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MEET GABRIEL

The chance to see your project come to life, brick by brick.

Construction Consultant Gabriel Alexandrou joined us recently from Lidl, Romania. Here, he tells us what he does on a typical day and why being organised is key to his role.

Could you tell me your job title and what your role involves?

I’m a Construction Consultant in the warehouse division and my job requires me to manage the build of new Regional Distribution Centres for Lidl.  My role begins right in the acquisition phase, when the acquisition department requires technical details from me on the utility methods that are necessary for a new regional distribution centre (RDC). Then we organise some tenders for contractors, soft contractors – such as designers, engineers, fire strategists – and in the final stage we tend their contracts for the main contractors who will build the RDC.

How long have you been at Lidl?

I joined Lidl UK last week, but I’ve been with Lidl Romania for the past nine years.

And what was it that attracted you to Lidl?

Back in 2008 I was a student at university studying Construction Engineering and I knew that I needed some experience. Lidl was a big brand in Central and Western Europe and I thought it would be a great experience for me.

What’s a typical day at Lidl?

If I don't have an office day then I’ll usually drive up to the site first thing in the morning to have meetings on site or in meeting rooms. I don’t spend the entire day in meetings, a lot of time is also spent issuing reports, making comparisons, researching contractors and answering emails. My job is all about communicating so I’m on the phone a lot!

What is or has been your biggest challenge at Lidl?

My biggest challenge is to be more organised because as the workload increases it makes it harder to get everything done. I have a lot of work to do – although it’s nothing out of the ordinary, it’s just the nature of the job. Things are very dynamic and decisions get made and changed, so you have to be able to react quickly to them. It pays to be organised and have a historical schedule, as it's good to know if you go back two steps what your new direction would be.

Is there a project or a piece of work that you're particularly proud of?

Back in Romania I had different roles, I started as a construction assistant and was promoted to store construction manager and back in 2011 I was the one that built the first store in Romania! The proudest moment I’ve had so far was the morning of the opening when lots of people came and all of my superiors were watching and it was just a great moment for me.

How did the opportunity to come to the UK present itself?

I was thinking about moving to the UK for a while so I regularly checked the Lidl job website and there was an opportunity for a Store Construction Consultant and I applied. Two weeks later I had a Skype interview with my line manager and his manager and two weeks after that I arrived for the second interview and then I joined the team a few weeks after that.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

At the moment I’m a Construction Consultant and in five years perhaps I will move into a senior consultant role but first I’d like to gain some experience and see some projects built.

Has Lidl lived up to your expectations?

Yes, I would, Lidl has been great to me.

And if I asked you to describe Lidl in four words what would you say?

Big, discounts, serious, together.