I have accepted a full-time role at Aldi. This was a company that I spoke to at my first Meet the Trainees event. At the time, I was on a 1-year secondment, so I knew I would not be moving for the next secondment, but I was keen to make a good impression from the beginning.
Group 46 Trainee Isabel Cole is in her final secondment with Aldi. She recently accepted a permanent position with the organisation as a National Supply Chain Assistant. With our first in-person Meet the Trainees (MTT) in over 2 years, we spoke to Issy on why she thinks the event is so important and her advice for making the most out of the opportunity.
What is Meet the Trainees?
MTT is all about networking with Member companies and current Trainees. It’s exclusive to MDS Trainees so it’s a fantastic opportunity to have the spotlight on you as a future leader in the industry. You can learn more about Member companies and the roles they offer as well as talk to Trainees in different groups. My favourite part was gaining advice from other Trainees about their MDS journey and what they had learnt.
Why do you think Meet the Trainees and networking events are important?
To me, professional networking means building rapport and creating a connection with a wide range of individuals. MTT is important for you to be able to understand each Member company and their roles. It’s also the perfect opportunity for Trainees to stand out and leave an excellent lasting impression on secondment managers.
How do you prepare for MTT, and where can a networking newbie start?
I look at all the companies attending and try to have at least read every company’s website to understand what they do. For those I am interested in, I will research their company further, perhaps looking if they have recently launched any interesting initiatives. If I know a Trainee who is seconded there, I would also ask which contacts are attending from their company. Finally, I will make sure I am up to date on industry news, reading the Fresh Produce Journal (FPJ) and The Grocer, looking out for any Member companies mentioned.
What tips do you have for Trainees to get the most out of MTT?
- Get some sleep – Make sure you are energised for the day, its long and you need to be switched on all-day
- Be Prepared – Know who you need to talk to, have lots of questions and be sure to make a good impression
What will you be doing post-MDS, and how do you feel the programme supported you in achieving this role?
I have accepted a full-time role at Aldi. This was a company that I spoke to at my first Meet the Trainees event. At the time, I was on a 1-year secondment, so I knew I would not be moving for the next secondment, but I was keen to make a good impression from the beginning. I also spoke to the current Trainee in the role, which worked in my favour as I ended up getting a secondment in the supply chain team and staying on full time! Meet The Trainees, and my interaction with the Aldi secondment manager was pivotal to me securing this full-time role.