Start your career directly in a practical working environment!

Nowadays, the selection of courses and types of university is more diverse than ever. However, a university degree is not the only way to make a successful start in professional life. Fantastic opportunities and development options are equally on offer to junior employees who prefer a practical career to an academic one.

In the following sections, former MARC O’POLO trainees report about the benefits that a practical career provides and how they developed their careers at MARC O’POLO:

  • Franziska – Sales Assistant, MARC O’POLO Factory Outlet Zweibrücken

    Why did you decide to start your career off directly and continue it in a practical working environment?
    Actually, from the get-go I knew that I was more a practical person than an academic one. Despite this, I did initially embark on a course of studies. It became clear to me, however, relatively quickly that I wanted to start my career off directly in a practical working environment. As I am open, communicative and a good team player, it made sense to start a practical training program. And thanks to years of part-time jobs in the catering industry, issues such as customer contact, customer satisfaction and flexibility have always been aspects that I am familiar with.

    How did you become aware of MARC O’POLO?
    I became aware of MARC O’POLO via the Internet. As I was by this stage aware that I would like to do my training in the retail sector, I did some online research. I came across the MARC O’POLO home page rather more by chance, but from the beginning was impressed by the corporate philosophy. The core concept behind the brand, the key values and the many further training options meant I didn’t have to think about it for too long. I was able to identify quickly with the brand.

    What has been your best moment so far at MARC O’POLO?
    My best moment so far at MARC O’POLO? Actually, I can’t pinpoint one particular moment. It is more a totality of factors which makes working here so great. For example, it is great when customers thank me for the advice I have given them and even become regular customers. This positive feedback motivates me and is gratifying. To be able to convince people and make them enthusiastic about our products makes me extremely happy and proud! Also, working in a team is fun! We support each other mutually, and we all help each other regardless of how stressful it can sometimes be in the factory outlet.

    What has been your greatest challenge to date?
    Once again, I cannot give you a specific example. There are challenges every day, particularly for us in the factory outlet. You have to act speedily and flexibly. Here everything is a bit more fast-paced, but in a positive way. A lot of people drop into the store “willy nilly”, wanting “just to have a look”. Making these people enthusiastic about the brand and convincing them of its validity is a daily challenge. But for me it is an unbelievable amount of fun!

    How did you educate yourself further after your training? And why did you decide on this path instead of a traditional course of studies?
    After my training it was clear to me that I wanted to gain further qualifications. During my training and afterwards, I was allowed to take over the visual merchandising in our store, which I also really enjoyed. In the vocational school and also when inducting new employees, however, I quickly noticed that I enjoyed teaching other people something and motivating them even more. MARC O’POLO gave me the opportunity to educate myself further in this field and gain my trainer’s certificate. A course of academic studies was no longer relevant to me as I remained a practical type of person.

    What do you like the most about your current role?
    The thing I enjoy most is making people enthusiastic (irrespective of whether they are customers or employees), convincing them about something, motivating them and passing on my knowledge. After all, positive feedback motivates just about anybody!

  • Martin – Store Manager, MARC O’POLO Store Braunschweig

    Why did you decide to start your career off directly and continue it in a practical working environment?
    I wanted to experience something, work with people, face new challenges every day and of course make my passion for “fashion” into a career, and no longer have to have my nose stuck in a book.

    How did you become aware of MARC O’POLO?
    I have always been interested in fashion, and my mother was a customer at MARC O’POLO, so I already had initial contact with the company at an early stage. The decisive factor, however, was a fashion show at a MARC O’POLO store in Leipzig. My mother was invited and took me along. This event impressed me so much that I knew: I want to work here!

    What has been your best moment so far at MARC O’POLO?
    There have been many. To nominate one of them as being the best would be unfair. Just off the top of my head, I would definitely pinpoint the film shoot, a talk I gave as a former trainee to the new trainees, my first order, many special sales talks, when I passed the High Potential program exams, and when I took responsibility for my very own first store.

    What has been your greatest challenge to date?
    The entrance examination for the High Potential Program.

    How did you educate yourself further after your training? And why did you decide on this path instead of a traditional course of studies?
    When I get fired up and really burn for something, it is difficult to disengage from it. Fortunately, through the High Potential Program, I have been able to train myself further to become what I want to be and what I now am. I can still always study if I am able to improve my performance in my job as a result.

    What do you like the most about your current role?
    The greatest motivation is self-fulfillment. I can fulfill myself every day afresh and remain the same person.

  • Dounia – Sales Expert CRM, MARC O’POLO Store Köln

    How did you become aware of MARC O’POLO?
    It was really more by chance. Although I was aware of the MARC O’POLO brand, I hadn’t had an opportunity until this time to actually go into a MARC O’POLO store. Through a friend who already worked for MARC O’POLO, I found out in passing that there were still free training places. For me this represented a great opportunity as, at this point in time, I was looking for a training position to become a retail saleswoman. For this reason, I applied for the position.

    What has been your best moment so far at MARC O’POLO?
    I don’t have to think about this one for too long. The best moment I have had at MARC O’POLO was by far and away the one where I had the honor and pleasure to play the lead role in the MARC O’POLO promotional film. I was a trainee at that time and proud to have been allowed to be part of the film. Even today, when I watch this commercial, I have a grin on my face. The entire shoot was a completely new experience for me, and I really enjoyed doing it.

    What has been your greatest challenge to date?
    The greatest challenge for me was achieving the best possible results both at work and in the school. It wasn’t always easy, but I managed it. Because if you really want it, anything is possible. Of course the challenges I face have changed over time. A key objective was to successfully pass the final examination to become a retail saleswoman. Here MARC O’POLO gave me great support and prepared me really well.

    How did you educate yourself further after your training?
    After I successfully completed my training, I was taken on as a full-time retail saleswoman. When I expressed my desire to work in another store, MARC O’POLO supported me here too and granted my request. Today I am a key user for the CRM program (customer retention program), one of our XXL projects at MARC O’POLO in Cologne. My responsibilities involve preparing and conducting training sessions for new CRM content. In our store I am the contact person for customers and my colleagues for anything to do with CRM. As at the time CRM was a completely new, very important topic, for which I took on the responsibility, this was once again a new challenge for me. Today I am very proud of what I achieved. I can identify 100% with MARC O’POLO and enjoy representing the company.

    What do you like the most about your current role?
    Today what I like most about my job is that I am the one who can teach her colleagues something new.

  • Annunziata – Allocation Manager Retail Men, MARC O’POLO Headquarter

    Why did you decide to start your career off directly and continue it in a practical working environment?
    To be able to apply in a practical context what I learned and the experiences I gained during my three-year traineeship. I was aware that I would continue to have responsibility, variety and fun at MARC O’POLO. That is why I was keen to stay with the company. The good working atmosphere, the openness and the opportunities for further training made the decision very easy.

    How did you become aware of MARC O’POLO?
    Through an advert in a daily newspaper and based on a recommendation from an acquaintance.

    What has been your best moment so far at MARC O’POLO?
    There have been so many lovely moments that I have had the pleasure to experience to date at MARC O’POLO. My entire training period, my successful graduation, being taken on in the department of my choice, namely Buying Retail, and the company outing to Crete to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the founding of the company are definitely some of them!

    What has been your greatest challenge to date?
    The first time I presented an order to the store managers as part of collection training and the conflict management module during the Take the Next Step program.

    How did you educate yourself further after your training? And why did you decide on this path instead of a traditional course of studies?
    MARC O’POLO stands for the individual development of every single employee. I knew that I could educate myself further here in the company and always learn something new. Over the past few years, I have taken part in a number of seminars, such as merchandise knowledge, for example. By participating in the internal Take the Next Step program, with its many different seminar modules, I have been able to develop optimally both professionally and personally.

    What do you like the most about your current role?
    For me above all the connection between numbers and goods. It also makes me very proud now as a training officer to be able to pass on my knowledge and experience to our trainees. And of course also to my team.

  • Helena – Group Manager Sales Support Shoes, MARC O’POLO Headquarter

    Why did you decide to start your career off directly and continue it in a practical working environment?
    MARC O’POLO offers a high-quality vocational training program and fosters career starters by way of individual advanced training opportunities such as, for example, in-house seminars and leadership programs. The range of courses on offer is very diverse! To hit the books full-time again after my training seemed to make little sense to me. My work is a lot of fun, and I really enjoy doing it. If you show a degree of passion, the necessary willpower and ambition, many doors are open to you at MARC O’POLO.

    How did you become aware of MARC O’POLO?
    I spent my childhood in Stephanskirchen. That is why MARC O’POLO has always been a presence for me. The dual vocational training program has a very good reputation and was for me very worthwhile.

    What has been your best moment so far at MARC O’POLO?
    My promotion to Group Manager was a defining moment in my professional career.

    What has been your greatest challenge to date?
    My greatest challenge has been continuously developing my professional skills as well as taking on responsibility for employees and fulfilling the requirements of being a good manager.

    How did you educate yourself further after your training? And why did you decide on this path instead of a traditional course of studies?
    Professional advancement is not exclusively linked to a course of studies. For this reason, I decided to embark on a further, in-service further training, to become a Chamber of Industry and Commerce business administrator. I wanted to put the theoretical basics I had acquired directly into practice and at MARC O’POLO I was in exactly the right place to do this.

    What do you like the most about your role?
    My area of responsibility is very varied and diverse. It is fun working on projects, optimizing processes and driving innovations in the company forward. The assumption of professional authority in combination with taking on responsibility for employees is for me the ideal range of duties.

  • Natalie – Coordinator Licenses, MARC O’POLO Headquarter

    Why did you decide to start your career off directly and continue it in a practical working environment?
    With my vocational diploma in the discipline of economics, I had many opportunities for both practical experience and academic studies. I did not have any clear idea, however, of what I should specifically study and where the course of studies would take me. I also finally wanted to start earning money and be independent. After MARC O’POLO granted me a training place, there was no better choice for me! The training at MARC O’POLO gave me insights into many different areas that helped me to decide which direction to take.

    How did you become aware of MARC O’POLO?
    My mother has worked for MARC O’POLO for a very long time. When I was 15 I was already helping out at MARC O’POLO in addition to doing my school work. This allowed me to gain initial insights into a number of areas. Even then I really enjoyed working with the textiles and the people. The working atmosphere also impressed me, and from that point on I knew that I would like to work here in the longer term.

    What has been your best moment so far at MARC O’POLO?
    The most exciting moment was being a part of the Spring/Summer 2006 fashion show. I was employed as a dresser backstage. It was unbelievably exciting. Back then I had only ever seen something like this on TV. I have also had lots of lovely moments in everyday working life, including discussions with interesting people and challenges that allowed me to develop appreciably. These are situations that theory cannot teach you about and that I would not like to have missed out on experiencing.

    What has been your greatest challenge to date?
    My career move from the Claim department to the Licenses department and the induction into my new scope of duties. It was actually harder than I had imagined it would be to get to grips with something completely new again after four years. During this time I learned a great deal, above all to believe in myself.

    How did you educate yourself further after your training? And why did you decide on this path instead of a traditional course of studies?
    After being taken on in the Claim Department area and the induction period there, after about two years I felt the need to study further. It was very important to me not to lose the connection to the practical side of things. The part-time course to become a Business Administrator was perfect, and in just under 24 months, I had successfully passed all of my examinations and was certified.

    What do you like the most about your current role?
    I like the responsibility and the largely independent work with very diverse tasks relating to the licensing business. I also like cooperating with the many internal and external colleagues.