MY name is Charlotte Grossie and I live in Portrush, County Antrim. I completed a BSc Honours Degree in Food Technology at Loughry campus, CAFRE.
I have always had a keen interest in the agri-food industry and the practical based courses at Loughry campus made CAFRE an appealing choice. I was impressed by the high employability rate of students after graduation.
Alongside the fun, I particularly enjoyed the many taste panels and the frequent practicals in the Food Technology Centre – we were able to get hands-on experience and use the extensive range of food processing equipment and technologies to develop our skills for the workplace. I certainly was not disappointed! As a result, CAFRE Loughry campus graduates are highly sought after by the food industry.
The BSc Food Technology degree consisted of a wide range of modules that opened my eyes to the many job options within the food and drink sector – Lean Manufacture and Food Packaging were my favourite.
This interest led me to work in a packaging company for my placement year, as part of my degree. During my paid placement, the company allowed me to study for the Diploma in Packaging, which is an excellent part-time course available to study at CAFRE. This course gave me a great insight into the world of packaging trends and processes.
The ability to network was invaluable, not only with those on the course but also with working professionals during site visits. The placement year was worthwhile as it provided valuable experience and let me put my knowledge into practice.
I am currently working for Diageo, based in Belfast. Diageo is a global leader in the manufacture and sales of alcoholic beverages, with over 200 brands worldwide across spirits and beer. I am a member of the Off-Trade Team and I support the Key Account Manager, overseeing all major supermarkets in Northern Ireland.
Upholding high levels of customer service, alongside building and maintaining customer relationships is vital within my role. I am therefore in regular contact with each customer to forecast sales demands, which are then communicated across to our production and supply teams.
During Covid-19, my role has been challenging, however, it is extremely rewarding to be part of an industry that has shown great resilience over the past few months.
My studies at CAFRE and my placement experience enabled me to receive an offer of employment within the first month of graduation – I would highly recommend the courses at CAFRE. It is a great place to study and it has provided me with many opportunities.
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