Tesco Graduate Jobs
Tesco, well-known as the UK's number one retailer, is also the third largest in the world, with a turnover of £62.5 billion across 14 countries. Its range of stores continue to grow in line with the introduction of new retail areas.
It follows that Tesco is one of the UK's major employers: as well as the more visible store floor jobs, the management tiers are constantly growing.
As a result, Tesco has developed a major graduate training program, centred on its two offices in Welwyn Garden City and Cheshunt - we look at the programmes below.
Store opportunities are covered in our article: Tesco Jobs.
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Who is the Employer?
Originally a grocery retailer, the massive Tesco now retails books, electronics, clothing, furniture, financial services, petrol, Internet and mobile services, and software amongst other products. The company has several kinds of store:
- Tesco Superstores are large supermarkets with a wide range of products, including DVDs and books. They also have cafes, home shopping and fuel stations.
- Tesco Extra stores are out-of-town hypermarkets that sell almost the entire range of Tesco products. These have the widest range of products, including bedding and cookware, electrical products, clothing, garden furniture, etc.
- Tesco Metro stores are mid-sized supermarkets in inner city areas, city centres or town high streets.
- Tesco Express stores are neighbourhood shops in city centres, shopping precincts, small towns and Esso petrol station forecourts.
- Tesco Homeplus is the company's only non-food venture, being dedicated to home and garden products. The largest stores have a catalogue shop.
Graduate Training Opportunities
Tesco has developed a solid range of graduate training programmes. These share the capacity to equip you with the necessary leadership skills, as well as the technical abilities needed to work within a specific role and area. Requirements vary for each programme and each has its own particular style.
Tesco assures candidates of a high level of support, training and development, whichever programme they're accepted to. In return, the company is very clear about the core qualities it's looking for and in this you can see a clear indication of the corporate culture. Candidates across the board must be:
- A team worker.
- Motivated and energetic, able to stay the distance.
- A strong communicator.
- A good decision maker.
- A natural leader and winning personality.
- Able to bring about change.
- Passionate about retail.
Store Management Programme
This is perhaps the area of work you'd most associate with the retailer. It's described as a chance to be where the action is, at the business's heart, interacting with customers. For more details of the store management programme.
Unsurprisingly, there's a huge range of office based opportunities in the company, from specialist careers within business areas to more general activities. For more details of the office programmes.
- This area is concerned with buying the right products at the right prices for customers, while ensuring sales and profit growth.
- It's divided into three: food, non-food and corporate (other supplies not sold in stores).
- Effective analytical and decision making ability is needed in addition to the core qualities (above).
- This is a high level marketing function and Tesco says that no other company offers a comparable development programme in a communications and policy role.
- You need to be extremely energetic and display superb communication skills, as well as the ability to analyse complex issues and exercise sound judgement.
- This marketing function sits close to Corporate Affairs and is concerned with understanding and anticipating customer requirements, analysing the business and how stores meet those needs.
- You need at least a 2:1 degree or MSc in an analytical or highly numerate degree, together with strong qualitative and quantitative research skills, analytical abilities and decision-making prowess.
- This function ensures sound financial control of the business, informing management and contributing to financial soundness of strategic management decisions.
- A relevant qualification is needed, as you will continue studying to become a qualified management accountant with CIMA (Chartered Institutes of Management Accountants).
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Finance - Treasury
- In short, this function manages global liquidity for the whole group, ensuring that funds are correctly located in the correct currency at the right time.
- Departments include Front Office, Middle Office,Back Office, Corporate Finance, and Financial Planning and Analysis.
- Candidates need to work to a high level of accuracy under pressure, understand the markets, and have the ability to analyse information, write concise reports and present a well-reasoned verbal argument.
- This function is called Personnel in Tesco.
- It's concerned with ensuring that managers across the business have superb skills and appropriate tools for meeting the workforce's needs.
- A passion for personnel is required for this programme.
- These teams establish a strategy for growth in a given product range.
- This involves budgetary control and ensuring the right products are in place at the right time, in the right quantities. Departments include Clothing and Hard Lines (i.e. non-clothing, non-food products).
- You need strong commercial awareness, as well as mathematical and analytical abilities.
- This team works with buyers and suppliers to ensure all products are safe, legal and quality assured.
- You need to be motivated and organised, while able to remain calm under pressure.
- This function builds sales and profit through the purchase of new space and utilising assets.
- This means working alongside architects, designers, builders, engineers and other experts who work together to create stores.
- You need to have at least a 2:1 degree in a Property-related course.
Site Research - Analysis
- This research function is concerned with opening the right stores in the right places.
- This means working alongside a wide range of business areas in developing store strategies.
- You need a 2:1 degree in a highly numerate degree, preferably an MSc, ideally in Maths, Operational Research or Statistics.
- Strong numerical and analytical skills are essential.
- As another core within the property department, this is about analysing catchment areas and populations to ensure profitability of new store openings.
- You need a 2:1 degree in any discipline, particularly Geography.
- An interest in spatial awareness and the retail market is encouraged.
- This is concerned with information technology in-store, delivering effective systems for payment, or developing complex systems to facilitate the offering of insurance, banking and lottery tickets at the till.
- You need at least a 2:1 degree in any discipline, 'A' levels including maths or a science, as well as excellent problem solving abilities and a strong interest in technology.
- Tesco.com: As a business in its own right, Tesco.com offers online grocery shopping as well as non-food products.
- It's also a means of accessing the telecoms, banking and insurance services.
- You need strong commercial awareness, analytical skills, and strong numerical, analytical and conceptual-thinking aptitudes.
- An enterprising approach helps.
- This is one of the fastest growing areas of the business. It includes all in-store and online telecoms sales, as well as home phone, broadband and Internet phone services.
- There's also the mobile phone network, Tesco Mobile.
- You need a minimum 2.1 degree in any discipline, commercial awareness, and excellent problem-solving, analytical and conceptual thinking abilities.
UK Support Office
- This section supports all the UK stores on areas such as customer service,people, operations, finance and community.
- You need a 2.1 degree in any discipline,excellent analytical and decision-making skills and have a positive attitude when faced with challenges.
Distribution is at the core of Tesco's activities. This is the largest distribution network in the world and the department leads in logistics management. There are 26 centres in the UK alone. After learning about the foundations of the distribution network and becoming familiar with the operations of stores, participants work towards line management and team leadership, before moving on to development of senior team skills and project management.
This function is described as being 'not for the faint hearted', as it involves challenges on a 24/7, 365 day per year basis. Candidates therefore need self-confidence, the ability to work in a challenging environment, decision-making and change management abilities, and the personal qualities required to set expectations and influence others. For more details of the distribution programme.
The company also runs graduate programmes in a number of countries: Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Turkey, Ireland, Thailand, Korea, Malaysia and China.
Applying for the Graduate Programmes
You can learn more about the graduate programme on the dedicated website: tesco-programmes.com
There's an online career finder to help you see which programmes might suit you. This questionnaire takes around 15 minutes to complete and will give you a clear idea of how your personal preferences and expectations fit with the requirements of the company - and its corporate culture and way of working. Nobody monitors the results, but it alerts you to areas where you are already suitable and where you may need to adapt.
All in all, this website is set up to encourage you to apply for the right programme, rather than to filter candidates out.