Current Role: Senior Project Manager for Convenience Transformation
Sam Valentine, Senior Project Manager for Convenience Transformation, talks to us about her career journey and why she’s supporting Women at Tesco.
I’ve been working for Tesco for 27 years, starting part time as a stock counter in our Rainham Extra store during my studies. Although it wasn’t an Extra back then!
Three and a half years later, I left university not knowing what I wanted to do as a career, but I liked Tesco as a company – they made me feel valued, so I decided to give a full time Fresh Food Stock Controller role a try. One year later, in October 1997, I moved to our Welwyn Garden City office and a new role in Group Procurement as an Buyer’s Assistant, covering things like carrier bags and till rolls – still one of my favourite jobs by far!
After working on the first Click to Order trial for stores, I moved to the Support Office and the Operations Development team, a team I am still in 18 years later. My role as a Project Manager allows me to focus on projects for a year to 18 months at a time, and then move onto a different subject, stakeholders and challenges, still keeping the familiarity of the same team around me.
I had my first child in 2003, and back then part-time working was just starting to be a ‘thing’ in the office. I was the first person in my team to be able to do so. I had always worked hard to prove myself before having children, and while it was a gamble for my manager and director, they were willing to give it a try. So I worked three days per week, while juggling a baby, and then a second in 2006.
Working part time can be a challenge – you have to be super organised and almost plan every hour of your day. I constantly have to reel myself back from taking on too much, a big struggle for me! My manager and director have always been so supportive of me and my family commitments, but I want to prove to myself that I can do a great job, and still have a great work life balance.
I’ve also been part of the Women at Tesco network for about six years. I believe it’s great for offering support and advise to all women (and men) on the challenges we all face. For example, how do we juggle family and work, how can we be more confident in ourselves to rise to the challenges ahead, how can we be more resilient in the face of challenges and use those experiences to bounce back and be stronger and better next time.
There’s nothing better than just having a chat with a group to know that the thoughts and feelings you have about yourself, your strengths and weaknesses are often common amongst us all. Talking and sharing those fears or experiences can help to build that confidence, in order to strive for the next part of your career.
"I’ve been part of the Women at Tesco network for about six years - I believe it’s great for offering support and advise to all women (and men) on the challenges we all face.”
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