Case Studies

Stephen Plummer - Graduate Trainee Production Manager

Company Name: Tulip

Location: Cornwall

University: UWE (University of The West of England ), Bristol

Degree: Business Studies.   

Graduated: 2008

I started working for Tulip in October 2008, based primarily in Redruth in Cornwall, but I also work at the Bugle and Bodmin sites on occasion.

Why did you apply for this role?
It was the variety involved in the role that attracted me with it being both hands on and analytical.  I didn’t really know what to expect from the role but the challenge and opportunity to learn new skills in a dynamic industry was what excited me about it.

What does your job involve?
Over the last 6 months I have been based at the Bugle site, which has a wide variety of functions and activities, including a boning hall, processing for different types of cure, a joints and slicing department and a smaller cooked meats function.  During the first few weeks I spent time getting an overview of the departments and their different processes, activities and how they work together.  I then looked at each area and activity in more detail to create a better base of knowledge.  This has involved both theoretical and practical hands-on work, giving me variety in my job and making the role very interesting.

How has your job role changed?
The role has involved a great deal of learning every day, due to the variety of activities in the factories in Cornwall. I have worked in a large number of areas to learn an overview of the operations so the role has been extremely varied. During the busy Christmas period I was teamed with a manager and helped to run the cooked meats department, as throughput in this area increases more than ten fold at that time of year. This allowed me to understand and develop different approaches to organisation and people management.

What are you doing now?
I have just finished helping to implement a new SAP computer system into the Engineering and Dispatch functions.  This involved ensuring that systems were in place to make it run smoothly, providing the information needed to support the people using the SAP system.  Although the project was complex, I enjoyed it and learnt a lot from it.  I am just about to move back to the Redruth site where I will be based for the rest of the scheme, working on projects looking at product yields and efficiencies and lean management functions.

What are your key responsibilities?
My main responsibility so far has been to develop my knowledge, understanding and experience of the processes used, the industry, the products and terminology.  I have not had day to day responsibilities as such due to the fact that I have been working in so many different areas and learning a great deal.

What are your professional plans for the next 12-18 months in this role?
My plan going forward is to be involved in part of a steering committee for a number of different projects.  My role will involve a focus on management training to help prepare me for a managerial role within 18 months.  I am currently working through an I.L.M. course which will result in a qualification related to management development, helping me to improve whilst working in the role.

What do you like most about your role?
I enjoy the variety involved.  I also like a challenge and the fact that role is very demanding due to the fact there is so much to learn and understand. This also means each day is different! Both mental and physical work is involved, including getting more “hands on” in the factory. I enjoy the fact that that I can be so involved.

What do you like most about Tulip as an employer?
I have joined Tulip at an exciting time as the organisation is going through much change, moving forward and focusing on the future and becoming very dynamic.  Also, the possibilities and opportunities for someone willing to put their all in, are endless.

What advice would you give someone considering this as a career?
The nature of the industry is very different to other experiences I have had in different work places.  For this reason the best advice I could give is don’t be shy, and make the most of any opportunities that you get, as someone that is willing to work hard and push themselves will go far.


Select a different case study:

Email this page to a friend Facebook Twitter DZone It! Digg It! StumbleUpon Technorati NewsVine Reddit Blinklist Add diigo bookmark