I have just taken part in a management shadowing course at Waitrose. This was very interesting and I have learnt a great deal from my week there.
I did not spend all 5 days of my management shadowing course at Waitrose, I was able to spend one day at Orchard PR, this is the company who deals with all of the PR for Waitrose. This was helpful as I was able to see the kinds of things they help organize for Waitrose as well as how they deal with the media companies and upcoming events. I also got to see how other clients varied from the type of publicity that Waitrose gets. A client who was especially prioritized on the day which I was with Orchard was Condor Ferries, this was due to members of the public and what they were posting on social media sites about the company. Brooke, the manager who I spent most of my time with, had originally prioritised Waitrose for the day which I was visiting. However due to uncontrollable circumstances with the public and social media her plans changed.
During my time at Waitrose I spent the majority of my time with Ian Burkendin, the branch manager. However he did get me the chance to also spend some time with section managers and a team leader who is training to become an assistant section manager. This was very helpful as I was able to see how they have to work their way up and what things are required. Sam, the team leader I spent an afternoon with showed me all about him waste initiative, this is one of the projects which he is working on to try and improve Waitrose. Initially Sam measured the average amount of waste per day in each sections of the shop, then he came up with new ways to try and reduce the amount of food products wasted due to their sell by dates.
Seeing multiple different types of manager helped me get a better understanding of what the main differences there are in their roles as well as what kind of responsibilities they all have. I was also able to go with Ian to a section managers meeting, this gave me a better insight into his job role as I was able to see how as branch manager, he helps the section managers with changes going on with Waitrose. I was also able to see what things they covered and how they priorities events to work in the most effective ways. They all also talked about which parts of their department was not work as effectivly as they wanted, the section managers were able to work together to come up with solutions for the issues.
I was also able to go to a meeting when I was on my day at Orchard, this meeting allowed me to not only see what they do for the clients in the office but also how they interact with their clients in the meetings. I got a better understanding of what sorts of events they organise as well as what parts of the organising Orchard does and what parts the client themselves were planning.
Since I have finished my management shadowing course I have created a presentation about my experience and what we believe the role of a manager includes. I then presented it to a panel of judges who chose the top 10 from a range of schools to present at the presentation evening. The judges there then chose a final winner out of the top 10, unfortunately I was not chosen to be in the top 10 however I did still gain a lot of experience and knowledge about the role of a manger, not only from my own experience but also from the presentations given by my peers.
The whole experience was very interesting and I was able to learn a lot and find out a lot more about how the business works as a whole as well as from the managers at the top.