Bethany Alford

What is the name of the company you work for and what do they do?

I worked for Boots UK; Boots is the UK’s leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer. They have around 2,500 stores in the UK, ranging from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores.

What is your role within the company?

I worked as a as a Buying Assistant within the Strategy and Transformation team. This involved assisting and leading on the identification and implementation of sourcing synergy projects across Boots, Walgreens and other retail partners.

Can you please give me an insight into a typical day?

No two days were the same in my role, my main focusses included: implementing synergy projects, identifying synergy opportunities, and providing team support. I was also able to partake in a wide variety of different projects.

What do you enjoy the most and do you get involved in any interesting projects?

One of my favourite aspects was working with colleagues in America and Hong Kong to identify synergy opportunities, which gave me the opportunity to learn about different cultures.

I also really enjoyed the fact I was on a talent programme scheme, which meant my year felt like more than just a job. I was able to participate in valuable self-development sessions and many business-wide activities outside my day role, such as assisting at the Children in Need call centre on the Boots site, a charity fun day that raised over £40,000.

Do you have any tips and advice to current students thinking of undertaking a year in industry?

My placement year was an invaluable experience. I learnt so much and gained skills I would have not had the opportunity to learn had I stayed at university.