I first applied for the Trainee Manager Scheme at Greencore knowing very little about the company or the food production industry in general. Since researching Greencore for my interviews, I immediately noticed their focus on having ‘People at the Core’ of the business. This value is evident throughout every aspect of Greencore – especially in their focus on supporting people to earn whilst they learn. The fact that the company enable us to complete a Chartered Business Management degree whilst working full time is what set this scheme apart from any other post-Uni career pathway I had considered. I had looked at many graduate schemes after graduating from Leeds University with a degree in English and Comparative Literature, but there were very few that offered both further education, training and full-time work experience. From speaking to various colleagues across the business it was clear that Greencore hires people not only for their ability, but for their personality and enthusiasm. On more than one occasion I met people who had not yet attained the qualifications usually favoured for their role but, because of Greencore’s focus on development, they were still offered the job and given the means to learn and gain the qualifications.

Prior to starting on-site as a Category Executive, I didn’t know/understand much about the Category Management department of the Commercial sector and therefore didn’t really know what to expect. It’s now coming up to my 8-week review and I now have a solid understanding of the food production industry – thanks to being enrolled on IGD (Institute of Grocery Distribution) courses. As well as this, my understanding of Commercial and my role within the Category Management team have both improved tenfold. The support I have from my Line Manager, my Buddy and the rest of the team has really helped build my ability and confidence. So far, the role has been enjoyable, yet challenging. My responsibilities mainly fall into central data and logging any newness that myself or anyone else finds within the industry. This newness process is captured within the monthly Bulletin which I distribute across Greencore. The Bulletin outlines any Promo, RSP changes, NPD launches or any new and exciting things that are happening across the retailers/industry. I am also responsible for updating and sending trackers to the team that outline the performance of Greencore and the various retailers over all categories.

Being in the first wave of Trainee Managers, my expectations for the course were somewhat limited. I knew I would be involved in Commercial, but I didn’t realise I would be in the Category side. I didn’t have a clue before I joined but in case you don’t know what Category does: Category deals with data to analyse products, trends, & changes to prices/promotions etc. to help retailers understand their shopper, their product areas & how they should be using their in-store and online space to increase sales. Everyone in the office has made me feel exceptionally welcome by including me in meetings from my very first week and more recently, encouraging me to present and feedback. Due to the fact I will be moving to a different sector in a year and I am soon to have university commitments, I was concerned I wouldn’t be given big projects to work on, but I have been given many responsibilities and I am treated as an equal member of the team

I have really enjoyed my experiences with Greencore so far and I am looking forward to being involved with finding the next Trainee Managers as I think this company offers both personal development, professional progression and opens doors to many new and exciting opportunities.

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