We caught up with Andy, who is currently completing a Management Sciences Degree at Loughborough University, about his General Management Placement at Aldi (2017-18).
There’s a lot to learn. But the support is phenomenal.
The level of exposure is incredible. I was able to say: I’m running a store over Christmas, I’m leading a team after just 16 weeks’ training, I’m presenting my findings on reactive maintenance at an Area Manager meeting. It gives you first-hand leadership experience and skills that you just won’t get at university. With a placement, you take all your management knowledge and put it into a real-life environment. You get to know the importance of teamwork and, in a sense, it helps shape you as a professional. You get things done significantly quicker and the overall result is better.
But the support is phenomenal. I was working with two Store Managers with over 20 years’ experience, so it was nice to draw on their experiences and their stories, and how they’ve coped with just about anything. Then in Head Office, you see the corporate side of things. It’s still demanding but in a completely different way. But the thing I found fascinating was the whole philosophy of working hard and efficiency, as this doesn’t change whether you’re stacking shelves or sitting in front of your desk. The culture is so unique. You’ll see early on if you don’t want to be part of it. Or if you never want to leave.