University Placement with a Difference!
March 2018

By Bronagh McErlean

For the last 6 weeks’ I have had the privilege of completing my university placement at Finnebrogue Artisan as a Marketing Assistant. When applying for placement Finnebrogue were very pro-active in engaging with me prior to starting my placement in February. Thereby building great excitement and anticipation for my first experience in industry with the marketing team.

Since joining I have been engaged in many different tasks allowing me the opportunity to interact with different departments within the business and gain further communication skills. I have worked on mini-enterprises, promotional shows across the UK, social media content planning and analysis, product tastings and feedback, shipment preparation and stock checks. I have learned and developed many skills which previously I had only heard about in lectures.

Five of my six weeks on placement were spent working side by side with one of Finnebrogue’s key customers at trade exhibitions throughout Great Britain. I got to visit new cities, learn about event management and what goes into building an exhibition stand including briefing designers and printers on how we wanted theartwork to look and the most efficient material to print on for transporting to each venue. At our stand we sampled sausages and burgers, therefore I also needed to sit my Food Safety Level 2 exam which I passed straight away. The shows were fantastic for building on my interpersonal skills – I had to communicate with the team on cooking procedures, temperatures and stock levels while also liaising with our customer (Booker) and answering questions on our products to their wholesale customers.

Back at Finnebrogue in Downpatrick, my organisational skills were put to test organising parcels and stock shipments to England for the Enterprise Live shows. Ialso got to create a social media content plan for two of brands (Good Little Company & Rankin Selection), briefing the designer on the graphics I would like to post on the pages alongside the competitions or promotions. I got to know the market by completing weekly basket checks against our competitors and thereby getting hands on experience with market research.

This placement has enabled me to step out on my own and work independently with help and support if need. I couldn’t thank my team in Finnebrogue enough for everything that has been done for me; this experience has been phenomenal and will definitely contribute to my employability opportunities.