Careers Newsletter: July 2023

Careers Spotlight: Retail buyer

When people talk about working in retail they imagine stacking shelves or working on the tills.  In fact there are many more jobs that go in in the background.  One of these is the retail buyer.

What does a retail buyer do? 

Buyers are responsible for sourcing, developing and introducing product ranges that suit their stores and customer base. A buyer might focus on one area or brand within a retailer, such as cosmetics, confectionery or footwear, or they might look after a whole store or even a whole chain.

Buying is an important and responsible role within a retailer as profitability can be affected by how successfully their work is undertaken. The buyer can enhance profits by acquiring suitable goods at competitive prices through sensible planning and careful purchasing. It’s very important for buyers to understand their target audience and be able to predict future trends so that they can purchase what customers want.

Typical responsibilities include:

With experience, you can progress into senior buying roles or into related areas of employment such as marketing , store management or merchandising .

Typical employers of retail buyers

Retail buyers are employed by national, regional and online retailers such as department stores, fashion retailers and supermarkets. Buyers normally work within the head office of a company, so the majority of vacancies arise in London and other major cities.

Qualifications and training required

There are routes into a retail buying career for both university graduates and school leavers, although there are generally fewer opportunities available for school leavers. Graduates will need a 2.2 or higher degree in any subject, although a relevant discipline such as business, marketing, mathematics or management can be helpful. A degree in fashion or textiles is normally necessary for entry into fashion buying.

Any work experience will enhance your application, but there are specific placement years and summer internships with buying departments. Experience on a shop floor is very valuable too.

Key skills for retail buyers

If you would like to find out more about a career as an buyer click on the links below:

Boosting your CV

In this section we have looked at how boost your CV and the soft skills that will help you succeed.  This month we look at preparing for that all important interview.

What is the first interview?

The first interview is a job interview that allows the hiring manager and candidates to meet and discuss an open position, a candidate's qualifications and an employer's expectations. Depending on the role, type of interview and the hiring organisation, a first job interview may take from 15 minutes up to a few hours. From the employer's perspective, conducting first interviews is a way to familiarise themselves with the talent pool and decide which candidates have the potential to perform job tasks well. Those candidates then advance to the second round of interviews, which are more in-depth and complex.

If you're about to enter the workforce, you may use your first interview to practise. Even if the company rejects your application after the interview, you may use this opportunity to learn more about the company. it's also a good way to test your interviewing and interpersonal skills to see what you might improve to prepare for the next recruitment process.

Tips to prepare for your first job interview

As you're preparing for a job interview, consider the employer's requirements and your expectations. Determine which qualities you have that may help you succeed in the role. Here are some general tips you may use while preparing for recruitment:

Research the company

A key step in preparing for your first job interview is to research the company that has the job opening. To make sure that you're the right fit, the hiring manager may ask you some questions about the company, its mission, values, history or challenges. Demonstrating your awareness of these concepts shows that you're a serious candidate. It may even help you become more competitive if the hiring manager wants to decide between you and someone else with similar qualifications.

Know your strengths

Self-aware candidates have a higher chance of success during recruitment because employers have a better chance of predicting how they're likely to perform. Whereas it's perfectly fine for an entry-level candidate not to know exactly which specialisation they plan to pursue, it's a good sign when they know some of their strengths and weaknesses. For example, if you're someone who has the ability to generate the same results regardless of their surroundings, it might signify that you're a resourceful person with strong adaptability skills.

Familiarise yourself with the STAR method

The STAR interviewing method helps recruiters ask questions that require you to describe situations you encountered, discuss the task for which you were responsible, explain the actions you took and mention the results of those actions. Through asking these situational questions, hiring managers learn if you've previously handled difficulties that you're likely to encounter in the role. For example, if you're applying for a job in retail, they may ask you to describe a situation when you handled a difficult customer.

Practise answering first interview questions

In addition to reviewing example answers you may hear in the interview, spend some time preparing sample answers and practising them. You may ask a friend to role-play a job interview with you. By recreating the situation, you may train your subconsciousness and help your body feel more relaxed during the actual interview.

15 questions to expect during your first job interview

No two job interviews are the same and you never know exactly which role-specific questions the recruiter is going to ask. There are some general questions for which you may prepare, including:

Careers in Hertfordshire: Sport and Leisure

There are 

The 9 leisure providers are:


Knowing your employers and the path you may want to take is the first step in knowing where you can gain valuable work experience. You must be willing to ask local clubs, leisure centres and even the schools for potential roles, during weekends, half terms and Christmas and summer breaks.

Dependant on your career aspirations finding direct experience may be difficult. For example, if you wish to work in physiotherapy, sport science or sport psychology then experience will most likely come nearer the end of your studying, however, some transferrable roles may be to work alongside sports coaches or even shadow people in the role you intend to pursue.

A further option is to find an appropriate apprenticeship scheme; many organisations offer apprenticeships where you can learn on the job. Apprenticeships are available for Sports Coaching, Fitness Instructing, Activity Leadership and many more.

Making the most of your PE teacher or current Sports Instructor is a great way to find appropriate experience and apprenticeship schemes, as they will have the best understanding of sport and leisure in your local area.


One of the first steps you can take is to become a volunteer at a local Sports club or leisure centre; this can also involve helping with running local events. Using you can register your interest as a volunteer and search the website for any opportunities suited to you. Clubs and organisations are always in need of volunteers.


Working in Sport and Leisure doesn’t always mean assisting people who are already fit and healthy. In fact, a large part of the sectors responsibility it to make sure Physical Activity is open to ALL. This includes those who wouldn’t normally be able to take part in Sport and Leisure such as:

There are 12.2 million disabled people in England, with 14.3% of the Hertfordshire population reporting that their day-to-day activities are limited by a disability or long-term illness. This filters into physical activity participation, as disabled adults are almost twice as likely as non-disabled people to be physically inactive (42.4% vs 22.6%).


Herts Sport Partnership have put together a host of courses and workshops to aid existing coaches and inform those looking to enter the industry! Courses range from general training to Sport Specific training, tailoring to your needs. You can explore an updated directory of these course here.

To get answers to any further queries contact Herts Sports Partnership, who have extended knowledge of the Sport and Leisure sector. A member of the team may be able to push you in the right direction when moving forward with your career in Sport and Leisure.

Get in touch:

Phone - 01707 284229

E-mail –

The National Careers Service is a useful website to explore different careers in Sports and Leisure.

For more information please go to 

Current Opportunities

This month we have opportunities to learn about careers in the medical sector and the financial sector.  In addition to these the Side Hustle competition gives those students with a business idea the opportunity to turn it into reality 

Medical, dental, and vet scholarship opportunity 

Thank you for being a committed part of the Medic Mentor family. It is such a pleasure to continue to support you in unlocking the full potential of your prospective medical, dental, and veterinary students, and we are grateful you have continued to involve us in their ongoing development.

As a testament to the calibre of applying and current students we work with from all backgrounds, we are moving to make our scholarship programme more accessible than ever. Through this programme, your students will be entitled to awards up to £12,000 over the course of their degree through involvement in a wide variety of unique opportunities working alongside their student peers.

Please find out more about this here:

These opportunities include the chance to present at national conferences and societies for the different clinical professions, network with other students from around the country, and work closely with active professionals in their field. You may be familiar with some of our widening access opportunities such as the Medical Leadership Programme and the Mentor Magazine, planned by our scholars with support from professionals and delivered to thousands of applying students each year. The personal and professional development we see our scholars achieve cannot be overstated, with our ongoing mission being to create tomorrow's medical, dental and veterinary leaders.

The first year of any clinical degree can prove to be the hardest, with high drop-out rates and a struggle to balance academic achievement alongside the myriad of changes associated with starting university. As such, beyond the financial and professional benefits of becoming a Medic Mentor scholar, our current students speak of the value that they place on the pastoral mentoring aspect of the programme. Every scholar has access to multiple professionals in their field throughout their time in the programme. Having that support from somebody outside of their institution who has been through the process before has proven the greatest benefit for many of our first-year scholars.

Applications for the scholarship will be opening soon after results day and we hope that students riding the wave of success after their offers are confirmed will go on to grasp this opportunity with both hands. As their teacher, we would love for you to impress upon your students the value of a programme like this and direct them to our website for more information so that they are ready when applications open.

Thank you once again for all of your work, it is truly appreciated.

Best wishes,

Your scholarship presidents,

Dr Mike Carvill, BMBS, BMedSci, PgDip

Dr James Taylor, BVSc, MRCVS

Chief Mentors at Medic Mentor and Vet Mentor

Enquiry Form:


Medic Mentor Helpline: 01530 417299 (Open 10am - 5pm Monday - Friday) 

Work Experience Opportunities the Summer

Would you be interested in the idea of some Business; Accounting & Finance work-experience this summer? If so, we’ve got you covered. We would like to invite you to take part in what is quite possibly, our biggest work-experience opportunity to date in this industry!


On Tuesday 18th July from 10am – 3pm, CIMA will be hosting their Business, Accounting & Finance Virtual Summer Work-Experience Day with some of their global partners including Boeing, Boohoo, Irn Bru, The Rugby Football League, Allianz, Eurocaps, Nestle, Merlin Entertainments, Derby County Football Club, JD Sports, Liberty London, and Naked Wines!


At this one event you will have the chance to meet and engage with over 14 huge companies, that are all offering career opportunities within the Business, Accounting and Finance industry. Never before has an event of this calibre existed for students looking to get into the industry and we are super excited to be sharing this with you.


During the event you will take part in workshops and projects led by the team at CIMA, and you'll get thrown into a real-world case where you’ll become a management accountant for the day. As part of the work-experience, CIMA will be involving some of their most high-profile partners, all of which collectively equate enormous multi-billion-pound turnover conglomerates. There will also be online business games, a psychometric testing exercise and tasks that will test your business brain and encourage you to start thinking like an entrepreneur.


The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) is the world’s leading and largest professional body of management accountants. If you’re interested in a career in Business, Accounting or Finance then this work-experience is very much for you.


This online event is free to attend and is open to Y10/S3 – Y13/S6 & University students.


If you’d like to apply to this exclusive event, please click on the registration link below.


Registration Link:

There will be certificates of completion issued to attendees, and there will be a chance to win awards during the business games.


We look forward to seeing you at the event!


If you’ve got any questions, please do get in touch!


Kelly  / Young Professionals

Side Hustle

Hi Everyone,


The Side Hustle Initiative is back for its third year, this year hosted by our lead judge, The Apprentice star Tim Campbell.


The competition is designed to make entrepreneurship more accessible to all young people aged 14-18.

Registration is open until 15th July


Every year we give away £10,000 and mentorship to help students with either an operational side hustle or a new business idea. 


The 50 students who make the final will have all travel expenses paid and the event will take place in October half term.


Students can enter in teams of up to 4. 


All other information can be found here -