My week at ASDA

Two weeks ago, myself and fourteen other students from up and down the country embarked on a week’s work experience at Asda Headquarters in Leeds, hoping to gain a rare insight into the retail industry from experts in the field… and we were not disappointed. The week was filled with trips to the Asda distribution centres, talks from speakers in every department and even a surprise performance from Emeli Sande to round off an incredible week.

We were given a task at the beginning of the week, to design a cake which we would present to buyers at Asda. Over the week, we could ask speakers from each sector for advice and tips on the cake’s design, marketing and even details of the supply chain. Our team created ‘Taylor the Turtle’, a play on the best-selling ‘smash’ cake. The cake would be shaped like a turtle and the chocolate shell could be cracked by the birthday boy or girl. My team pitched this idea to the buying team at Asda on the final day who absolutely loved it and told us they would put it into production. Look out for ‘Taylor’ in stores this year!

Not only did we design a cake over the week, but we took a trip to the Lutterworth distribution centre where we saw the beginnings of the product life-cycle. We were also introduced to the new robot technology they are using to aid their efficiency. Back at Asda Merchandising Centre of Excellence (MCE), we had the chance to understand the psychology behind product placement in stores. It was fascinating to comprehend that every product on the shelves has had a team of people deciding where it will sit!

Above all, the week allowed me to gain exclusive information and advice about the graduate scheme and what Asda is looking for in a candidate, even taking part in a mock assessment centre. I now fully understand the importance of the core values in the corporation and how integral they are in every decision made there.

I had the opportunity to speak to so many different members of the Asda community over the week and I have come out buzzing with new ideas! The week not only allowed me to gain a unique, behind the scenes look into a supermarket giant, but I gained skills and knowledge that I can transfer into my future career.

- Ellie Beecham

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