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What work experience did you have before joining Bakkavor?

1 year work placement at International Flavours and Fragrances working as a Savoury Application Technologist

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

I was previously aware of Bakkavor but the thing that most attracted me to the business was the advertisement of the scheme on the website. The development scheme was described as really foodie and it seemed very varied which really appealed to me. I felt that because the business was international this would give me some fantastic opportunities.

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

I am on the development scheme; my first year has been working in Spalding at our meals site. I have been given the opportunity to work with different retailers, developing products for them and I have also been given the chance to move around the country to experience new working environments. I will be moving to Scotland in September to start my next placement which is very exciting. I have really enjoyed the culinary training I get on the scheme, I have been able to see how several different factories operate and the different challenges/ opportunities that come with that.

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

I am a development technologist, which is a varied role, no day is the same. Some days I am completing paperwork for presentations and meetings, contacting and liaising with suppliers, calculating theoretical nutritionals and costings other days I am cooking up products, participating in restaurant trawls, tasting new products and tweaking recipes.

What is the best thing about working for Bakkavor?

The support network that is available to you, I have the support of a buddy, mentor, AMS Champion, HR team, line manager and direct working colleagues if I need any help or advice no matter what it is. People are very friendly and approachable and encouraging if you have an idea you want to pursue.

What’s it like in your team?

I work in quite a small team of 5, but in an office with 13 other people. The office is chatty and an enjoyable environment to work in. I like working in a smaller team because you feel like your voice is heard and your opinion is appreciated. I have been given a real job to do and I feel like I have made a difference to my team this year.

How would you describe the Bakkavor culture as a whole?

Bakkavor take their values very seriously and you often find that people have a hardworking, passionate and positive way of working. I find people to be friendly and most people will go out of their way to help you.

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

I have taken on an individual project this year working on a brand new range of products for the business. I created a GAP analysis of the market, designed packaging, liaised with lots of different people and organised the display for a presentation to a retailer. Although the new products didn’t launch I was proud of myself for organising such a high impact and high profile presentation.

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

It’s a great opportunity if you are willing to grasp it. There is traveling involved and you might not end up where you want to live permanently but you will get a fantastic well rounded experience and you will be pushed towards a senior role within the business. You just need to be able to show some flair and a lot of passion to work hard and succeed.

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

During my training for the AMS scheme I have been asked to look outside the box and push myself to work towards my goals. I have been challenged at work and being asked to move across the country after 1 year has been a challenge for me but it has greatly benefitted my development. I truly believe that the opportunities to move up quickly through the business are there if you show ingenuity and hard work.

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