Jessica Szczerbinski, 19 from London, completed a Get into Retail programme with Gap last year. Since then Jessica secured in a role in the Islington store and has recently been promoted to Senior Sales Associate.
Jessica tells us about her experience on the Get into Retail programme, and what she enjoys most about working for Gap.
What was life like before you found out about The Trust?
Before The Prince’s Trust, life was demotivating. After completing college I was unemployed for over three months. I was continuously completing job applications but not getting anywhere, and this really affected my confidence. I often felt quite closed and shy, and the thought of working in a big group was really daunting.
How did The Prince’s Trust and Gap help you?
I found out about The Prince’s Trust through my local Jobcentre and they helped me to secure a place in the Get into Retail programme with Gap. I completed a placement in Gap’s HQ in London. It was great to work alongside the team and I learnt lots.
I gained skills in communications, customer handling, speaking on the phone and completed practical training. The team were incredibly supportive and this the placement helped to develop my confidence and not to be shy.
What was the biggest challenge?
At the beginning I was very shy, in a big group it was very daunting to come forward and voice opinions. I had always much preferred to work in a small group.
Throughout the programme we took part in team building exercises which boosted our confidence, this encouraged us to open up and not to be afraid working in big groups. I really believe this training played a big part in getting me to where I am today!
What happened next?
Following the programme I was able to secure a full-time role in the Islington store as a Sales Associate. This role helped me develop my customer services skills, learn about store presentation and meet new people.
What has been the biggest reward?
Of course securing the job at Gap and my recent promotion to Senior Store Associate has been fantastic! But finding my confidence has been so important. Being shy initially held me back and I wouldn’t be where I am now without this experience.
What is life like now?
Life now is so much better! As a Senior Sales Associate, I work closely with customers, manage click and collect and assist managers across the floors. I really enjoy being the person to go to if a customer needs help.
What do you most enjoy at Gap?
Being part of a great team, they are like family! In Islington we get to meet new customers all the time but I also love how we have built relationships with regular customers who pop in often.
What are your plans for the future?
I really want to go far at Gap, I am completing more training to support my development.
What would you say to a young person looking for support from The Prince’s Trust?
Definitely go for it! If you are struggling with confidence, The Prince’s Trust can help you and improve your skills to get a job. They help you every step of the way, there really is nothing to lose!