Meet Megan, our Buying & Merchandising Assistant Apprentice

Have you heard about our Buying & Merchandising Assistant Apprenticeship in partnership with the Fashion Retail Academy?

Our Support Office Apprenticeships offer a degree-free, direct route into Buying and Merchandising. There's a team behind every product, and they're busy doing the smart thinking, deciding how we succeed as a business. And as an apprentice, you’ll play a vital role on the team, while launching your career!

We caught up with our Buying and Merchandising Assistant Apprentice Megan, to give the inside scoop into some of the things you can expect during your time on the 2-year course.

After completing her degree in Graphic Design, Megan realised it wasn't the right route for her. She spotted a vacancy to join M&S on the Apprenticeship, and she'd heard we were well known for our Early Careers programmes and knew that Buying would utilise both her creative and analytical skills. She hasn't looked back, and recommends that any colleague thinking of an M&S apprenticeship doesn't hesitate to apply!

"I currently spend 4 days a week in our Waterside Support Centre, fulfilling the role of Buying and Merchandising Assistant, and 1 day a week with the Fashion Retail Academy, learning about both buying and merchandising roles in retail.

When I'm in the office, I work on developing new ranges; from looking at other retailers to analysing what they're selling, to recognising gaps in the market, speaking to suppliers about upcoming samples, colour approvals and fabrics, and organising samples to be sent over for marketing shoots. There are so many aspects to the role, and each season brings new challenges."

Megan also appreciates the benefits you can bring to the role as a candidate if you have a history of working in Retail:

"If you know the M&S products well, know the qualities people expect from Merchandisers, and have good first-hand knowledge of how customers like to shop, you're already one step ahead. Since I started with no buying experience, I sometimes think how much I've learnt in the last 8 months is crazy. My team is so supportive and always asking how they can help with my Fashion Retail Academy projects, and wants me to experience as much as possible whilst I'm an apprentice."

There's a Merchandising team behind every product, and they're busy doing the smart thinking, deciding how we succeed as a business. And as an apprentice, you’ll play a vital role on the team, while launching your career. Megan is currently working on our Kidswear range, and loves the products and ranges M&S has to offer:

"Kidswear is such a fun area to work on, the products are amazing, and my colleagues are all so lovely! Buying is such a varied role, and as you get to know your product area, you'll learn to love every part of it. If you love to shop, speaking to new people and presenting ideas, then you'll be fine. There are lots of new systems to learn and a whole process to understand, but everyone at M&S, as you'll know, is so knowledgeable and always willing to help!

In case you didn't know, our Waterside Support Centre has a giant Percy Pig character, and Percy Pig Pick 'n' Mix too!"

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