Retail Management BA(Hons) student Sophie Baker has been promoted by Majestic Wines while on placement with them.
Sophie started her year-long placement in July 2015 as a trainee manager in Weston-super-Mare before moving to a branch in Taunton just before the hectic Christmas period. She also gained experience providing cover in other Majestic stores including Yeovil, Tiverton and Barnstaple.
In February Sophie was visited by lecturer Gillian Parfitt as part of our placement support programme and mentioned that she’d seen an Assistant Manager position at Majestic’s Tiverton branch advertised. Although she wasn’t considering applying Gillian went through the job role with Sophie, assured her that she was more than capable of applying for the position and that she stood a great chance of being successful.
Spurred on by the encouragement Sophie applied that day, received a call from the regional manager the next morning and after some discussion she got the job! Sophie has decided to now extend her placement until August to gain as much experience as possible and she has been told that she would be very welcome back after graduation.
Sophie told us of her placement experiences to date:
“The position covers a wide range of roles. Firstly, there is a huge amount of wine and grape knowledge to learn and I have been studying for my level 3 WSET alongside working full time.
“I did a lot of deliveries in the van whilst in Weston-super-Mare but at Taunton we have a driver. Day- to-day operations include processing and picking phone and internet orders, as well as recommending and inspiring customers to taste and buy a large range of wines. I also do regular marketing including writing articles, tweeting and emailing customers about short term offers. We have weekly targets to push towards and buyers-choice wines which we have to up sell as much as possible.
“Merchandising is very important and we have to ensure all stacks and boxes are done in the correct way and putting away the never ending pallets of stock! We also have to keep updating store ‘hotspots’ to keep displays fresh following the guidelines from the support centre. I also do some buying, ordering pallets of beer, soft drinks etc, and we have to do regular stock-takes which is a long process.
“We also carry out internal and external wine tastings which range in size. We’ll talk about a selection of wines to a crowd and match the correct foods with them for the customers to taste. I also recently ran a stall at a wedding fair which was very successful and a nice change of scenery.”
Placements not only help students gain hands-on industry experience but also open doors to opportunities after graduation.