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What work experience did you have before joining Bakkavor?

I completed a 3 month placement with Saipem Ltd working on Subsea Engineering and Maintenance projects. This was my first step into industry and I enjoyed getting my hands dirty in the workshop for the majority of my time there. It also lead to a University project.

What attracted you to Bakkavor? Were you aware of the business before?

FMCG was where I wanted to end up. After exploring product types that I like and enjoy, I ultimately narrowed in on the food industry. The recruitment process was straight forward but provided a thorough assessment. The biggest influencial factor was how the people treated myself and the other candidates during the recruitment process. It gave me a flavour of the Bakkavor culture which I now know to be a true reflection of how the business operates.

Can you talk us through what you did or are doing on the graduate programme?
What were the highlights?

I was thrown in as a Section Leader at Bakkavor Desserts Newark. After shadowing the section leader at the time I took responsibility for the line for 3-4months in which time I got to build a report with the line staff and participated in massive step change in our Bay’s performance and working practice. This was the biggest highlight for me and I learn a huge amount in a short space of time simply but being keen and getting involved in everything and anything.

Since then, I have jumped between departments to get a basic understanding of each function within the supply chain. This involved 1 month with the Dispatch team, 3 months in a Materials Planning team before finally finishing with the Planning and Production Scheduling teams.

During this period I got involved in minor projects simply for exposure and have supported with the daily planning and reporting on production performance.

What’s your current role? What are you responsible for? What do you do day to day?

My current role is in Production Scheduling. It was important for me to have some time with this team before I finished my placement. Although not a specific role, the graduate scheme has given me the opportunity to be present at all times with this team in the factory floor office to learn and support with creating and amending the daily plan, planning for material supply and reporting on KPI’s for updating managers.

What is the best thing about working for Bakkavor?

Since joining Bakkavor, I have come on leaps and bounds. My aim from day 1 was to learn leadership skills and how to manage people. This is the most important thing a graduate can learn on the scheme above all else. I have come a long way since that day because the best thing about Bakkavor is the support and guidance people put into the graduates and their staff. 

What’s it like in your team?

My team is enthusiastic no matter what time of day is it, or what day of shift it is. This has a huge impact on morale and I look forward to coming into the factory each day for this reason. The team is very competent and experienced which is invaluable to the planning role.

How would you describe the Bakkavor culture as a whole?

The Bakkavor culture is based around support and development and not just results which is brilliant mindset to have, because the results come when people are better skilled and experience.

What have you done that you are most proud of in your time so far?

During my time managing the line, I participated in changing the culture in the bay to focus more on Good Manufacturing Practice as well as influencing performance on my line directly. My team and I took performance gradually from an inconsistent and averagely achieving to one of the best lines in the bay. I has gone from strength to strength since I left as well which gives me great pride.

Is there any advice you would give to someone thinking about applying for the Bakkavor graduate programme?

Ask questions and show a willingness to learn. This industry is based heavily on experience and Bakkavor can give that to you through the graduate scheme.

The new concept for graduate recruitment at Bakkavor is “Think Bigger. Grow Faster.” How does your experience reflect this?

I think this concept reflects what Bakkavor wants the graduates to show during their time here. It’s a development program first and foremost. You need to think big to what you want to get out of the programme and with that you attitude you will absolutely grow into your role quickly.