I have had a variety of roles whilst with MDS including Material Intake Quality Assurance for Nature’s Way Foods, Supply Chain Co-ordinator for The Chia Company, Account Executive for M&S with Flamingo Flowers and currently NPD Process and Concept Technologist for Park Cakes. All have varied in responsibilities enabling me to gain a great understanding of the whole food and fresh produce process chain. I have been able to work with the product from the start of raw materials right the way through to the end and getting a finished product to shelf and managing customer accounts.
I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing how 4 different businesses work. This has given me a great insight into different styles of the working world allowing you a chance to figure out exactly what kind of business you want to be involved in. The businesses I have worked with have taken me across different areas of the food industry; fresh fruit and vegetables, ambient seed, fresh produce and flowers, and baked goods. Each have required different shelf life considerations, storage capacities and transport needs, giving me a sound understanding of various ways of working and product requirements.
As a trainee within a business for only 6 months you are often thrown in at the deep end. It can be challenging at times to learn the new systems of working quickly, as well as getting used to your new role and company. Throughout my time at MDS, I have been able to adapt more quickly with each placement. I have been able to develop techniques for myself to learn on the go and get the job done by finding similarities in the business systems.
As a trainee with MDS you are involved in various training courses and qualifications including a Business Management qualification with Cranfield University, Leadership seminars and ‘Challenging Existing Working Practices’. All of these training courses have developed skills in effective and efficient management. I personally have undertaken courses in HACCP, food hygiene and auditing which have helped to enhance these skills further and given me a wider knowledge base.
The unique experience that MDS has given me has been invaluable. Even if I have not had a secondment with a company part of the scheme, I have been able to network with them every 6 months and keep up-to-date with current food industry issues and challenges at the MDS ‘Meet the Leavers’ events. This has allowed me to make connections with a large amount of industry leaders and influencers.
The Food and Fresh produce industry is fast-paced and dynamic. If you are eager to learn on the job, be adaptable to consistent challenges and work your way up in management, MDS is the job for you!