I started with M&S as a Customer Assistant at the age of 19, and since then, I’ve progressed through the business. I’ve been a Team Support Manager, a Team Manager, a Store Manager, and I’ve also worked across numerous departments, from Clothing & Home to Foods and Hospitality & Operations. So, I have got a great understanding of what it’s like to work in a variety of areas, which has enabled me to share my skills and knowledge to help other people.
As a manager, you can’t get your job done without your team, and I appreciate their hard work. They’re dedicated because they are aware of the importance of delivering an effective and efficient operation which creates real impact for our customers.
And my team know that they can come to me for anything – no question is a silly question, and I’ll always be there to support them. One of my biggest values is integrity, and I bring that into my role by always standing up for what I believe is right. That means I’m constantly thinking about the impact that my decisions as a leader will have on my colleagues’ career paths.
Last April, I completed the Build leadership programme, which M&S offers to all internal colleagues. I was new in my role, and I had transitioned from managing a small format store of 30 colleagues to a larger format store of more than 200 people as the Deputy Store Manager for Hospitality & Operations at one of our Academy stores. It was a big opportunity to step up from my previous role, and the leadership programme helped to set me up for success.
I now manage the café, the Market Place, Bureau de Change, and our Admin and Operations teams at one of our largest London stores. It’s great to see my team delivering customer satisfaction and driving profitability. And without the Operations team, the store can’t run. They’re the ‘engine room’, driving the shop floor and making sure the store is safe for customers and colleagues.
It was the next step I needed in my career, and the results have shown themselves in the visits we’ve received from the CEO, Regional Managers, and Store Management teams. We’ve been recognised for our brilliant standards and efficient operations and even held up as role models for other teams, so that they can learn from the high standard that we’ve delivered.