Vault Q&A: Site Research Consultant, Tesco
Title: Site Research Consultant, which means I assess the potential of new Tesco sites or extending existing ones, forecast sales and basically refresh our portfolio of stores. I do this using geographical models and demographic data plus the experience we have accrued over the years
Department/Division: Site research team
Location: Welwyn Garden City
Number of years at firm: Four
Number of years in current role: Four
Degree (s): Geography Bsc 2.1 at Nottingham University plus an MSc Geographical information science.
How did you first decide to enter your industry? What first attracted you?
I wanted a career working for a dynamic and exciting company. My interest in Tesco was stimulated by a presentation they did when I was on the masters course. My thought was that people always need to eat and so there'll always be a job!
What are the typical education requirements? What skills and/or experience are important for success?
Tesco's take on a large number of graduates each year in a number of different sectors. In my department, I needed to have a specific degree in geography but in other areas where you don't need a specific degree, you just need to be degree educated with minimum of a 2.1. As for skills, I would say spatial skills and the ability to manipulate data. Other key skills include being able to communicate, in verbal and written form, as you are reporting directly to the board. Good judgment is also important.
What is the typical career path in your industry?
After you join, you spend 12-15 months in the division as a trainee before promotion. You then become an analyst although you work in the same division. After that, there is the possibility of becoming a retail consultant. The step up the ladder would be becoming a regional manager with three to four people under you.
We have three sectors: the North, South and the South-west and Wales team. The next promotion would be up to country manager. This can be done in the UK or abroad. Although you would have to work within the UK for five years before going abroad.
What is your favourite part of your job?
I would say getting out on site and seeing the opportunities that new properties bring. Knowing that I make a difference as I have to report directly to the board. I enjoy the responsibility that comes with this.
What is your least favourite part of your job?
Probably the long hours I have to spend on site. Some days can last up to 10 hours although you spend more time in the office as you gain more experience. It is always difficult when stores under performing and I have to analyse why this has happened.
How relevant is your education to what you are doing today?
Extremely relevant. I use geographical information science on a daily basis and I am constantly thinking geographically. The numeracy skills I picked up are also important. I also learned how to communicate concisely and clearly.
Can you offer any advice to graduates seeking a career in your industry?
Do consider retail -- there are such diverse opportunities for graduates. For the interview, I would advise getting up to date on consumer trends. Also consider where you see yourself in a couple of years' time.
What is something unusual that people might not know?
Tesco trade in 11 other countries and are opening stores in California. Some people are going out there to start it up as it is a very popular place to work.
What is your best perk?
Out of everything, I would say my discount card that gets me 10 per cent off Tesco's goods. Also the coaching I do -- part of my job is training new graduates and creating a new recruitment induction plan.