Case study

Ammar Younis — Assistant food buyer

Employer
Tesco
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Ammar enjoyed the culture, training and support he experienced on his internship at Tesco. He’s now developing his skills and gaining hands-on experience as an assistant food buyer

What course did you study and where?

I studied for a degree in Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway, University of London.

How did you get your job with Tesco?

I’ve always wanted to work in a large food company and applied for various internships during my second year at university.

I joined Tesco as a summer intern between my second and third year, after passing an interview and assessment centre. I really enjoyed the culture, training and support I received from my manager. I loved my role as I could see the difference I was making.

I was then offered a place to start on the graduate programme once I’d finished my degree.

What’s a typical day like as an assistant food buyer?

There’s lots of problem solving and, while there are certain things that need to be done weekly, overall there are new challenges that present themselves every week, making the job really exciting.

There’s a fair amount of relationship-building, as I have to talk to lots of different suppliers and internal teams, and there are lots of opportunities to go above and beyond my day job and work on business-wide projects.

Being the biggest retailer in the UK, we’re leading positive change in the industry, which I’m really passionate about.

What do you enjoy about your job?

The thing I enjoy the most is the fact that I can see the results of my work first-hand by simply going into a store. I also enjoy the fact that no two days are the same, making me think on my feet and come up with new solutions to new problems all the time.

What are the challenges?

Being a buyer, there’s a lot of responsibility to make sure everything is right. This means we need to engage multiple teams internally and externally to make sure everything is running smoothly and we’re giving our customers the best possible proposition.

In what way is your degree relevant?

Even though my degree isn’t strictly relevant to my job, the overall key skills I learned, such as problem solving, numerical and analytical skills and being able to absorb large amounts of information quickly, have really helped in my career.

How has your role developed?

My role has developed in line with the business strategy but also, as I’ve developed new skills via experience and workshops, I’ve implemented some of these changes into my role.

In terms of career ambitions, I really want to stay at Tesco long term as it’s a great place to work and there are a variety of job opportunities.

How do I get into retail?

I think there are three core things you need if you want to work in retail:

  • Get some experience - working on the shop floor is a great way of understanding your customer, which is key for any role.
  • Enjoy problem solving and have resilience - retail is ever-changing, and you need to be able to adapt to these changes and work up new solutions to new problems all the time.
  • Have drive and ambition - retail is a competitive, fast-moving industry and you need to want to be the best.

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