MDS Pathways: History

The food and fresh produce is for anyone who can rise to the challenge.

Imogen is a History graduate from the University Warwick. She has just completed her first secondment in systems training and business improvement with Tristram Plants and will soon be starting a projects secondment with G’s Fresh.

So, why did a history student apply to a fresh produce graduate scheme? Well we spoke to Imogen to find out why and see how she has transferred her skills to support the industry.

What made you decide to study history at university?

“The subject is fascinating. I had always found it poignant to consider the millions of lives that came before and how their experiences differed from ours, considering how their actions impact our present. I think this is particularly important when considering how our environmental decisions are impacting future generations. How do we, as the food and fresh produce industry, want to impact future generations and be remembered.”

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

“I have always had an interest in working with people, both on an individual basis and in leading teams. MDS was an excellent opportunity for experience in management roles, working closely with people. I have often found it easy to get people to communicate openly with me, and I, in turn, find it easy to express my views and intentions to others. Management suited this skillset. I have always liked change too, and I hoped that my adaptability and keenness to learn would suit the rotation of secondments.”

How have you utilised your skills to support Member businesses and the wider industry?

“Historians are encouraged to question everything, and formulate new conclusions, bringing different insights to the table. As a management Trainee, this is expected of me daily in my role. As a fresh pair of eyes, I can see new ways of approaching tasks and new ways of tackling problems. History also gave me the ability to write concisely, which has helped me in my reports and presentations to other management peers. History also sometimes meant traipsing through long, boring documents, to find one nugget of useful information. This gave me a strong work ethic and the ability to power through when things are tough or dull!”

What would you say to someone considering a career in the industry?

“Be sure this is what you want! It is a niche industry, with much knowledge that isn’t transferrable to other sectors. However, you will learn so many skills that can be used in any career. An interest in the industry will really help you understand its vastness. Keep an open mind, and enjoy what you do. There’s lots to experience and lots of worthwhile people to learn from.”

Are you interested in kick starting a career in the largest manufacturing sector in the UK? The food supply chain is looking for motivated, driven individuals who can support the industry as it undergoes huge changes. If you think you can rise to the challenge, MDS can help you progress rapidly.