Jonathan, Graduate Management Trainee, 2016
Jonathan is a natural born leader in every situation, always showcasing his passion for performance. He grew up loving sport and at age 16 started volunteer coaching to pass on the motivation and drive he’d learned through football, running and cycling. Jonathan showed so much potential that he had to choose between A-Levels and becoming a football pro – luckily for Lidl, he picked academia, though captained two football teams at uni. These days Jonathan leads on the pitch and in-store and is a natural at developing others and himself, inspiring and leading everyone around him to push themselves that little bit further.
I wanted a programme that would push my professional development quickly. The early responsibilities graduates get really stood out for me, and so did the rotational aspect of the programme – I wasn’t completely sure on my career path yet, so that flexibility convinced me to apply.
What’s it been like so far?
I didn’t expect the constant intensity of the programme, but now I thrive on it. It took a much focused, strong-minded approach to adapt to my early days with Lidl, but within five weeks I had already worked in three stores. One week you’ll be comfortable with the way your training is going, and the next week you’ll be sent on a new project! This variety is great – you’ll learn how to handle responsibility, manage time, and be a success among your teams and colleagues. I love that within two years, I’ll be ready to step into a managerial role where I could be responsible for up to five stores and 150 employees.
You’ve brought your best – where do you hope Lidl will take you?
I hope to end up managing my own department in logistics within the next year or so. In the longer term, I don’t see why I couldn’t aim for a senior management role.
Jonathan’s top tips for new grads?
Make sure that you are comfortable with change and adapting. You have to be always striving to improve, and open to learning more. No task, or responsibility is too big or too small for you to get involved in.