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FAST TRACK TO RETAIL INDUSTRY

Posted 16 January 2003

STUDENTS FROM Harper Adams University College, Newport, in Shropshire, were given an insider’s low-down on careers in retail management last week.

They heard how the University College’s new degree in Food Retail Management, which will launch this September, could lead to personal growth and lucrative financial rewards.

At just 27, Andrew Taylor is already the Fresh Foods Trading Manager at the huge Tesco Extra store, Telford. He is responsible for all fresh foods in store, manages 200 staff and will soon realise his ambition to become the UK’s youngest store manager, responsible for 400 staff and a Tesco store with an average £1 million a week turnover.

He told students how he had graduated with a degree in construction and design but dramatically changed career direction.

“Initially my motivation was mercenary. Being taken on as a graduate trainee by Tesco paid far more than I could have hoped for in my chosen career, but I rapidly realised that nothing can match the challenge and reward offered in the fast moving world of retailing.”

Andrew’s meteoric rise from trainee to store manager should prove to be an incentive to the next generation of graduates. His advice was to focus on the ‘leadership, teamwork and communication skills’ that are key to any role and especially important to the fast moving, people orientated world of retailing.

He warned them to be prepared to work hard in what is a hectic business and cited the mammoth onslaught of the Christmas period when in one day his store took half a million pounds and doubled its normal weekly turnover.

Students also learned of the tremendous career opportunities offered by Tesco, which is not only the UK’s leading retailer but also operates worldwide, in retailing, purchasing, marketing, logistics and more. Andrew is hoping for a store management post that could take him to Korea, Turkey, India or China or to an established location in Eastern Europe.

These kinds of opportunities will soon be open to Harper Adams graduates. Martin Hingley is the Tesco Fellow at Harper Adams and responsible for maintaining the special relationship between the UK’s leading retailer and the UK’s leading provider of Higher Education for the land and food based industries.

He explained: “Harper Adams has always been at the forefront of land-based education and a key provider of expertise to the food industry but, highlighted by the link we now have with Tesco, we are spearheading opportunities for the brightest and best graduates into the wider world of retailing.”

Mr Hingley went on to add that Harper Adams new sandwich degree course in Food Retail Management was recruiting extremely well for its first intake this September. Following Andrew Taylor’s inspiring talk, it seems likely there will be no shortage of takers.

(Ends)

Notes to Editors: (1) Caption: Tesco Fellow Martin Hingley (Left) and Andrew Taylor, Fresh Food Trading Manager, Tesco (Third from right), with students from Harper Adams University College, Newport. (2) Further information on the Tesco Masterclass or on the Food Retail Management course is available from Martin Hingley on 01 952 815 386.

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