Food, Drink and Catering Work Experience Stories

"My first graduate job is with a global alcoholic beverage company in East Africa. Being recruited as a Young Professional (YP) opened many possibilities for me. The YP program is 3 years of functional learning in Sales, Marketing and Customer Marketing with the option of working in any African country and/or London. As only 7 were selected from 3000 applicants, I was recruited from Canada to work in Sudan, Kenya and Uganda.

My first months were a great learning experience as I spent most of that time in various Kenyan cities. We were placed in different departments lasting from 1 week to 6 weeks. The 6 month induction was designed to familiarize me with the various functions and departments within the company. We spent our first 3 weeks learning about the company values, range of brands, company purpose among others, we also visited many of our subsidiary companies going to the highlands of Kenya to see the worlds only equatorial barley that goes into making quality beer, as well as doing a week rotation in production, brewing, quality and logistics departments.
Each one of the YP was stationed in a city in Kenya or Uganda; I was stationed in the great city of Nairobi for 6 weeks learning about sales. After which I was sent to the lake Victoria city of Kisumu for 2 months for further sales training. This was perhaps the most fun I have had in a very long time as every week the sales team was organizing parties, events and parades among others, as well as learning about sales on the side!
I was also lucky enough to be sent to Uganda for a week during the coronation of the 18 year old king of the kingdom of Toro in an area known as "Mountains of the Moon", to assist in organizing a large outdoor party for 5000 attendees including several heads of states. After gaining 5 months of valuable sales and marketing experience I was qualified enough to become the commercial manager in Sudan which brings tremendous challenges and every day is completely different from the other. It is definitely interesting to be sent to take roles in areas you are not used to but the professional and life lessons gained are rare, I sometimes feel like an 19th century explorer with 21st century technology and world class brands!"

"As soon as I Graduated I knew I wanted to end up working in something scientific related to what a studied at University. So when I was offered a job working in a brewery I was very happy! My first graduate job was working in a brewery based in Tadcaster. My role was based in the quality assurance department which I found very interesting. In my first week I was quite nervous but soon got to know the people and roles of the job very well and soon "come out of my shell" a bit a really started to enjoy myself. After working there a few months I felt as though I new the role very well and had gained a lot of relevant experience over a short period of time. I think this was also seen by my boss as I was soon told to my delight that my contract had been made permanent and I had a pay rise!

After working there for over a year I gained even more knowledge of further processes around the brewery and was given more responsibility to tasks and deadlines set at work as well as being involved with several projects involving streamlining and improvement of processes. I think since working in this role I have managed to develop additional skills that I would not have picked up on during my studies at university, such as working as part of a team and good experience in more realistic problem solving which come about in the work place. I have since moved on from this role however I still work in Quality Assurance. I do however believe that it was my first graduate role that gave me that good starting block towards a good career in the Quality Assurance field."