Name: Anna Maitland
Job title: national account manager - impulse
Company: KIND Snacks, London
Education: Sociology at Edinburgh University
Why did you decide to go for a career in food?
I knew I wanted to work in a fast-paced (and less corporate) industry, so innovative food brands have always interested me. It all started when the guys at Vita Coco offered a part-time role with them whilst I finished my degree. I felt it was a good time to try it out and I’ve never looked back.
Explain your job to us in a sentence (or two):
I manage the whole distributor and wholesale side of the business, from the end customers to the head offices.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Every day is different at KIND! I am either out and about meeting customers or chasing things up from behind my desk. We’re a small team so everyone chips in to help other parts of the business when they can.
Tell us about how you went about applying for your job. What was the process like?
The worst question I can remember was ‘what are the top three things you need to develop’
I was fortunate as someone who I had previously worked with had also recently moved to KIND, so I heard about the role early on. There were three stages in the interview. First stage was an informal coffee with Kate, our MD. The second stage was to present the 2017 Wholesale Channel Strategy and the final stage was a Skype with the HR team in the US. The worst question I can remember was ‘what are the top three things you need to develop’… nobody prepares three answers for that question!
What’s the best part about working for a food company?
I struggle to narrow this down to one. It would either be the sense of satisfaction when seeing a stranger with a KIND bar or the friends you make in the industry (plus the constant supply of snacks).
And what’s the biggest misconception people have about working in food & drink?
That it is relaxed. Yes, it’s a less formal environment to be in than a lot of industries but that doesn’t reflect the workload.
What advice would you give to other young people looking to get into the food & drink industry?
Some of the best people I know in the industry kicked off their career in field sales
Don’t shy away from field sales. It gives you a really good grounding and understanding of how fmcg works. Some of the best people I know in the industry kicked off their career in field sales.
What’s your ultimate career dream?
To have the satisfaction of helping others and giving back in my everyday role.
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