GUEST BLOG: The work of an Asda Trainee

UoY Careers Balloon illyGuest blog written by Isabelle Wynne, Assistant Merchandiser in Kids, Homewares and Festive, Asda

Background:

  • University of York English and History BA
  • Current Role: Assistant Merchandiser in Kids Homewares and Festive

What attracted you to applying for the Asda Graduate Scheme?

I worked in retail while at university which gave me a real passion for the customer and products. The Asda graduate scheme offered a fantastic opportunity to try working in different areas and get a real insight into how a product and range are created.

Tell us about your ‘Asda Journey’

Before Asda, I worked for a small independent department store for 4 years part time as a shop assistant and website administrator. I then joined the Festive and Kids Homewares team as an assistant merchandiser. This was a huge change for me- I’d come from a non-business/maths degree and suddenly found myself doing complex sums and spreadsheets every day! I still get a lot of insight into the product and strategy, though, and over the last year I progressed to covering the Kids Dine category as full Merchandiser for 4 months.

Describe a ‘typical day’ in your role at Asda

I start by updating the sales for our categories and updating the trading teams on any major developments. From then on, my day can be very unpredictable. If we’re trading an event, I’ll have a sell through meeting to attend to check what’s going on in stores and respond to their needs. If we’re planning a new range, I’ll be with the buyers and merchandisers meeting with suppliers. They’ll bring us new products and styles which we’ll consider for the new range. I might also be working on strategy pieces to analyse what products should make up a range and how much we will be able to sell. Other than that, we might be planning promotions and just trading our everyday ranges- a lot of work goes into making sure that everything ticks over from day to day.

What is the favourite thing about the Asda graduate scheme?

I love the fact that everyday day here in the office is different- in trading there’s always something new and unexpected happening. It’s a challenging but really fun environment to be in. When I left university, I wanted to job that was constantly changing and not boring- which is exactly what working here is like.

Can you describe the Asda culture in 3 words?

Fast-paced, challenging, exciting

What makes Asda different?

I’ve been really pleasantly surprised how open and friendly it is to work here. It’s easy to talk to everyone, no matter what their position or role is. There’s also plenty of opportunity to grow and change in your career.

What advice would you give to other graduates looking to apply?

Don’t be afraid to be yourself and really go after what inspires you. The culture here is fantastic, but it can be really hard work. You need to be passionate about driving your own development and where you want to go-if you do, Asda is a great place to be.

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