Alumni - Julia Covey

BA German and Italian, 2014. Senior Buying & Team Manager, Lidl GB

Alumni - Julia Covey

After leaving UCL, I was fairly open-minded about the line of work I could go into but was keen to be able to use my language skills. Lidl. GB was recruiting and they were looking for German speakers because of the international nature of the work and their close link with the offices in Germany. 

The first role I had there was an administrative role within their promotional activity team. This involved planning various promotions with set themes and budgets. I soon got the opportunity to set up a new team looking after supply chain for fresh produce goods and then eventually moved into the buying team where I’ve been for the last 4 years. I am now a Senior Buying & Team Manager at Lidl GB, responsible for purchasing a wide range of fresh produce goods for the business and managing and training junior buyers within the team. A normal week could involve anything from setting prices of products, to reviewing competitors, developing new products, negotiating new contracts with suppliers or even presenting training courses to colleagues.

The most enjoyable part of my job is being able to use my language skills to build relationships internationally and improve the communication between teams within the company. Although it was my language skills that got me into this sector, the other skills I acquired during my degree have been hugely beneficial in advancing my career at Lidl. My analytical and communication skills allowed me to quickly understand the nuances of retail and to present effectively to more senior team members, all of which enabled me to find my way into my current role.