Marks & Spencer (2017)

Marks & Spencer (2017)7

Marks & Spencer (2017)

M&S was founded in 1884 as a single market stall and today the company is a highly successful international multichannel retailer, known for its passion for excellence. This passion, coupled with meticulous attention to detail, has led them to create perfect products that people love. A true testament to that is the millions of customers that M&S welcomes through its doors and to its website every single week.

This tradition of excellence is why it comes as no surprise that M&S works hard to provide talented graduates with perfect careers. And, as the business continues to grow, M&S is developing new channels and expanding into new markets, giving more people the chance to craft their perfect career.

Covering everything from Software Engineering and IT to Logistics, Retail Management, Marketing and beyond, each graduate programme comes packed with unique opportunities for bright people to achieve the best for themselves and the business.

For ambitious graduates, there really is no better place to begin their working life and no better time to join. M&S is always looking forward to welcoming new talent that can help Britain's best-loved retail brand achieve even greater success. And with retail moving faster than ever before, anyone joining now will be building the business of the future. So, if you're hard- working, have a friendly personality and an unwavering commitment to excellence, a perfect career awaits - along with a competitive salary and many fantastic benefits.

Case Studies

  • Name: Michael
  • Role: Food Buyer
  • University: University of Reading
  • Degree: Food Technology with Biological Science

Spending a year in the food industry as part of his undergraduate degree helped Michael decide he wanted a commercial focus in his career. For him, choosing M&S was the natural next step.

'I'd known for a long time I wanted to work in the food industry. My degree was in Food Technology with Biological Science, so I had a solid foundation to build on. But I needed to find an employer who could give me the breadth of exposure to make me the complete package. M&S stood out from the crowd for me, inasmuch as their scheme was geared towards helping me acquire the additional skills I needed to progress quickly.'

'What the business really excels at is identifying your strengths and weaknesses. The graduate scheme has been constructed in a way to enhance the former and work intensively on the latter. It really does give you a broader understanding of the food industry. The focus extends beyond food to take in all of the other disciplines that you need to master in order to become a more well-rounded professional. So if you have a business-related degree, you'll get to learn about the food side. My need was to acquire the commercial skills and M&S was the ideal place to do so.'

'It's very much a hands-on, learn-by-doing kind of role. You're allowed to make mistakes too. The business recognises that this is how you develop and you'll be given constructive feedback so you get the positive from the negative. Working alongside the rest of the team of food buyers, technologist and product developers is another big plus. You get to see the equation from their side, so you can factor all this into your decision making process - which, incidentally, you're expected to do from an early stage.'

'Obviously, M&S is a massive operation; it's an iconic retail brand. We are the benchmark for the industry. This means a lot will be expected of you. But, as long as you're prepared to drive your career and make the most of the available opportunities, you'll get all the support you need to succeed. Buying has so many touchpoints with the rest of the business. This means you can have a great deal of influence. But with that influence comes responsibility. To live up to these you need to understand the bigger picture. You have to have everything from sound analytical skills and a solid grasp of the commercial to how we work with supply chain and our external suppliers.'

'The real key to getting things right, however, rests on your ability to understand our relationship with our customers. With this in mind, you'll start out with a few months on the retail frontline. As a Food Buyer, what you do has a massive impact in store. If you step into the customers shoes and see how they see our products; if you really get a handle on what their needs are, you can take this back into your role. This will really help you create the ahead-of-the-curve, innovative products they want and, also, keep our brand fresh and relevant.'

'M&S is all about its customers, so we have to be all about the product. We need to understand what customers want. That's how we make the perfect, tailor-made products they love.'

Training & Profiles

Perfect careers start with the right preparation. Expect real responsibility from day one. Expect to work on real projects. Expect to be stretched and challenged as much as you're supported and nurtured. Expect to give your best, every step of the way.

Learning on the job will be a key part of your development. However, there'll be many other opportunities to learn and grow. When you join us, your comprehensive introduction to our business will equip you with everything you need to start as you mean to go on. This will be followed by structured training all the way through your chosen scheme. The training will come in many forms, including:


Here, you'll work closely with one of our established managers to build your operational awareness and experience in what it takes to lead a team.


This is a mixture of classroom learning and hands-on tasks. Some only last for 90 minutes; others could be a couple of days.

Self-directed learning

We'll give you a set of workbooks covering the technical parts of your role, which you'll complete as part of your continuous development.

Practical learning

This could be leading a project within your team, or researching new ways of doing things and putting your recommendations into practice.

Application Procedure

Please refer to our website.

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