Placement profile: Buyer at Primark Head Office

Georgina Fradgley is a Fashion Business and Promotion student undertaking a placement at Primark Head Office as a Trainee Buyer. She spoke to us about the ins and outs of her role, as well as how she obtained it through BCU.

What do you do in your role?

I’m responsible for maintaining communication with suppliers, updating critical paths, tracking delivery journeys from supplier to store, creating trend boards, assisting with fits, attending trade meetings, making and amending orders and filtering through post.

These tasks give me large amount of responsibility, with high pressure environments. However, they’re allowing me to expand my knowledge of buying within a large and successful chain. 

How did you secure your placement?

I found the Primark job opportunity through my Placement tutor. I was able to apply online with a CV, which I got helping creating through my Placement module.

The application / interview process took in total 5 months, with a four-step process: 

  1. Submitted my CV online.
  2. Answered online video questions.
  3. Math's test – as I was applying for a buyer role, this was quite important.
  4. An online assessment center which consisted of an online team focus group, 15-minute presentation, followed by an interview.

I applied for Primark in September, and was accepted onto the course in the February. Out over 2000 people who applied, only 48 where accepted, so I feel extremely lucky to have been given the opportunity.

Fashion Business and Promotion

Find out more about the course.

What challenges do you face in your role?

I really enjoy gaining the experience of being a trainee buyer, as I didn’t know what the job entailed. By completing a year-long placement, I feel I will have gained in-depth knowledge into the buying process and other roles within the fashion industry which I can explore. 

Being a buyer, you have to be very organised! I get a heavy traffic flow from my emails; from supplier, designers, merchandiser, quality assessors, Primark Cares team and many more. The key responsibility of being a buyer is that I'm able to relay information to the wider team, with the main goal to handover goods on time. Therefore, I have to prioritise workload and stick to key deadlines, by remaining organised and efficient.

I also do a lot of presentations. For example, I present in weekly trade meetings to my department, which is over 50 people, which means I’ve had to build my confidence in presenting and push myself out of my comfort zone.

What are some of the rewards?

Through the last 8 months of working in Primark, I have had many opportunities that I would not have if I didn’t start my placement here. I have presented in strategy meetings to my trading director, head of merch, head of design and head of buying. I present in trade calls every Monday, and I organise and deliver sign-offs. I have also built a strong working relationship with suppliers to achieve little to no delays. I am proud of all of these achievements, and I feel we help me to prosper in my future career.

I have also have learnt from the sessions Primark provides for Early Career students. Every 2 months, the placement cohort are given the opportunity to go to industry expert talks , providing us with skills to aid our careers, For example, we have learnt key ways of communication in a work environment, we have completed personality assessments, the importance of work prioritisation and participated in self-effective workshops. All these will help me not only with my future career, but the rest of my time at university. 

What have you learnt?

The five key takeaways from my placement so far have been: 

  1. Effective communication
  2. Work prioritisation
  3. Relationship building
  4. Presentation skills
  5. Gaining confidence in my abilities

What should you do next?

Find a course

We offer an extensive selection of more than 100 courses, spanning a wide range of subjects for you to explore.

Find a course

Come to an Open Day

Expert academics, state-of-the-art facilities and an inclusive student community - there's so much going on at Birmingham City University. Be at the heart of it all at one of our Open Days.

View our upcoming Open Days

Download one of our helpful Guides

Our guides contain expert advice and guidance designed to help you before joining university.

Follow us on social media

Follow our social media channels to stay up-to-date with everything that's going on at BCU.