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What happened next?

Published: Saturday, 13 November 2004   Category: Retail

Caroline Carey worked as a call centre collections agent while studying business admin and ergonomics at Aston University But what does she do now?

Caroline Carey is now working for food retailer Aldi, as a trading director who oversees more than 57 stores located in the Midlands.

She describes her position as fast-paced and varied. It involves negotiating prices for new products, ordering stock for the region and buying regionally-sourced fruit, vegetables and bakery products for the 57 stores - which is a fifth of Aldi's UK business. "I like the responsibility, the respect and the financial rewards that come with this role, " enthuses Caroline. "When I tell people what I do, they can't believe it. "

Caroline joined Aldi on a rolling graduate training scheme in November 2001.
By July 2002 she was promoted to area manager with responsibility for five stores and 30-50 people. Two years later, she became buying director, a role involving 10% of Aldi's UK range.

Caroline's current role is maternity leave cover for six months. In January, she will assume a new position as a buyer. She'll become one of ten national buying directors in the UK with responsibility for buying food and non food products - from mops and buckets right through to computers and clothing.

"I've advanced quite quickly, " observes Caroline. "But my confidence hasn't quite caught up with my position. The power and responsibility I have can be quite overwhelming. "

Caroline sowed some sensible seeds as a student. At 20 she visited the Aldi stand at a graduate careers fair and kept the brochure for two years, before applying for a job with the company.

Her advice to students is: "Look at an individual company and not just the industry when deciding what you want to do. "

Source: Interview by Adeline Iziren
Saturday November 13, 2004
The Guardian

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