Having studied Classics at Exeter there was no obvious direction for me to take following my graduation in 2016 in regards to any career, let alone a career in marketing services. I wanted to choose something that was diverse, challenging, would teach me a range of skills and most importantly have a global outlook. Thankfully I was lucky enough to do an internship at adm in the summer of my second year and I immediately applied once I heard they had started a three year Grad Scheme with the opportunity for a placement abroad in year two.
When I first joined in September I became part of the Diageo account team and was placed in Diageo HQ working on local GB ad hoc projects across all brands. I was very quickly given briefs to work on and began working with clients and suppliers to turn projects around with tight lead-times. Being placed in Diageo was a great bonus as I had the chance of developing firmer relationships with the clients and got to know the whole range of brands much better through in-house activations and launches. In my second week, Diageo was promoting a new Smirnoff cocktail which entailed a long ‘Lunch and Learn’ and plenty of sampling!
After those first three months I rotated across to the catalogue side of the Diageo account team back at adm HQ. I was working specifically on Johnnie Walker but also got involved in Captain Morgan and Smirnoff for the UK summer festival season. Working back in adm HQ highlighted the global scale of the company, particularly when you end up delivering products to countries from Germany to Kazakhstan and beyond to Japan. This scheme has allowed me to have a holistic view and involvement in the true end to end marketing solutions that adm offer their clients, joining together product development while driving economies of scale. Daily you are conversing not only with people from all across the globe, dealing with a variety of cultures, but also navigating a host of different currencies, exchange rates and market methodologies. However, this challenging work throughout the week is not complete unless you end up having Friday night drinks with the team at Village Fayre, Kensington Village’s infamous pub!
I now find myself five months into my second year abroad in Hong Kong, working in the Global Sourcing Centre on the Diageo Europe account. This has been an invaluable opportunity to work on the supplier side of the business and has invariably increased my product knowledge with frequent opportunities to head across the border into China to visit our factories. Being based in this central hub opens your eyes to adm’s global reach, you deal with all of our account teams around the world and procure POS products on a vast scale. Hong Kong itself is a fantastic place to live and work, a bustling hub of activity where you can be in the middle of the city one second and out in the mountains the next, you can never get bored!
Being part of this grad scheme has taught me so much more than I anticipated and that’s largely a result of its global nature and the opportunities adm offer to work on such well-known brands which are part of our everyday lives. It’s exciting to be part of a company that is so clearly growing at an exponential rate and expanding into different regions across the world, offering opportunities to young grads to join them and develop along the way.