Name: Annabelle May
Job title: technical graduate
Company: Greenvale AP graduate scheme – placement with The Jersey Royal Company, Jersey
Education: MA in German with Management Studies, The University of Aberdeen
Why did you decide to join the graduate scheme at Greenvale? Did you always have an interest in food?
My family run a strawberry business in East Yorkshire and this sparked my interest in food from a young age. After completing a dissertation on the British strawberry industry as part of my degree, I knew that fresh produce was an area I wanted to go into. Greenvale AP are well recognised in the industry and came across as being really friendly throughout the interview process.
Tell us about the application process for the scheme. How was that structured?
We had to write and present a report for the second day of the assessment centre. Nobody got much sleep that night!
The application process comprised five stages: sending in a CV & cover letter, telephone interview, face-to-face interview, psychometric tests, and the final stage was a two-day assessment centre. We had to write and present a report for the second day of the assessment centre after attending an evening meal. Nobody got much sleep that night!
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What does a typical day look like for you now?
Throughout my placement in Jersey I have been doing crop modelling for 50 fields, alongside a harvester waste project. I also did some work with the wholesale market. I head to the office to place allocations for the wholesale market in the morning, and then I am out and about in the fields in the afternoon to check canopy coverage and complete yield digs
What’s the best part about working for a food company?
Aside from the free potatoes, there are always new challenges arising, no day is the same!
What’s the biggest misconception people have about working in food – and fresh produce in particular?
There are so many different areas to go into, not just horticulture/agriculture. So far I have been working in three different sites in the roles of HR, marketing and technical. I have been surprised about how varied it can be.
What advice would you give to other young people looking to get into the food & drink industry?
I have been surprised about how varied it can be.
Go ahead and apply, there are so many opportunities out there, including travel. I got the chance to live on sunny Jersey for five months!
What’s your ultimate career dream?
I am passionate about the dynamic world of fruit and vegetables and would love to explore a career in category insight working closely with this sector.
Last but not least: tell us your best potato fact.
Jersey Royal manages all of its own seed stocks which are “stood” by hand: is it amazing to see it in action!