My name’s Emma Warrington. I’m currently a graduate at West Ealing branch in the food service; namely the deli and patisserie section. It was very much the brand that inspired me from both the product quality side and also the customer service side.
I was actually in customer services for four years before I joined Waitrose, so I was really interested to keep that side of my experience and my knowledge going and to develop it within the Waitrose brand.
The section manager stage is probably the most challenging stage of the training scheme. You’re immediately posted into a section, into a new branch, and you’re having to learn everybody’s names and understand what is expected from you. At the same time, you’re maintaining the sales and effectiveness of the staff just like any other section manager who’s maybe done it for years. So there’s a very high level of expectation on you to achieve right from the beginning.
I’m learning all the time and I can learn so much from people who’ve been in the business a long time. It’s about really being good with people, listening to them and taking ideas on board. From a managerial perspective, it’s about choosing which idea might be best and trying to implement it and taking it forward to help the business improve on a day-to-day basis.
I think it’s really important to be highly motivated because the graduate training scheme is very much geared around your own pace and your own development. You need to push yourself to constantly learn and constantly achieve so that you can take your career forward at the pace that you want to take it at.
If a company treats its staff really well then the staff are much more productive and happy in their life and in their work, and I’ve really felt that since I’ve joined Waitrose.