As well as sharing news with you from the School of Tourism, we also like to share student experiences. Today’s blog comes from Tom Grigoleit who is on his placement year from the Retail Management degree. Below, Tom shares his experiences from his placement:
’During my 2nd year at university I was fortunate enough to be selected for the SymphonyIRI Insight Analyst placement within the Retail Department. Having no preconceptions of a Market Research placement year, I had no idea what the job entailed and how the business worked at SymphonyIRI. At the beginning of the placement year it was a massive culture shock compared to working part-time at Sainsbury’s (my only prior job experience) and the amount to learn was never ending! To put it in simple terms, SymphonyIRI purchase EPOS data from retailers to then analyse and create client-friendly solutions.
I was positioned as an Insight Analyst working on the Asda account, providing pricing analysis against their competitors. With the emphasis of running reports mainly in Microsoft Excel and Access, I soon became proficient in both applications. On a daily basis I was managing Asda’s expectations and developing the relationship between SymphonyIRI and the Pricing team at Asda.
Being a Retail Management student, I started a weekly Retail newsletter that went out to 200 UK employees which covered all the top news from the Retail industry. Now, it is shared with the biggest names in FMCG such as P&G, Unilever, Beiersdorf, Boots, Asda and Nestle, which is distributed to over 1,000 business professionals across the industry. This has widely benefitted our business by directly developing relationships with our clients across the UK operations.
Having mastered my reporting deliverables, I wished to pursue further challenges. Building relationships internally enabled me to have the incredible opportunity of presenting to the Customer and Marketing Insight team at Alliance Boots head office in Nottingham. I presented to them on the topic of ‘UK Grocery insight and Multi-Channel retailing’. My presentation received strong feedback which I greatly appreciated, but the experience of being in a professional environment under those circumstances was invaluable to my professional development.
I then had the opportunity to go to Asda Head Office in Leeds to lead several meetings on our processes and how we can streamline our services to Asda. The meetings again were fantastic experiences and the discussions had positive outcomes. Having co-ordinated projects which required liaising with both colleagues and Asda throughout the year, this was a great opportunity to discuss the queries that needed clearing up.
Overall, my placement experience was totally different to anyone else’s, but the experience’s I’ve had were incredible for my future development, and I thank SymphonyIRI for such a great placement year.’