I graduated with a first in French and Economics from the University of Sheffield; a background that you wouldn’t necessarily associate with sales. But as one of my placements on my year abroad I worked as an Office Manager for a co-working company and loved building relationships with our customers. As a very passionate foodie I’ve always been interested in the food industry so the Customer Development graduate scheme at ABF was a great opportunity to combine both of my interests.
I’m just about to finish my first year at Jordans Dorset Ryvita where I work as an Account Executive on the biscuits team. I’m responsible for the back-office running of the Tesco account, this incorporates monitoring daily and weekly sales, implementing our promotional strategy and checking up on how those promotions perform whilst supporting the SNAM with range changes and New Product Development launches. I’m also the Tesco Ireland National Account Manager, where I have had front line experience of building a relationship with a customer and getting under the skin of how to run an account. I represent the Sales team in project team meetings for new product development and internal changes; this has been a great opportunity to learn about how a business operates in more depth. A typical day for me could include quickly collating our latest sales and reporting back on promotional performance to the Tesco SNAM, going in to store to check any range changes and promotions, coding and managing our invoices, managing the launch of new products internally at a project team meeting and of course a cereal tasting! This hands-on experience has enabled me to grow in confidence as I move in to my second placement as a Category Executive at Allied Bakeries.
Throughout the last year there has been a real focus on development and I have really enjoyed our core graduate and Customer Development specific training. The graduate scheme has enabled me to become more self-aware through specialised training looking at my behavioural preferences and through working on my Personal Development Plan with my line manager. The unique nature of ABF provides you with a strong support network including a buddy within your business when you first start and a mentor from another ABF company 6 months in. The ABF Customer Development scheme has allowed me to expand my network within JDR and across my graduate peer group, as well as across ABF at the Future Sales Leaders’ Day.