning course on a myriad of topics.
The atmosphere was very informal and inclusive. We were always given the opportunity to ask questions, and no question was ever a stupid question. During working hours we were given opportunities to speak just among interns, to replicate what would happen in an office. There were also sessions named 'Grab a Cuppa', where anybody could join and just have a casual chat with anyone present. The training sessions, even if they were virtual, were very engaging and interactive: for example for a collaboration training session, we had to complete a virtual escape room, and after reflect on what could have been improved with regards to our collaboration.
The colleagues we met during the internship explained what their role consisted of and all previous roles they had had within Tesco. Originally all the interns were on the classical internships offered by Tesco, but these were all replaced with corporate social responsibility projects. However we were still given the opportunity to meet people from our original streams and ask any questions on what that role would have consisted of, or any other curiosity we had.
Already from the Discovery Centre, it was already clear to interns what Tesco's values were, and this was highlighted more evidently during the internship induction. When colleagues described their career within Tesco, they always made reference to their five core values. We were also introduced to their long term strategy which highlighted what needed to be achieved with respect to each value. When working within our projects, we were constantly making sure that our ideas were in line with Tesco's values.
Before taking on the internship at Tesco, I had no idea of what to expect from working in the retail industry. I was amazed by how much detail goes into any decision, and was amazed by the ins and outs of a retailer. I really appreciated the opportunity of role rotation within the business, giving you the opportunity of exploring different aspect of the business. After this internship I would definitely consider taking on a role within Tesco or the retail industry.
The original internship was meant to last 10 weeks, however the virtual internship was shortened to 6 weeks, as the topic of the internship had changed. Originally I was meant to be on the Technology Product Internship, but when the office based internship got cancelled, all interns were given the opportunity to choose what corporate social responsibility project they wanted to do. The options were Sustainable Diets, Supporting Communities, Health Charity Partnerships and Climate Change. Even if the internship was shortened, we still got paid the same amount we would have received over the 10 weeks.
I was not in the UK during the internship, so I did not get any opportunity to directly meet up with other interns or colleagues. However, there were restrictions in place due to COVID-19, thus it was not recommended.
This virtual internship was a great opportunity to understand the culture and the way Tesco operates. We were provided with numerous learning opportunities which enriched our skill set, and which will be useful for our career. The topics we were dealing with were extremely interesting and delicate at the same time. All colleagues treat us fairly and never underestimated us and were willing to teach us and help us in any situation, to make our time at Tesco valuable and insightful.