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I joined Co-op as a Member Pioneer a year ago, working part-time alongside my studies. As part of my role, I oversee two beautiful, rural communities in Scotland. I had previously volunteered with the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park on their Youth Committee and Junior Ranger programme, which has really helped to build my network in my Member Pioneer role.

My first ever job! 

I initially saw the Member Pioneer job post and thought ‘it’s probably better for an adult’ and left it at that. However, I kept returning to the advert every week and after studying it more and more, I was determined to apply. It sounded like such an interesting and rewarding job, so I decided to give it a shot and was so happy to receive an invitation to interview that week!

I was nervous about the interview, as it was the first one I’d ever done! However, my interviewers put me at ease, and it was amazing to hear more the role and the business. Prior to the interview I only knew Co-op as the shop we get our lunch from every day at school, so it was great to hear about the wonderful community work they do.

Being supported by my team

The role has been a huge learning curve for me. Not only is this my first job, but it’s also a unique role that many people haven’t heard of. The hours are perfect for me as they’re so flexible that I can complete my schoolwork whenever it suits me. Working 16 hours over 4 weeks has also helped me to plan ahead in busier times like during my exams and study leave.

My colleagues are spread out all over Scotland, but we’re all very close. We support each other all the time and have a team WhatsApp chat, a monthly team catch up and we meet up for dinner throughout the year. I meet with my manager at least once a month and get feedback on my performance and clear goals which are really helpful to my development.

Just the beginning of my Co-op journey

I’ll be going to university later this year but I hope this role is just the beginning of my Co-op journey. Whether I become a Member Pioneer for another community in Scotland, or go and work in one of our Food Stores, I’m so happy to know I’ll have the opportunity to continue my Co-op career.

I love The Co-op and its values. This job has given me so much experience and confidence, and it’s already been amazing for my CV. I hope other young people read this and choose to give it a shot – I guarantee they won’t regret it!

Aidan Cronin – Member Pioneer

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