• Graduate Employers Guides - Tesco

TSR Wiki > Careers > Graduate Employers Guides > Tesco

Employer Information
Name: Tesco
Application Deadline: Until full
Starting Salaries: Very competitive
Regions: Nationwide
Industries: Finance; General Management; Market Research; Sales & Marketing; Retail; IT
Website: http://www.tesco-graduates.com
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: N/A
Website: N/A

More than just a supermarket

Tesco may be the local store that millions of customers across the world rely on for everything from eggs to plasma tellies, but there’s a whole lot more going on behind the shop front. Getting the best products and services from suppliers to customers draws on the talents of a huge range of different professionals with skills in everything from finance and marketing to HR and IT.

You could get involved at any stage of the process - from sourcing products to negotiating with suppliers, predicting sales forecasts or acquiring land. And with Tesco’s ambition to be as strong in other functions (like Tesco Mobile, F&F Clothing, Blinkbox, Tesco Cars, Tesco Direct, Tesco Mobile and Tesco Magazines) as they are in food, the number of opportunities available just keeps growing.

Why work at Tesco?

As well as the variety of career paths on offer, Tesco is renowned as a place that gives you plenty of opportunity to progress. There’s a real commitment to driving the business forward by letting people use their own initiative and creative side. After all, they didn’t get to be the world’s third largest retailer by wrapping everything in red tape.

For you, that means not just great training opportunities (including professional qualifications, where relevant), but the chance to put what you’ve learned in to practice in real business situations. And, whilst you’re given every opportunity to take on responsibility early on in your career, you’ll always get the mentoring and support you need to succeed.

What could I do there?

For graduates, there’s a choice of 20 schemes that covers pretty much every professional career choice you could think of. Or, if you’re studying your A-levels and are unsure if university is the route for you, they offer apprenticeships and A-level entry programmes too.

  • Buying
  • Corporate Affairs
  • Corporate Marketing
  • Customer Analysis
  • Distribution Management
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Merchandising
  • Optometry
  • Pharmacy
  • Product Technology
  • Property
  • Store Management
  • Supply Chain
  • Technology Leadership
  • Tesco.com
  • Tesco.com IT
  • Tesco Telecoms
  • Trading Law & Technical
  • UK Support Office

What do they look for?.

For a place on a graduate scheme, you’ll need to be expecting or have achieved a 2:1 or above. And at all levels, you’ll need to have at least 240 UCAS points (check scheme requirements), strong analytical skills and bags of ambition. Apart from that they look for people with a ‘can-do’ attitude, who work well in a team and who can keep up with the rapid pace of change. If that sounds like you, you can click on one of the links below to find out more.

Graduates Schemes

A-level Schemes



Andrew L
Position: Trainee Buyer, Petrol & Tobacco
Year of Application: 2011
Region: Head Office, Cheshunt
Educational Background: Goldsmiths (University of London), Harrow School

What were your experiences of the application process?

The application process includes an initial CV screening followed by a telephone interview, psychometric testing and a final day-long assessment centre. I personally found it challenging but enjoyable, as I heavily researched the retail industry whilst holding down my day job as a chef running a busy Central London restaurant kitchen. At each stage of the application, you will generally be informed within a week whether you have passed to the next stage or not. The entire process, from application submission to an actual job offer, took just over 4 weeks.

What is it like working for Tesco?

Working at Tesco in a buying role is fantastically rewarding, giving you the opportunity to make a positive impact on millions of customers' lives by delivering great products at great prices. Buying is very fast-paced and you have to prioritise and be organised, but no two days are the same and there are near-limitless opportunities to develop new products, travel around the world, learn new skills, attend exclusive industry events and develop relationships with suppliers ranging from global household names to family-run local businesses.

As a graduate, you are definitely given lots of responsibility early on. Within a few weeks I was looking after a £12million sandwich business, and 8 months on I am directly responsible for assisting my Buying Manager with running a £100million petrol station kiosk business. It sounds daunting, but you are given plenty of support and guidance via line managers, mentors, colleagues, and training courses.

Given the current economic climate, it's incredibly comforting to work for an organisation with a hugely diverse portfolio of services and markets. There are also many additional staff benefits, including an award-winning pension scheme, staff discount card, a shares scheme and lots more.

How has it compared to your expectations?

As a company, we are absolutely focused on giving our customers the best product at the best price, as well as actively supporting our suppliers and ensuring there is appropriate investment to support both of our growth plans. We are also closely involved with a number of different national and local charities, and we are committed to delivering award-winning environmental change for the benefit of all our communities. Yes, mistakes are sometimes made (we're only human!) and Tesco is a large and easy target, but we genuinely try to do the right thing.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

Having been a professional chef, food continues to be my passion. In five years I see myself in a Buying Manager role, developing and delivering an exciting range of products in either Fresh or Packaged Food. Travel is another passion of mine, so I would also love to gain more international buying experience with our Fresh & Easy team based in Los Angeles, California.

Finally, any advice you would give to potential applicants?

• Always keep our two core values in mind: 'No-one tries harder for customers', and 'Treat people how we like to be treated'
• Read the role specification very carefully, and have real-life examples to demonstrate all of the skills required
• Understand the market, including our competitors and the current economic climate
• Brush up on your numerical and verbal skills, there are plenty of online resources to help you
• Be yourself, and have fun!


If you have applied to Tesco, we would like you to hear from you. Please use the following form to detail your experiences of application, to aid those interested in following a similar career path.

Position applied for:
Year of Application:
Educational Background:

What were your experiences of the application process?

What is it like working for Tesco?

How has it compared to your expectations?

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

Finally, any advice you would give to potential applicants?

Try Learn together, TSR's study area

revision notes




a study planner

of discussions

Black Friday: Yay or Nay?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE