Claire summarised what makes her placement company, Grampian Growers, different. We “produce and market daffodil flowers and bulbs as well as potatoes, so it’s something unique compared to other businesses that just operate in the potato industry. I start in the flowers in the next 3-4 weeks and then bulbs start in July so I’m looking forward to getting stuck in then”.
This innovative business is on the rise, and Claire is providing crucial marketing, strategy, and communications support to ensure Grampian Growers sustains its current level of growth. Claire started her project in October 2017 after graduating last summer, and already her impact on the business is clear.
Claire is justly proud of her work. She said, it’s “a fantastic company, having worked with them seasonally for the past 5 years, it’s clear to see their growth and ambition in a short space of time. They have fantastic facilities which is acknowledged throughout the industry as well as a passion for producing quality products”.
She continued, “they are a forward-thinking company, always looking at what they could be doing better and are always keen to develop new projects”.
ScotGrad placements are intentionally challenging; our employers aim to put the skills you’ve developed to the test. Claire experienced her own challenges in the first few months. She explained that one of her first projects was to convince growers to sign up to protocols which could be viewed as costly. She explained, “in the end I managed to get them signed up by just taking time to sit down and explain to them why it’s required”. Claire’s skills in communications were essential and by offering a personalised, one to one approach, she soon enabled growers to understand the value in what the company is doing.
Claire explained that “looking at projects you have started take shape and watching them develop” gives her a great sense of achievement:
“I organised a school’s potato growing competition and got quite a bit of press on it. I can’t wait to see the end result on that and I’ve hopefully encouraged a lot of youngsters to further develop their knowledge”.
But life isn’t only about the job! Claire is the Treasurer and a committee member at Forfar JAC, a local Young Farmers Club. She attends a range of meetings and events, where she meets new people. She commented that it “has a great social aspect with lots of competitions, dances and events at the weekends”. It’s not just for farmers, which Claire knows well, as she isn’t one herself. Claire enjoys other hobbies including beating which keeps her fit and gets her out in the Angus Glens, days out with the dogs, and skiing in the winter, both abroad and locally at Glenshee.
Of the location, she continued, “Angus is a great little county and you’re never far from a city such as Dundee or Aberdeen. I am only a 30-minute commute which I don’t mind at all. There are lots of great places to eat and drink in Angus and each town is different. But Dundee is 20-30 minutes and Aberdeen 45 minutes away if you fancy a city experience”.
Claire is inspired by what she does and knows every day will be different. She said it’s “a great booster and motivator to get out of bed! No two days are the same here as there is always something different going on because of the nature of the business”.
And Claire’s advice to new ScotGrads?
- “Stay calm if you’re thrown in the deep end!”
- “Always ask for help if you’re not sure”
- “Speak to the other ScotGrads who are in similar roles, [it’s] a brilliant way to network and share ideas. It really makes you think ‘why am I not doing that’ or ‘could I be doing that’ and it benefits everyone”.
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Great advice!
Look out for the next instalment of Claire’s placement story.