Sam McClean is a Store Manager in Braintree, Essex. He is a member of the Tesco Armed Forces Network, and describes his inspirational journey from leaving the Parachute Regiment to Tesco and then into a management position.
“I joined the Armed Forces in 2005 when I left school at 15. I was always very ambitious and wanted to be the best, so I decided to endure the arduous Pre-Parachute selection course. I then joined 8 Field Company (Para) at Merville Barracks where I was supporting the Parachute Regiment. I was deployed to Afghanistan for 10 months where I spent time on patrols with The Royal Irish Regiment. Unfortunately, I got injured and decided that it was time to seek a new career. A friend put me in touch with the then Store Manager for the Tesco Ipswich store.
“At that time (in 2013) the store offered a bridging programme led by the Store Manager, which supported forces-leavers into careers at Tesco. I applied, and during the interview, I was able to display my leadership skills, and was hired to join the team as a Warehouse Team Manager. Coming from the forces helped me to settle quickly into store life; working as a team is one of the biggest core values in both the Army and at Tesco and I flourished whilst being part of a large team, having an understanding that everyone is different whilst learning to work effectively together. Working within a team you have to create a culture where loyalty, teamwork and discipline are important to achieve success. You also get to form great relationships with multiple cultural groups.
“Thriving in the store, I soon became part of the management team. I then put myself forward for an accelerated Store Manager programme and was thrilled to be given the opportunity to progress onto the scheme. I am now in charge of over 400 colleagues.”
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