Current Employer/Organisation Name
What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?
I joined a grad scheme straight after finishing my degree at Exeter. The scheme at Mondelez was 3 years long and includes rotations across different departments working on some of the biggest global snacking brands. I spent a year working in Revenue Planning on Maynard’s Bassetts, a year in Marketing working on Cadbury Dairy Milk and a year in Sales, negotiating Cadbury Easter and Christmas plans with Sainsbury’s.
Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?
I chose this path as I was quite uncertain about what to do after university. My FCH course didn’t lead me to an obvious future career, but I wanted to make sure I was working for a company I felt proud to be part of. Growing up in the Midlands, Cadbury World was a frequent school holiday activity for my family, and I’m a massive chocolate fan! When I found out that there was a grad scheme that could involve working on Cadbury, I jumped at the chance. With some of the biggest brands in the world also including Oreo, Philadelphia, Trebor & Toblerone, at Mondelez I get to work on brands with incredible heritage in an environment that recognises and encourages new ideas and creativity. The thing I enjoy most is seeing ideas I have shared come to life in the market or products I worked on sold in shops – there’s nothing like it!
Why did you choose to study at Exeter?
Exeter offered the only course I could find with a fully flexible combined honours course including an Erasmus year. I studied Philosophy, French & Italian and finding a way to combine all three was a real struggle. When I visited as part of an open day I fell in love with the campus and the lecturers seemed really engaging.
What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?
I think the most useful and transferable experience I gained during my degree was adaptability. Moving abroad in my third year made me much more comfortable in a completely new environment where I understood very little. In terms of academic skills, the logic and structure required in Philosophy have really helped me to build compelling arguments, whether as part of a presentation or as part of a negotiation with my buyer – you can’t go too far wrong with a valid argument based on true premises!
What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?
Go for it! If you’re interested in a commercial graduate scheme, I’d definitely recommend choosing one that covers multiple functions. Even if you’re quite set on your career path, the breadth of working across numerous roles in your early years with a company helps you build your experience, network and understanding of process. The wider your range of experience, the faster you’ll progress and the more value you’ll add!
What are your plans for the future?
Based on my experience so far, I can’t see myself leaving Mondelez any time soon! I’m so passionate about the brands we work with, and I love the pace, the excitement and the autonomy of the roles here.