People were willing to take time out of their day to help me and I even managed to get invited to things that were not directly related to my area.

About me

Jade B.
Sociology
Sociology
BA
James
2018
United Kingdom

About this profile

Commercial Operations Intern - Food
Tesco
United Kingdom
Retail and sales
Large business (250+ employees)
2017
2017

About the job

What I do

Commercial Operations - Food was the official title of my internship. What does this mean? In other terms this means I was an intern food buyer. I was based within dried fruit, nuts and snacking which was a great area for me as I love that type of food. Buying involves choosing the range of food you want to see on shelf in stores, based on customer data, sales and insight into trends in the area. It also involves liaising regularly with suppliers to negotiate on pricing and promotions that you want to see in your range.

Skills I use and how I developed them

Communication skills were the biggest thing used. I would communicate everyday either face to face or via email with suppliers and colleagues. I learnt how to differentiate between how to draft an email to a supplier compared to a colleague and then again if I did not know the colleague as well as my immediate team. My organisational skills also improved as I learnt how to prioritise and get on with tasks effectively rather than procrastinating.

What I like most

Food Safaris! These are basically a day of being taken to different food places around London! I was lucky enough to be invited on two whilst I was at Tesco. One was a wholefoods trend day where I got to go to MaEs Deli for breakfast, Nama for smoothie tasting, Tanya's for lunch and Caravan for dinner and cocktails. The other day I did was a desserts safari, where I was taken to Bob Bob Ricard, Café Royale, Chin Chin Lab and Pierre Marcolini to taste a variety of puddings, cakes and chocolates. The idea behind food safari's is to see what is trending in that area, in order to understand what concepts could be bought to store. They are particularly useful as if there appears to be a particular flavour or ingredient trending everywhere that is not currently being ranged at Tesco, it reeks opportunity.

What I like least

The admin! There were a lot of Excel spread sheets that I would have to work with. This was for loading promotions with suppliers, analysing weekly sales to understand what is performing well and what is not in the area and completing substitutions for online shopping when a product is being discontinued.

What surprised me most

How nice everybody is! I was expecting the business world to be very cut throat but I found everyone was so accommodating. People were willing to take time out of their day to help me and I even managed to get invited to things that were not directly related to my area.

Finding and applying for the job

How I looked for work

The internship schemes ran by Tesco are available direct on their website under the early careers scheme. I originally found out about the role through Targetjobs, but I know that they also advertise through ratemyplacement.

How I found out about the job

Other graduate recruitment website

The recruitment process

It was incredibly long but nothing worth having does not involve hard work! The first step was to fill out the application form, which included basic demographic questions as well as scenario based questions asking you to describe a time when...
The second step was to then participate in the online tests. One was a situational judgement test and one a maths test. It is only once you pass these tests that they will read your application.
The next step was a 45 minute telephone interview where I was asked further scenario based questions. The most important thing to remember when answering these was that I was applying for a role in retail, so the customer is at the heart of what they do.
The final stage from here was then an assessment day held at a hotel in Hertfordshire. This was a long and tiring day that involved me presenting a pre-prepared presentation, a one to one interview, a group simulation exercise, an individual task which involved presenting again after looking at case studies and lots and lots of networking! I did get a free lunch out of the day which was just as well as I was starving and tired by the end!

My advice to students

My advice to students considering work

Do it! Even if it's something you're not sure you want to do, go out there and try it! Because it's only by trying different things that you'll discover what you enjoy the most in a work place.

Contacting me

If you have any questions, please feel free to drop me an email: jb1858@york.ac.uk


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