Name

James Outram

Which company do you work for?

Brooksby Foods (Samworth Brothers)

What is your job?

Trainee Manager

Tell us about your experience of working with Discovery Graduates

The interview made me feel relaxed but it was challenging at the same time. I found the Discovery Graduates team to be really easy to talk to and supportive when progressing to the second stage interview with Samworth Brothers.

How easy/challenging did you find searching for a graduate job?

As my initial role with Samworth Brothers was on a placement year, I was fortunate enough to be offered a permanent role when graduating. The process for finding a placement was painless for me, as I identified Samworth Brothers as a company I wanted to work for from the start.

Is your job the kind of job you anticipated doing when you left university?

A large amount of my time is now being spent on category marketing at Brooksby, a field of work I didn’t know existed before I started work with Samworth Brothers. So in short, no, although it does fit under the banner of Marketing – which I studied.

Tell us about your experience of starting work

Starting work as a graduate was really straightforward for me, as I had completed a placement and had already gained experience of the world of work. When I started my placement year I have to admit that I was initially overwhelmed by all the processes and structures that one company can have. But once you’ve had a month or so to settle in, it becomes a lot more of a natural way of thinking and behaving.

What have you learnt in your first 6/12 months?

Since graduating, I have had a lot more face time and exposure to various customers. I think for the type of career I’m trying to build in Marketing, this kind of experience is vital.

What was the steepest learning curve for you?

The steepest learning curves for me have been when asked to do a role I didn’t necessarily choose to do. I found that although I didn’t initially want to work in some roles within the group, they helped me gain a much broader understanding of how the functions of an organisation all link together.

What support have you had along the way in terms of training/development/mentoring etc?

I have monthly reviews which assess my progression and set objectives for my long and short term development. I will be looking in to some more role specific training over the next couple of months, to try and build stronger knowledge in category marketing.

What do you enjoy most about work?

In a way, I enjoy getting through a stressful period to reach a reward – for example: When launching a range of new products, it can be really stressful. There are a lot of long hours involved but once you see the products on the shelf and performing well, it is highly rewarding. The people are really good to work with, too!

What do you enjoy the least or find the hardest?

I find it difficult when shouting for help whenever I’ve got a heavy workload. It’s a bad trait to have and I’m sure it will improve with time but I always feel guilty if I have to get others to do my work for me.

Do you feel that school/university prepared you for work?

Not at all, I felt that a lot of my education was preparing me for exams and not for the real world. I would highly recommend placements and internships to anyone still in education.

What would your advice be to students or recent graduates who are looking for a job?

If you are looking for work, you need to know what you are applying for and ensure your application is immaculate. Don’t allow yourself to work in a role or company you hate, a lot of my friends have taken on graduate roles on 2 year contracts which have not delivered.

How would you describe the culture at Samworth Brothers?

Having worked at 2 sites and visited others, I feel that Samworth Brothers are a really friendly company to work for with quite a welcoming, family atmosphere. I feel that the company has a really good policy for being friendly and welcoming, whilst still remaining professional and productive.