MDS Pathways: Geography-Driven Career Development

India Dodge-Forder joined MDS in 2021 after graduating from the University of St Andrews. India just completed her first secondment with Fancy Plants and is going into her second, working with Plant Nursery group, Tristram Plants. We spoke to the group 49 Trainee on how she has been able to utilise the skills she developed on her Geography degree to support Member businesses and the wider industry.

What made you decide to study Geography at university?

The subject of geography is very broad and allows practitioners to develop a wide knowledge base. Studying it at university allowed me to focus and specialise in physical geography. I enjoyed this learning and discovering about processes and the various interactions which take place. I was able to hone my analytical skills. As a result, I love working with data to understand challenges in my day to day roles.

What made you decide to apply to the MDS graduate scheme?

The opportunity to experience a range of roles within the industry is what attracted me to MDS. I am new to the fresh food and produce sector. I started the programme with very little background knowledge on the industry, which was daunting at first. However, since joining, my awareness of the industry has completely evolved, and I now understand the complexities of fresh produce. Being an MDS Trainee requires a lot of dedication, and I knew it would challenge me in a way I needed to progress.

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

My role at Fancy Plants was multifaceted. I was able to understand how each cog affects the system as a whole. Being the Supply Chain Coordinator required me to plan and execute the productions as well as the supply of stock. I was able to see the processes through from the raw materials to end user. Planning around any changes that could cause problems is a skill I developed at university when dealing with complex data.

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

The food and fresh produce industry is vital to the nation. The opportunities within the sector are vast and accommodate many different career paths and progressions. Being part of an industry helping to provide the necessities everyone requires brings a sense of pride to the job.

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.