As one of Aldi’s newest Directors, Lucy Roper from London, has experienced first-hand the career progression opportunities on offer at the Grocer Gold’s Employer of the Year 2017. After just three years in the business, Aldi offered Lucy two life changing career paths, leaving her with a difficult decision to make.
Lucy joined Aldi as a trainee Area Manager in the summer of 2013, having graduated with a 2:1 degree in History from the University of Edinburgh.
Lucy’s management training exposed her to Aldi’s unique business model, and introduced her to the processes involved in making the stores she managed a success for both Aldi’s staff and its customers.
After just three years as a qualified Area Manager, Lucy was offered a secondment, which would see her manage the operations for four stores in Sydney, Australia. Excited by the opportunity to see the world, meet new people and develop her personal and professional experiences, Lucy jumped at the chance.
Just one month before she was due to leave for Australia, Lucy was faced with a difficult choice, as an opportunity arose in the Scottish Buying Department for a Buying Director.
Lucy said: “I’m not going to lie; it was a tough decision to make as I had already committed myself to starting a new life in Sydney. I eventually decided to stay in Scotland and start my training to become a Buying Director. I saw a long term career with the company and was committed to a life in Scotland. I was eager to learn new things and experience a completely different side of the business.”
Lucy began training as a Buying Director in April 2017 and is now responsible for developing and sourcing products for Aldi Scotland’s bakery and cakes range, meeting suppliers, and keeping on top of emerging trends and innovation in the industry.
She added: “Buying is an extremely detailed process, as it can take months from taking an initial concept, right through to getting the product on the shelves - seeing the final product in store is what I look forward to the most. Working in the Buying Department gives you daily interaction with all manner of suppliers, which is extremely rewarding when you both work towards a shared goal.”
While she has stepped away from the store operations side of the business, Lucy recognises a core skill she developed as an Area Manager that she believes has equipped her to deal with any future challenges in her new role.
“The one skill that I have found to be invaluable at Aldi is being able to collaborate with a wide variety of people and business functions,” Lucy commented. “As long as you have the ability to develop strong working relationships with all of your colleagues, there really isn’t anything you can’t achieve. Being able to relate to and empathise with people, while supporting their development, breeds progress and success – this can be applied to all areas of the Aldi business
“Joining Aldi was the best decision I ever made and I wouldn’t change a thing. I just can’t wait to see what my future with the company holds.”