Why did you decide to apply for MDS?
I decided to join the scheme based on my passion for the food industry. Having studied the issues and challenges of the food industry at university, I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of the industry in practice. The MDS scheme gives me the opportunity to immerse myself in both food production and distribution, to experience the supply chain from start to finish, and to learn even more about the challenges different producers face. Alongside this, I’ll also be gaining an apprenticeship qualification recognising my development as a manager. The amount of exposure and responsibility is unparalleled in graduate schemes, and this is why the MDS scheme was so appealing to me.
Where are you currently working and what is your role?
I am currently working at Frank Roberts and Sons Bakery based in Northwich. My role is in project management, working with the IT, HR and Payroll teams on the implementation of new systems. We are currently launching a new employee app, which I have been closely involved in since beginning my role. I’ve been responsible for communications and publicity and creating content for the app. I’ve also been involved in working within the app’s systems to ensure its functionality works – something that has been a big learning curve as before starting I hadn’t had much IT experience! However, I’ve been supported by the IT team and our third party developers, and have really enjoyed developing this skill.
What was your MDS induction like?
My MDS induction was a great way to prepare me for my first secondment. We were given advice on interview techniques, and an overview of different roles and jargon within the industry, which set me up well for my initial interview with the member company. It was also a great opportunity to meet the other trainees in our group, and to find out the different roles they would be doing. We spent a day doing team building, which was a great way to work together and get to know each other.
What was your first day like on your first secondment?
My first day involved meeting my colleagues, a tour of the production areas, and an introduction to the project. I was given lots of information about the app and its features, and asked to consider the first piece of communication we could publish to employees across the company. Although I was slightly apprehensive beginning my first professional role, I was made to feel very welcome by the company and my colleagues. My excitement to begin the project and learn more meant these nerves were quickly overcome, and I jumped straight in to my new role.
What are you most looking forward to about MDS?
Although I am really enjoying my current role, I’m looking forward to gaining even more knowledge and experience across the industry. I’m looking to take this knowledge from my first secondment into a different role, and to take on a new challenge in a different leadership position. I’m also looking forward to deciding on the role I would like to continue in at the end of my time with MDS. Before starting the scheme, I wasn’t sure what I would enjoy or be successful in – by the end of the scheme I’ll have a strong basis to build my career upon.