Rachel graduated from Bristol with an Economics degree and now works in data analysis for Tesco. We recently caught up with Rachel to hear about her experience working for Tesco and her advice for students that are starting their career.
“Thinking about careers and trying to secure a first job might be easy for some. Maybe you’ve had an idea about what you want to do for a while and your university degree is leading you in this direction.
However, for others, it’s less clear, and this can cause anxiety and confusion. I fit into the latter group and nearly 7 years since graduating I’m still figuring it out!
I studied Economics at the University of Bristol and in my final year, I completed an applied econometrics project, in which I gained experience in analysing data and writing a report. I really enjoyed this process, so I decided to look for a role in research, where I spent the first few years of my career in the field of education. This confirmed my interest in data analysis and using the output to deliver impactful insights.
What I do
I then wanted to gain experience working with data in a new environment and access further development opportunities so joined Tesco. I started in the Forecasting team within Supply Chain where I managed the national sales forecast for horticulture and planned all the seasonal events such as Christmas and Valentine’s Day.
I later moved into the Supply Chain Development & Change team where I develop platforms and processes that are used throughout Tesco’s supply chain to ensure we deliver more for customers, reduce food waste, and improve efficiencies. My forecasting experience is very useful as it gave me practical experience using some of the systems and processes I am now responsible for improving.
While moving to Tesco might not seem like it was an obvious move, I followed my interest in data analysis and problem-solving. I’m still very interested in research, but what I’ve come to understand is that this stems from my desire to learn, which is one of my career drivers. Being in this role allowed me to apply myself in a new context, exposing me to new experiences, and giving me a greater breadth of knowledge and skills.
What I love about my job
What I love most about working here is the variety of interesting problems we get to solve that deliver significant benefits. From the moment I joined, I was trusted with the responsibility and autonomy to do this, which provided huge opportunities for both professional and personal growth. There is a fun and friendly culture in the team plus a big focus on wellbeing and work-life balance, which creates a happy and productive environment.
“So, if you’re thinking about what direction to take, my main piece of advice is to follow what interests you. If you’re unclear about what this is, spend some time trying to understand this more.“
Career choice is driven by many factors, some more practical than others, but I believe doing this leads to greater job satisfaction and success, and that it will eventually lead you into something you love doing.
Some things you might find helpful to explore:
- what are your career anchors?
- what are your values?
- what motivates and drives you?
- what are your skills/strengths?
There are lots of helpful resources to help guide your thinking on this and I’d recommend reading Beginner’s Pluck by Liz Forkin Bohannon, which is both helpful and entertaining!
I’d also recommend trying to gain experience in a range of roles that draw on different skill sets early on in your career, as this will give you a greater breadth of skills and knowledge, whilst also providing opportunities to discover what you enjoy.”
“The great thing about working in an organisation as large as Tesco is that you are exposed to many different roles, job functions and people from whom you can learn. This is a brilliant way to understand more about what you like. So, if you’re interested in the supply chain, enjoy problem-solving, or are not sure what you want to do, it’s likely that Tesco has a role for you!
For more information about our team and our roles please see our Tesco Careers website.”