Case studies

Foundation

Former delegates talk about their experiences and the benefits of attending the Oxford Summer School:

Laura Birkett
Matalan, Senior Buying & Merchandising Analyst

Since attending the Foundation School in 2012, I have been promoted to a Senior Buying & Merchandising Analyst. My experience and skills gained from the school supported my promotion. I think there are still areas of my career I could develop further in but I have managed to complete the objectives I set before I attended the school. I am now setting myself new objectives!

Working with individuals from other retailers, who had a range of experience supported the learning of everyone in the team. I find myself using skills I developed at OSS regularly in work, not only for my own development but for the development of those around me.

I think the combination of the lectures, group work and case studies works well. On a personal level I preferred the group work as this is how I learnt best.
But the programme does a great job in being open to different teaching and development styles, catering for everyone.

Oxford Summer School gives you an intense realistic learning experience. For example, when you’re taught about presentation skills you’re then put under pressure to deliver a presentation in a short time with your team. I found this aspect of the learning much better to translate back to the workplace than other retail training courses I have attended. 

I have recommended Oxford Summer School to many of my colleagues and think it’s an intense experience in which as long as you are prepared to put the effort in, you’ll get so much in return!

Ahmed Khan
Moss Bros., Store Manager

The programme did a great job helping me to understand others perspectives on similar situations from an external point of view. It has been great to take back to my store and refocus some of the areas that needed help.

The development received really helped me realise my potential and believe I have the skills and determination. I define my own success. Hearing relevant stories from inspirational people including Group Director's, delegates and guest speakers has helped with this.

It was the most self fulfilling and satisfying experience. Unique and no other retail training has come near it. You'd be foolish to not cease this uniquely special experience. Overal it was eye opening, life changing, words can't describe you must experience it to understand it!

Elizabeth Monaghan
The Disney Store, Stock Distribution Assistant

OSS helped boost my confidence and to think more strategically and communicate effectively. I have taken on greater responsibility and am currently covering the duties of Stock Distribution Manager whilst they are on maternity leave.

Working with a varied group of retailers helped me gain a wider perspective and fruitfully discuss best practice. I'd have to say the Insights & Coaching sessions have been most useful in terms of team management as they have helped me to understand the dynamics within the team and how best to approach task facilitation, development and feedback with each individual.

It's good to have a mixture of content delivery methods but the lectures from experienced retailers I found most valuable and the group work was key in sharing and consolidate ideas. Compared with other training in the retail industry, OSS really differs due to its intensity and diversity of delegates and experience.

If you are a new manager or have a team it is a highly relevant and applicable training and development experience which you can't help but learn from. OSS is relevant, engaging and thoroughly worthwhile!

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