Buying Administration Assistant
Tell us about your department at Jack Wills?
I currently work in the Buying department on Men’s Sweats and Jersey working closely with the Design, Garment Tech and Merchandising departments. Our team ensures we stay in line with the critical path to help bring the products in each season. We work with people from all around the world and it’s always nice to see the products from their early stages through to the complete product – it’s really satisfying to see how you contribute to each product and ultimately produce something that people will love wearing.
How would you describe your role at Jack Wills and how did you get into this area?
My role as a BAA is different every day, working on many different stages each season, from handling samples to taking notes in fit sessions or meetings. There are administrative roles from sending information to suppliers to readying products for big presentations.
I started working for Jack Wills in the Cheltenham store as a Seasonal Sales Assistant in November 2016. I was made permanent and then joined Head Office as an Allocator in October 2017. I had previously attended a Head Office Open Day and got to know quite a few people here, from the Talent Acquisition team to our Design team. I kept an eye open for opportunities within Jack Wills’ HQ and when one came up I contacted Lubo, from the Talent Acquisition team, who encouraged me to apply for Allocation. I was really interested in Allocation as they work closely with stores and it’s great to see the other side.
I did that role for six months and really enjoyed it – I made lots of friends and learnt a lot. After finding out more about the other departments I knew that Buying was better suited to me as it worked more closely with product but still allowed me to use my analytical skills. I had expressed an interest in the department for quite some time and my line manager in Branch Merchandising was very supportive of my aspirations and encouraged me to grow further into the role. My current line manager David also knew this, so told me there was an opportunity coming up and offered me the opportunity to apply.
What do you like the most about your role and team?
I like that I can make an impact on how things work and that I get to communicate with lots of people, outside of the office and across different departments. I get to see a lot of product which I am passionate about and I love what I am helping to develop.
My team want to do a great job. They are relaxed, approachable and everyone is really happy to answer any questions I might have. It’s a community and that is what I enjoy about it.
What has been your career highlights at Jack?
There has been so many – every day is a highlight! Every day is building my knowledge and skills towards something greater.
How would you sum up the culture at Jack Wills?
Open! I talk to Pete all the time! People are really approachable and accommodating. You are never afraid to talk to people, which is really important, especially in Buying, as product is the bread and butter of the brand.
I really appreciate the social side of the business too – it’s designed for everyone to get to know each other and means I get to know people I have not spoken to before and reinforce bonds. It’s good to relax and de-stress after a hectic day. My highlight is the month-end drinks, it’s nice to get everyone in a relaxed environment. For example, I played pool against our Wholesale Director Greg last night – I will beat him next time!
"My team want to do a great job. They are relaxed, approachable and everyone is really happy to answer any questions I might have. It’s a community and that is what I enjoy about it."
What advice would you give someone who was starting at Jack Wills?
Get to know your role quick but get to know the people quicker! It is really important to know the people you are working with, not just in your department but in other departments too – that way you know how everything is interlinked and its purpose. Then you can resolve any issue or at least know someone else who can.
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