Tesco: Olivia Amos

Olivia Amos, 20, is made to feel welcome and included by her colleagues at Tesco, as she completes a food science and technology degree apprenticeship


Why did you choose to do a degree apprenticeship, rather than going to university? 

University never felt like the right fit for me, as I was unable to find a programme I would enjoy. This apprenticeship has enabled me to pursue a career in something I’m passionate about, while gaining a degree and valuable work experience.


What does your apprenticeship involve?

It’s a four-year degree apprenticeship in partnership with the University of Lincoln. As well as gaining experience through my role at Tesco, I spend 20% of my working week completing off-the-job training. At the end of my apprenticeship, I will undertake an end-point assessment testing the knowledge, skills and behaviours I’ve developed throughout my time at Tesco. 


What experience have you gained?

I’ve gained so much varied experience! I’ve had the opportunity to learn about different categories and understand the different roles within Tesco, which has built my confidence. The most useful thing I’ve discovered is that no one expects me to know all the answers, learning is all part of the apprenticeship journey.


How does Tesco help you with your personal development?

A massive part of the role at Tesco is about how you approach tasks and how you adapt your behaviour towards different situations. There’s a strong focus on personal development and I love that I’m the driver of my own development and learning. With the support of my manager, I’ve created a learning plan that includes both leadership and technical skills. There’s a vast number of courses available, which is fantastic as I’m always learning or looking for the next training to expand my knowledge. 


What has been the steepest learning curve?

I love that my apprenticeship allows me to earn a degree, at the same time as gaining valuable experience and a chance to develop skills that will help me in my career. However, managing my time effectively is crucial to ensuring I can accomplish this. It can be a struggle to juggle studying with working. To overcome this, I dedicate one day a week to either studying with my university, or completing training courses at Tesco, which I can link to the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for my apprenticeship. 


What makes you feel proud at work?

Seeing projects develop from an idea to a reality makes me feel proud of myself, knowing I’ve played a role in achieving the end goal. I also feel proud to work for a company where responsible sourcing is taken seriously.


How have you been supported by your colleagues?

I have regular catch-ups with my line manager, and their manager, to discuss my degree apprenticeship and progression. I also meet with fellow apprentices and they are a fantastic support as we’re all going through the same experience. There’s also a programme partner who manages apprenticeships and is always there to support me with any questions.


What’s the culture like at Tesco?

The culture at Tesco is fantastic! There’s a strong focus on team-work and I feel valued by my team. I really appreciate the importance given to learning and development too. 


How does Tesco make you feel welcome?

My team makes me feel welcome and included by valuing my opinions and suggestions. Although I’m the youngest member of my team, I never feel like a problem or unable to contribute my thoughts and feelings. 


What is your advice for someone who is thinking about applying?

Just go for it and apply—you have nothing to lose! Apprenticeships are designed for you to learn while working, so you don’t need a full skill set or experience, just show your potential. Even if you don’t get the role, the experience you gain from going through the application process will build your confidence for future applications. 


Check out Tesco’s new business management degree apprenticeship: tesco-careers.com/programmes

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