Sam joined MDS in 2021 after graduating from the University of Reading. Sam has just completed his first secondment with Tristram Plants and is moving on to his next secondment with Syngenta. We spoke to the Trainee on how he has utlilised the skills from his Geography degree to support the industry.

Why did you decide to study Geography at University?

I decided to study Geography at university as I was interested in both people and the environment growing up. The breadth of the degree, gave me the freedom to study both. I also knew I wanted to work in sustainability.

Why did you think you would make a good MDS Trainee?

I decided to apply to MDS because I was attracted to the fast-paced and innovative nature of the food and fresh produce industry. Being able to work in 4 different roles in 2 years is also an amazingly unique opportunity for personal development. The breadth of modules that I studied at university allowed me to develop skills in data collection, digital skills and project management. I knew I could apply these skills in any role, allowing me to get the most out of every secondment.

How have you supported MDS Members and the wider industry?

My current role involves supervising teams and the main challenge for me is trying to ensure people work together and work as smoothly as possible. The project management skills I developed at university has greatly helped me to resolve issues in the team dynamics. The range of skills I learned during my geography degree gives me the confidence to tackle any role in the industry and my background in geography has also provided me with a different way of thinking.

Why is the food and fresh produce industry such a great career opportunity?

The industry is currently undergoing serious changes due to mounting issues such as climate change and Brexit. This means there are new challenges to tackle every day and to resolve them often requires fresh ideas and input from outside the traditional channels. This provides a great opportunity for those of us wanting to drive change to make a difference in an industry that is vital to the lives of everyone on the planet.

You don’t need to have experience in food to kick-start your career in fresh produce. MDS are looking for hard-working, can-do Trainees with a passion for supporting the industry. Do you think you might be up for the challenge? Take a look at our 2 year Management Development Programme HERE.