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Helen Alkin, Recruitment Manager – Graduates, School Leavers and Customer Assistants

As the Recruitment Manager at M&S with overall responsibility for our Graduate schemes, Industrial Placements and School Leavers programme, I am about to embark on my busiest time of the year. On the 1st September we will open all of our undergraduate and school leaver schemes for applications to come and join our business in 2015.

It’s a really exciting time to consider a career in retail and specifically in M&S, as we are laying the foundations for growth and development, with our international expansion plans and a strong focus on technology that reflects the ever-changing shopping habits of our customers. Joining M&S now on one of our Management Programmes means that you will have the opportunity to really get involved in shaping the way our business evolves in the future, whilst fast-tracking your career.

Our School Leaver Programme is currently dedicated out in our stores and offers individuals the opportunity to start their career straight from school – it’s a 12-18 month programme that coaches, trains and develops you to take on the responsibility that comes with being one of our Commercial Managers. At the end of the programme, you will be responsible for running your own area of one of our stores, with responsibility for multi-million pound budgets and line management accountability for a team of Section Managers and Customer Advisors. It’s a fantastic way to kick start a rewarding career and it is how some of our most senior people and Board Directors began their career at M&S. All that we are looking for is two A-levels or equivalent and a bundle of motivation, energy and great people skills.

Most people completely underestimate the variety of roles that a retail organisation has but in fact we currently have Graduate opportunities that span across many areas of our business from opportunities like Software Engineering and IT Business Analyst roles to Buying & Merchandising, Logistics, Design, Marketing and HR to Product Development and Product Technology roles in both Food and General Merchandise. Our Retail Programme has the largest number of places available with opportunities nationwide. Most of our Head Office roles are based in our Head Offices in Paddington, London. We are looking for individuals that can demonstrate a real motivation for retail, are at home working in a fast paced environment, and are prepared to hit the ground running and get involved from day one. In return we offer a competitive package with some amazing employee benefits and the opportunity to develop a really rewarding career.

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