Group 47 Trainee Emma is going into her final secondment on the MDS graduate scheme. After 18 months on the programme, she has built up a wealth of knowledge on how to rise to the challenge of changeover. Here are her top tips!
Where was your last secondment and what did you learn?
I’m currently based at Greencell, where I have been working as a Retail Assistant. The biggest learning for me was the world of Commercial! Heading into this role, I had no previous experience or prior knowledge about Commercial roles. With the help of the team at Greencell, I was able to hit the ground running. It’s now an area where I can see myself moving into post MDS, which is amazing considering I hadn’t a clue what I wanted to do this time last year.
I’ve worked with multiple retailers and have gained an insight into their operations and ways of working. The experience has been incredibly interesting and will put me in good stead moving into future roles.
My first secondment was with Syngenta UK, so this role was the first Produce role I’ve had. Working in such a fast-paced environment has given me little choice but to dive into the role headfirst. It’s exciting, and every day is a different opportunity and challenge.
Where is your next secondment?
In October, I’ll be joining Angus Soft Fruits as a Technology Assistant as they move into the import season of soft berries. Similar to my previous role, I have no experience in Technical. I only have a vague understanding, having worked with Technologists for the past 11 months. However, there is so much for me to explore and get to grips with, which is exciting.
I’m looking forward to working more closely with the product itself and getting to experience a different side of the supply chain. I’m excited to explore the packhouse and get more direct control over the fruit that will end up on a consumer’s plate.
I hope to make a direct change to the quality of fruit that Angus Soft Fruit delivers and improve satisfaction for consumers.
What are your tips for starting a new secondment in a new location?
Moving into the role, I would say be yourself. Be open to learning, engaging, and asking lots of questions.
I find researching the area beforehand and digging out local spots helps. Instagram is a great place to find cafes, restaurants, pubs and stores. As an outdoors person, I locate the local National Trusts and trails available. You could also ask your colleagues for their favourite spots and arrange a get together to break the ice.
Before moving down, I like to arrange something for the first weekend, whether that be visiting a National Trust or planning a coffee shop date. This gives me something to look forward to and makes sure I’m leaving the house and getting some fresh air.
The opportunities we are handed within MDS are unique. We won’t get the chance to explore such different roles again, so I always suggest making the most, saying yes to new opportunities and being willing to accept challenges and push yourself.
Are you up for the challenge?
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? Sign up for our virtual graduate open day to take part in two free CV boosting management workshops and receive a certificate upon completion to show potential employers. Standout candidates will even have the opportunity to fast-track through our recruitment process! Sign up now via this LINK.