MK College and John Lewis have recently piloted a work experience programme for the College’s business students.
Students were given the opportunity to spend a week at John Lewis warehouses 1 and 2 at Magna Park in Milton Keynes. Students learnt how the gigantic 659,086 sq ft warehouses revolutionised John Lewis’ supply chain and improved their customer experience.
The week-long experience started with an induction from General Manager, Andy Furr. Students learnt about the history of the organisation and how the warehouses have developed over the last twelve years. They walked the entire warehouse floor, visiting every department to get an overview of what each of them does and how they work together. The students discovered how technology has enabled John Lewis to automate many of their processes and helped to drive efficiency. The students experienced different functions of the business including sorting and operational logistics. They shadowed the Shift Manager and got to look at the many systems and processes used to run the site, and discussed with John Lewis staff the impact of various disaster scenarios and how they should be managed.
Level 3 Business Studies student, Byron Griffin showed particular promise throughout the week, applying himself to every task and making the very best of the opportunity. Bryon said, “It was really interesting getting to learn about such an important part of John Lewis’ business. As the week went on I was given more responsibility – I even delivered a couple of shift briefs. The whole experience has opened my eyes to new aspects of business; introduced me to new people and really helped me to develop my communication skills and my confidence.”
Andy Furr, General Manager, John Lewis Magna Park 1 and 2, said “It was fantastic to welcome the students from MK College. Our intention is to bring business to life. This was the first time we’ve had students on site for work experience and look forward to developing the work experience programme with the College in order to offer the experience to many more students in the future.” Andy along with Replenishment Manager Charles Galloway-Grant were so impressed with Byron that they invited him back to Magna Park to be presented with some John Lewis gift vouchers.
Kevin Daniells, Employment Advisor, Milton Keynes College commented, “We are very grateful to John Lewis for making this experience available to our students. At the College we are focused on securing real life industry experience for our students to support their learning. A week at such a prestigious organisation as John Lewis gave our students a real insight into a business that operates 24/7; they also had the opportunity to develop new skills and experiences that will help inform their future careers.”