After completing my degree in Chemical Engineering, I joined the ABF Grocery Engineering graduate scheme in 2015. The 3 main reasons behind me applying to ABF were: the variety of businesses and roles, the commitment to grads post-scheme and most importantly my love of food!
I’ve never really known what I wanted to do for a career, I just knew that I wanted it to be within the food industry. My career within ABF so far has allowed be to get a huge variety of experiences as I’ve been lucky enough to work with 5 businesses across 8 sites.
Prior to starting the engineering scheme, I was offered a role with in Silver Spoon which gave me a fantastic introduction into the world of manufacturing. When I started the Engineering Scheme I moved to Allied Bakeries, where I joined the engineering craft team getting my hands dirty and really experiencing what life as an engineer is all about. I worked in a team to perform maintenance tasks around site.
As part of the engineering scheme you are given the chance to experience many different roles, such as maintenance planning and project engineering, I really enjoyed my time working in projects as it gave me a chance to take an idea, through design, right to implementation on site. During my time on projects not only did I do work for Allied Bakeries but I was also seconded on to projects for AB Sports Nutrition and Silver Spoon.
During my time on the scheme an opportunity came up to join Speedibake, where I worked as the Engineering Manager. The job, and huge step up in responsibility, was a massive draw for me, but this was also by far my biggest challenge to date. I managed a team of 15 engineers across multiple shifts and was also responsible for the engineering budget ensuring we were spending our money in the right places. The role was very tough, but I probably learned the most because of it.
I now work for AB World Foods in the projects team. ABF are supportive of you moving location/business, however you do need to be understanding that you are working within a FMCG business and with that in mind some things can happen quite quickly. It’s amazing how much businesses and sites can differ and the amount you can learn from working with different people and in different environments. I have definitely enjoyed some roles and businesses a lot more than others, however you need to be able to take the learnings from everything you do.
There are so many great reasons why I love working within ABF: the amazing network of people, the personal development, the variety of work. You are encouraged, especially during the early stages of your career, to get as many different experiences as possible. There are so many opportunities across ABF, you just need to be open about what you want (even if you don’t know!) and go out and make it happen.