During the pandemic, I had a bit of an epiphany. After working in marketing for almost five years, I realised that wasn’t what I wanted to do forever. I wanted to try something new and push myself in other ways. That’s when the M&S grad scheme opened for applications, and I could see it was an incredible opportunity with a well respected brand.
To join the scheme, I relocated to London from Liverpool, and M&S were so supportive, signposting resources and making sure I felt welcome right away. The induction week was very social – you’re encouraged to get to know each other through lots of icebreakers, and you get to build good friendships and working relationships very quickly. The whole Early Careers team were great at making us feel like we were part of the business before we’d even officially started!
You’re not expected to know everything, or to be an expert – you’re just expected to be enthusiastic and contribute towards the team’s success. As long as you’re being present, and actively trying to get the most out of the experience, that’s the most important thing.
I really like the collaborative side of the roles I’ve had during the scheme too. I don’t enjoy working totally solo, so it’s been nice to feel like part of a team that’s working to achieve something collectively. People here are very willing to help when you need a question answered, or you just need a bit of support or guidance.
The focus on development has been incredible. The structure of the development calendar means that your sessions are spread out in a way that gives you time to absorb new learnings and apply them in your roles. This plan for development is something that stood out in comparison to other roles. Here, it’s great to get that boost of confidence when you see or hear yourself using the skills that you’re developing to achieve things you never thought you could do.