Marks and Spencer - shop floor.

Development of transferrable business skills & my experience

Transferrable business skills.

I was placed with Marks and Spencer Marble arch as a shop floor assistant. Here they enabled mew to develop on many transferrable business skills throughout my 3 weeks that I worked alongside them, both on the sales floor and in general merchandise.
M&S: CHRISTMAS TV AD 2015 – #TheArtOfChristmas
The main skill I developed on is verbal communication, this was developed by having to communicate in new ways to people of different ages. I was able to communicate with managers to organise break times, what we were doing throughout the days and whom we were to work with, it was an interesting skill to use as it wasn't always used in a positive way, a lot of the time we had to communicate how we really felt about the placement to higher authority in order to get what we desired out of the placement.

Problem solving was another key business skill that was developed on a lot during my placement, the staff were very unprepared for our arrival at Marks and Spencer which meant that a lot of the time the activities that we done were suggested by myself in order to stop them from giving us jobs that were not a required part of our experience. This skill will be a good one to carry through into my future careers as it is a vital skill to have when things go wrong, it makes you a reliable team member.

We touched on planning in the experience, the most planning I worked on was planning our days and when we were having meetings, timings of breaks and when to meet for breaks. The other planning that we touched on was with planning overnight moves to get the store prepared for Black Friday, this involved pricing what clothes were going into the sale, reorganising the store to fit in more rails and to bring sale promotions to the front. We helped with doing pricing and were walked through what was happening with the moves where I inputed some of my opinions to improve the layout.

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Organisation helped me with the planning situations and having to be organised with knowing what times we were meant to be in every day. The other time when we developed on organisational skills was when we were asked to clean and organise a stock cupboard, this included putting items all together in boxes and making it clear and easy to see.

A useful transferrable business skill was decision making which I exercised a lot during my placement, I was the one who decided on breaks, and I was the one to decide on what to do when no one had anything planned for us. This is now a strong skill for me as I feel comfortable making decisions that I believe are correct and beneficial.

Negotiation was a daily task at Marks and Spencer, not only did I exercise it however I also witnessed it. Managers would have to negotiate with each other to spread staff and get their required staff, negotiation would also occur between staff and managers about breaks, shift works and where they were working. I exercised negotiation with break times and when we would be able to go to certain departments.

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During my placement it became evident that I need to be very flexible in order to work there as every day I was asked to be on a new department and work with items I hadn't worked with before this helped me develop my flexibility skill a lot as I never turned down a task that they asked me to do. Additionally team working was a daily skill at Marks and Spencer, whether it was with my fellow classmates from the Fashion Retail academy or with staff at Marks and Spencer. The main times I acted within a team was with doing a move with the lingerie team or when communicating feedback with the Fashion Retail Academy girls.

Lastly, business awareness was developed a lot, with Marble Arch being the international flagship store it meant that we had to deal with a lot of foreign customers who had a lot of questions. We developed on this skill by having department meetings with people such as M&S bank to learn more about their sections, we had team briefs and managers meetings so we were kept up to date with what was happening in M&S and what was happening.

M&S Food: Adventures in Surprise - TV AD 2015

In my future I want to excel into becoming an in house buyer, all of the skills I developed on will help me to be skilled at my job. All of the team skills will help me be a good team member and be able to involve everyone into making a co-operative and functional team. The business skills will help me with being able to understand my customer and the brand to create suitable products. Organisation, negotiation and flexibility will help with being able to stay focused, on time and to be able to do whatever is necessary to get the job done.

Overall at Marks and Spencer they helped me develop on a lot of my transferrable business skills however they were not always for positive reasons it is because of the negative experiences that I have developed though. They were a good company to help me develop however if I were to do it again I'd make it clear what it was I wanted to do and develop on so that they could then react to that and give me the require experiences.