I heard about the course through my Career Guidance teacher and if I'm honest, myself and my peers, thought the prospect of "A Lidl Degree" was quite entertaining. After looking into it further, using the Lidl website I decided to apply.
I was thrilled when I was contacted and asked to attend the recruitment day and began counting down the days. Dressed to impress I set off for Lidl Head Office in Newbridge, Co Kildare. There was a group of about twenty of us and I was intimidated by the age difference between a lot of the applicants and myself.
Some of the people I was up against had already come from college and had degrees in marketing or other relevant courses. Nonetheless I put on a brave face and began thinking positively about the experience. I then decided that I was actually the one with the advantage, I was young, active, intelligent and fresh from the leaving certificate course were I studied a broad range of subjects.
I think this must have shone through as they decided to give me this opportunity. There was an aptitude test, team games and a questions and answers session to learn about the company. I was trying to be confident but when I was told how many people had applied I wasn't so sure anymore. A few weeks later I got an email telling me I had made it to the final interview stages.
Lidl use a 'Four Eyes Principle'. I was interviewed by the store manager of the Gorey store in Wexford and a District manager and they were very pleasant and portrayed the company in a positive way. I received an email sometime later and I was completely overwhelmed that I had been accepted.
The fact you get paid to go to college and the college timetables are also quite nice too. Other people are struggling to pay fees to get through college but Lidl are paying our way through a prestigious college system. This means we are not as stressed and can focus on getting the most out of our degree and career.
What's not so cool?
Exams are never cool in any sense but our exams aren't so bad as half off the marks are given through continual assessment. In the work block the uniforms aren't the worse either but I wouldn't mind showing up to work in a suit in a position a bit more senior.
What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?
I am an excellent orator, I have been told, and I am honest. I have always been told since I was young that 'honesty is the best policy' so if I have a problem I will come right out and say it to the appropriate person.
I try to get along with everyone and keep the work relationship professional and polite whether I like the person or not. I am a hard working person, I began working at the age of 14 and any employer will tell you if I am given a job to do I will do it properly. Some might say I am a perfectionist and this could be a downfall also as a job may take a bit longer but you'll be guaranteed it will be done right.
Describe a typical day?
There are no typical days for me at the moment. I am learning everyday and been shown new things all the time and this keeps me motivated. I could be night packing at 4am or closing up at night but there are always constantly different jobs to do. It may be anything as basic as cleaning fridge tops to product recalls.
There is pressure usually when you are working on tills because you can be on and off the tills as the queues vary and this makes it very hard to complete other tasks. I have to be alert throughout the day and I keep an eye on customers that may need help and also look out for potential hazards. Hazards could be anything from shoplifters to spilt milk.
What are the main tasks and responsibilities?
My tasks and responsibilities are the same as the rest of the staff in the store; to maintain the store and partake in any duties needed to do so. There are many jobs to do such as packing out in the mornings, cleaning duties, customer service, close down procedures but to name a few.
What are the main challenges?
Main challenges are trying to stay motivated all the time. When you are packing out in the mornings you have to be alert. It is quite early but the store will open up soon so you have to be efficient in your work. Some customers you come across are very rude and you have to bite your lip and remember the customer’s always right.