Following our recent series of #EdTechDataCareers guest blogs, it’s great to feature a contribution from Rachel Buzinin, Senior Analyst at Tesco Supply Chain Development & Change, who shares her career story and gives some excellent advice for those undecided about their career direction.
Figuring out my future
Thinking about careers and trying to secure a first job might be easy for some. Maybe you’ve had an idea about what you want to do for a while and your university degree is leading you in this direction. However, for others, it’s less clear, and this can feel overwhelming – it’s very common! I fit into the latter group and nearly seven years since graduating I’m still figuring it out!
What path has your career taken since graduation?
I studied Economics at the University of Bristol and in my final year, I completed an applied econometrics project, in which I gained experience of analysing data and writing a report. I really enjoyed this process, so I decided to look for a role in research, where I spent the first few years of my career in the field of education. This confirmed my interest in data analysis and using the output to deliver impactful insights.
I then wanted to gain experience working with data in a new environment and access further development opportunities so joined Tesco. I started in the Forecasting team within Supply Chain where I managed the national sales forecast for horticulture and planned all the seasonal events such as Christmas and Valentine’s Day. I later moved into the Supply Chain Development & Change team where I develop platforms and processes that are used throughout Tesco’s supply chain to ensure we deliver more for customers, reduce food waste, and improve efficiencies. My forecasting experience is very useful as it gave me practical experience using some of the systems and processes I am now responsible for improving.
The variety is great – and so are the opportunities!
What I love most about working here is the variety of interesting problems we get to solve that deliver significant benefits. From the moment I joined, I was trusted with the responsibility and autonomy to do this, which provided huge opportunities for both professional and personal growth. There is a fun and friendly culture in the team, plus a big focus on wellbeing and work-life balance, which creates a happy and productive environment.
Reflecting on my career journey
While moving to Tesco might not seem like it was an obvious move, I followed my interest in data analysis and problem solving. I’m still very interested in research, but what I’ve come to understand is that this stems from my desire to learn, which is one of my career drivers. Moving to Tesco allowed me to apply myself in a new context, expose me to new experiences, and give me a greater breadth of knowledge and skills.
The great thing about working in an organisation as large as Tesco is that you are exposed to many different roles, job functions and people from whom you can learn. This is a brilliant way to understand more about what you like. So, if you’re interested in supply chain, enjoy problem solving, or not sure what you want to do, it’s likely that Tesco has a role for you!
It’s ok if you are undecided about your next steps
So, if you’re thinking about what direction to take, my main piece of advice is to follow what interests you:
- If you’re unclear about what this is, spend some time trying to understand this more. Career choice is driven by many factors, some more practical than others, but I believe doing this leads to greater job satisfaction and success, and that it will eventually lead you into something you love doing.
- Some things you might find helpful to explore are:
- What are your career anchors?
- What are your values?
- What motivates and drives you?
- What are your skills/strengths?
- There are lots of helpful resources to help guide your thinking on this and I’d recommend reading Beginner’s Pluck by Liz Forkin Bohannon, which is both helpful and entertaining!
- I’d also recommend trying to gain experience in a range of roles that draw on different skillsets early on in your career, as this will give you a greater breadth of skills and knowledge, whilst also providing opportunities to discover what you enjoy.
Thanks Rachel for some great advice and insights.
We know you have lots of competing demands and might not be ready to engage with career thinking just now but our support is available whenever you are ready:
- Start building your own career journey by reading further tips on our Tech and Data webpage.
- Our information and advice drop-ins are offered online and on campus. No need to book! They’re great for asking quick questions and getting started with your career thinking and research. Check this schedule to find a session that suits you: information and advice drop-ins.
- You can also book an appointment with any of our Careers Consultants via the “Talk to us” tab in MyCareerHub to discuss your career planning.
- Search for a range of job opportunities including part-time and graduate roles on MyCareerHub Opportunities – a great place to start. Tesco Supply Chain are looking for new recruits to join the team – find out more on MyCareerHub. If you’d like to know more about this opportunity, please get in touch with Shona Gibson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- The Tesco Supply Chain Team recently hosted a recruitment webinar about the data-driven work they do and its positive impact for customers. Here’s a link to the recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bJvAyz8N-8