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What’s your background?

Having graduated from Glasgow Caledonian University in 2010, with a degree in Fashion Business, I worked in the fashion industry in various roles from retail shop floors to head office positions but struggled to get graduate-level experience and was keen to get into the Food and Drink business.

Why did you apply to the placement programme?

I had a real interest in moving into the Food and Drink industry and this placement looked like the perfect opportunity to be able to transfer a lot of my previous skills, whilst giving myself a new challenge. I wanted pursue a new career in the Food and Drink sector and learn new skills, but I was also really keen to work for a smaller company, with a “younger”, fresher approach, and where I might have the opportunity to take on more responsibility.

What project were you involved in?

My working week is varied: I spend time working on retail data analysis, visiting retail partners, store visits, consultancy client visits and working with consultancy team on presentations. I’ve also had the chance to organise sampling activity bringing together brands and retail stores needs.

I have been able to spend time out of the office visiting clients, attending Royal Highland Show etc, which is all fantastic experience. I am enjoying being able to work unsupervised and being trusted to take on more responsibility.

What did you learn on placement?

Since I started the placement, I have already learnt a great deal about how the food and drink industry works and feel I now know how to create a professional looking presentation.
I have gained knowledge from the incredibly experienced consultancy team and been given a rounded view of the industry from various perspectives.

I have also been able to put many of the skills I gained from my university studies into place, especially business, team-working and IT skills.

Any advice for other graduates?

I’d say that as a fresh graduate looking for a job, experience is as important as qualifications, so get out and work at whatever level you can in your chosen industry. Once you are “in”, ask lots of questions, keep learning, use the knowledge of people around you, and get involved.

And, obviously, apply for a ScotGrad placement – they are a great way to start getting that experience for your CV and who knows where they might lead!

What do you hope to do after the placement?

Food and Drink Hub have already given me some very positive feedback, and I am very hopeful of having a permanent position with the Hub at the end of my placement.

In terms of my future career, I’d like to continue taking on more responsibilities and having a greater involvement in a wider range of projects. I aspire to be a consultant within the business, perhaps even with my own team, which I certainly would never have considered, nor had the confidence to aspire towards, if I hadn’t taken on this placement.