Name: Francesca Slonker
Job title: Digital marketing apprentice
Company & location: Seven Brothers Brewing Co, Salford
Education: Blackburn College, UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design (Photography)
Why did you decide to go for a career in food? After completing my photography diploma at college, I wanted to find a career that would be rewarding as well as allow me to still be creative. I’ve always had a keen interest in the food and drink industry, as well as having a good knowledge of breweries and craft beer. I began following food and drink social media accounts, and quite quickly it seemed as though digital marketing would be something I would enjoy and allow me to utilise my photography and creative writing experience. I happened to come across this position with Seven Brothers, a brewery which I was already familiar with, so it felt like the perfect opportunity!
Explain your job to us in a sentence (or two): My job consists of creating content for social media as well as learning on the job as part of the apprenticeship. The world of social media is changing all the time so it is exciting keeping up with all the trends within the food and drink industry in marketing.
What does a typical day look like for you? In the fast-paced brewing industry, no two days are the same. Even facing the current struggles of Covid, it hasn’t affected the fact that the business still continues to be exciting as ever. A typical day for me involves sifting through the social media accounts for recent activity, checking for any trends arising in the media and planning and producing content for upcoming posts to go out as scheduled. When coronavirus isn’t around and we’re not having to work from home the majority of the time, day-to-day working can be fairly spontaneous. One day I could be shooting photographs in one of the Seven Brothers beer houses or the brewery, and the next, I could be exploring beer festivals and events.
“Being thrown in at the deep end gives you real life experiences that you wouldn’t necessarily get whilst studying”
Tell us about how you went about applying for your job. I applied for my job through the apprenticeship provider The Juice Academy. Initially I handed in my CV as well as a lengthy application form, I was then invited to attend a bootcamp day where there would be several employers looking to recruit apprentices. I went to the event open-minded, but I had my heart set on the position with Seven Brothers. It was an intense day of interviews with the number of employers, but it was a great experience. I feel incredibly lucky to have got the job with Seven Brothers, and I was proud to be chosen from around 30 candidates.
What’s the best part about working for a food company? I love that the food and drink industry is ever changing, and every day is different. The best thing about working for Seven Brothers, in particular, is the fact they are, quite literally, just one big family; it’s great to be a part of that! Working right in the heart of the brewery, it is amazing to see the sheer amount of work that goes into the production of the beer all the way to the delivery and sales. Whenever I see our beer on the shelves or on tap in bars, it makes me feel proud to work for such a rapidly growing company.
And what’s the biggest misconception people have about working in food & drink? I don’t think people realise how much work really goes on behind the scenes, especially within the brewing industry, even more so seeing as there are two (and counting) beer houses to run as well! When you tell people that you work in a brewery they just assume you lounge around drinking beer all day but it’s far from it. There is always so much to be getting on with!
What advice would you give to other young people looking to get into the food & drink industry? For me personally, I am so glad I went straight into working in the industry through my apprenticeship rather studying at university where industry links are not always so strong. Being thrown in at the deep end gives you real life experiences that you wouldn’t necessarily get whilst studying.
What’s your ultimate career dream? At the moment, I am not entirely sure. I am so happy being able to share my creativity, growing with the brand and a fantastic team and just see where that takes me in the future.