Trainee Profile: Raza Sheikh Winner of the Doug Henderson Award
What degree did you study and why did you choose this discipline?
I did a Master’s in Supply Chain Management from Maastricht University in the Netherlands. After having done a Bachelor’s in Finance, I realised that the service industry was not my calling and chose to study Supply Chain Management as I wanted to work in an industry where I could hold the end-product and be proud of the fact that I had a part in making this possible – I wanted to work with something more tangible.
What made you apply for the MDS scheme
I applied for the MDS Scheme because it is a unique opportunity to experience different companies and roles, whilst getting training from industry experts. Fresh out of university, I was not sure what kind of a company I would like to work for, and the MDS Scheme seemed to be the perfect opportunity to find the right fit for me.
What has been you most significant learning moment during MDS and why?
It would be hard to single out one moment, as every placement is so different that you continually experience such learning moments. As someone who had no agriculture/farming background, every placement offered something new to learn for me. If you are naturally inquisitive and willing to learn, this graduate scheme has something to offer every single day.
What did you hope to achieve at the start of MDS and has this changed during your experience?
My aim was to learn about the Fresh Produce industry and to experience different stakeholders in the supply chain. This has not changed, and I have been fortunate enough to experience the whole supply chain during my time at MDS. From seeds & crop protection at Syngenta, to the growers and pack-houses at Worldwide Fruit, to the Supply Chain & Buying departments at Waitrose – I got to see it all.
How did you feel winning the Doug Henderson award?
I was over the moon!
MDS is known to recruit the highest calibre, most talented individuals; thus, all of my fellow trainees are destined to be the future leaders of the industry. So it was a great honour and a proud moment for me when I was selected amongst these 60 trainees for this award – a true testament to the fact that hard work really pays off.
What would you like to do when you graduate from MDS?
After finishing the MDS Graduate Scheme, I would like to use my training and expertise to help the industry move forward. One of my personal aims is to try and reduce the high level of wastage that the industry faces. Thus, whatever position I am in, I will try and find creative ways to reduce waste in some form.