• There’s a lot of graduate schemes out there... What made you choose us?
  • When I told my friends and family I was on the Halfords graduate scheme they all went “ooooh”. Halfords is a household name and has a well-regarded graduate scheme. It interested me as it allows you to experience three areas of the business (e-commerce, marketing and trading). It then allows you to specialise in one of these after gaining a better understanding of what interests you. This was great for me, as I came straight out of university and felt unsure about what area I wanted to go into! It also has a focus on personal development through mentoring and training days that develop key skills for your future career and are actually quite fun!
  • Tell us a bit about the scheme…
  • The scheme consists of a series of three month placements within the commercial area of the business, with experience in-store. It then allows you to specialise in one of the three areas: digital, marketing and trading in the second year. This allows you to gain a wide understanding of the business, which really helps you understand how colleagues and customers interact across Halfords. The scheme also has a strong focus on personal development. It’s about finding out what you enjoy doing, where you can improve and helping you set and achieve your goals through professional mentoring and goal mapping days.
  • What do you get up to on a typical day?
  • Currently I am in the digital team, working as a digital product merchandiser. I have a number of projects that I look after daily including cross-sell recommendations and product placement on the website. I have redesigned and set up the new gifting pillar for Christmas, which has been really exciting as well as working on new product listing and display pages. Working in digital is challenging, but really rewarding; especially when you see the changes you have made to the website go live. 
  • Tell us about the best bits so far...
  • The best part so far has been seeing the changes that I have made to the website positively affect the business! It’s great to see something you have spent time and effort designing go live on a website to customers who are using it to shop every day!
  • What challenges have you faced and how did you deal with them?
  • Starting a new job is always daunting! At first I was pretty nervous and after a week of introductions and tours I was feeling slightly overwhelmed. However, the Halfords colleagues are always really friendly and always happy to help. I found that the more you talk to people the better you feel and the more you gain from your role. It’s also challenging when something doesn’t go right! Being in digital is about bringing forward ideas and making changes. These changes don’t always bring a positive result, so it is about learning to fail fast, and learning what does and doesn’t work.
  • What's it really like to work here?
  • You definitely have to work hard but it is a really fun and friendly atmosphere in the office! When you start your placements you are given projects to do, but you are responsible for how much you want to get involved. There are always opportunities to get involved in projects across the business, but it is up to you to take them on! Help it always there when you need it, but you are given the chance to plan and structure your own time, so there is an element of independence. Digital is great fun, and there are always competitions going on between teams in the office which encourages everyone to get to know each other and have a laugh!
  • Tell us about the training and development...
  • The course is focused on your own personal development. In the first week you are introduced to all areas of the business, not just the area you will start in. You are trained to work in store, as well as in the office. You work alongside a number of teams within the business, which really broadens your knowledge and understanding of Halfords. There are also goal mapping sessions and individual mentoring sessions aimed to aid your own development throughout the graduate scheme.
  • What's been your biggest achievement?
  • My biggest achievement has been the development of the gifting pillar for Christmas. Its aim is promote Halfords as somewhere for customers to buy presents for all the family, providing them with an area to browse our range of products and be inspired. It has been really rewarding to see the pillar be designed from scratch and go live on the website. It is constantly evolving, so it’s been a great project to work on.
  • What do you think makes someone successful at Halfords?
  • Someone who is willing to get involved, balance their time and is open to new ideas. You have to be flexible and willing to take on responsibility. Someone who is successful at Halfords is willing to pursue an idea with conviction, and is happy to take on feedback and constructive criticism, but also be willing to debate and put forward the reason for why something should change!
  • And, to anyone thinking about applying for the scheme, what would you tell them?
  • Do it! Come with enthusiasm, lots of ideas and an open mind!