Rachel English eShopWorld
Rachel English, product owner, eShopWorld. Image: Connor McKenna

From graduate to product owner in one year: Climbing the e-commerce ladder

9 Oct 2017

Graduate Rachel English has quickly shot up the ranks of ever-growing e-commerce company eShopWorld.

The e-commerce industry is booming, as newer technologies revolutionise the way people shop and result in much greater productivity. Rachel English, who recently completed her studies at Dublin Institute of Technology, has experienced this first-hand after coming into eShopWorld.

English quickly found her feet in the company and with it, a fulfilling path of career progression which saw her receive two promotions within a year.

The dynamic work environment at eShopWorld aided her in developing her skills and allowed her to showcase her abilities, all while receiving the necessary support and training.

What did you study in college?

I studied business and law at Dublin Institute of Technology.

With this programme, are you now working in your desired industry?

Yes, the whole concept of cross-border e-commerce was something that always interested me. It’s an industry that has so much growth and potential and, having written my thesis on it, I was keen to see what other opportunities it brought.

What drew you to eShopWorld when you were seeking work as a graduate?

When researching graduate programmes, eShopWorld was presented as a fast-growing, exciting new company with ample opportunity for career progression. This, combined with my work experience in the retail sector and my studies, made it the perfect opportunity for me.

What expectations did you have before you began the programme?

I knew it would be a fast-paced working environment with numerous challenges but that I would receive the training and support that I needed. What I wasn’t expecting was the speed of progression. In the space of a year, I’ve gone from a graduate to a product analyst to a product owner.

What duties and responsibilities were you given initially?

As a graduate product analyst, I supported my team in analysing our product offering, building business requirements and doing a large amount of competitor analysis.

I would spend a lot of time with various departments (finance, logistics, payments) defining our product and performing gap analysis against the market.

Did the scope of your work change as the programme progressed?

Being one of the first graduates in eShopWorld, I was in a position to pave the direction I wanted to go in. I was given the opportunity to demonstrate my capabilities and, in doing so, my role grew as I was given additional responsibilities.

Can you describe a typical day in your role?

My day starts off catching up with my product manager. We review the status of each of our projects and talk through any issues or client requests that have come in.

We also use this time to schedule in our meetings or planning sessions. After this is our morning stand-up meeting with the scrum team. Here, we will get updates from every member of the team and resolve any issues or blockers they may have.

The rest of my day will involve documenting requirements, planning, resolving queries from various teams and attending meetings both internally and with the client.

How do your responsibilities compare to more experienced employees’?

When I first started in eShopWorld, my responsibilities were internally facing in support of the product team. During this period, I had the opportunity to learn from more experienced team members and demonstrate my capabilities.

This allowed me to develop quickly and enabled me to progress to a product owner role when the opportunity arose.

Do you feel more prepared for working life after completing this programme?

Absolutely! The fast-paced nature and continuous growth of eShopWorld has provided me with a range of skills that I would likely not have gained if I had undertaken a graduate programme in a more mature organisation.

The training and experience I have received in the last year has equipped me with a skill set that can be transferred to many roles in the e-commerce industry.

Why should someone apply to the graduate programme at eShopWorld?

The rate of growth within eShopWorld creates new opportunities for all types of graduates and the experience gained on the graduate programme is second to none. It is a fantastic atmosphere to work in with ample opportunity for growth and career progression.

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