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Laura Broome Alra secondment

My secondment at Arla Foods, Leeds

Laura Broome Alra secondment

On the 7th July 2014 I started my 7 week journey working at one of the world’s leading dairy facilities. I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to work at Arla to gain industry experience in all the different aspects of the organisation.

Before I started my secondment,  someone said this statement to me, “be a sponge Laura, just soak up all the information’” – and I can honestly say that is truly what I did.

My first week consisted of an induction programme covering all of these areas listed below:

Milk Intake

Milk Process and Production

Cream Process and Production

Cottage Cheese

Despatch

Quality and Laboratory

Supply Chain

Lean

Environment, Health and Safety

Engineering

The remaining 6 weeks of my secondment was split by spending 2 weeks working in milk process, 2 weeks in cream process and 2 weeks in the cottage cheese. At these times I worked closely with the technicians based in each of the areas. I gained an insight to the day-to-day processes from start to finish, establishing how products are made to meet customer needs. At times I operated the machines via the control rooms and other times I was out in the factory doing manual work e.g. mixing in powders to make flavoured milk or testing the cottage cheese pH levels.  I learnt about new technologies which included systems like Tetra Plantmaster, Master Production and Alfast. I also became familiar with SAP (systems, applications and products).

As well as working in the dairy I also had the opportunity to see other aspects of the food supply chain. I went to collect raw milk from farms for an afternoon, which was very interesting for me to see where the process of production starts. Also, I saw the other side of the process by delivering milk to supermarkets from 4am in the morning! This was very worthwhile for me.

alraArla supply all main stream supermarkets such as Asda, Tesco, and Morrisons. To be given to opportunity to work for a company making products seen on supermarkets shelves was very rewarding for me.

I have to be very thankful to Reaseheath and to Arla for making my secondment an amazing experience and one I will not forget.

Laura Broome

Andrew Moule alumni issue 2

Where are our students now? – Andrew Moule

Andrew Moule Graduate QandA - Copy
Andrew Moule

Production Manager – Muller Wiseman Dairies (Droitwich)

What attracted you to this job?

I have been working at Muller Wiseman Dairies for nearly eight years and had experience in nearly all areas of the  company’s production & logistics departments, so to manage the key production area of the business seems to be the most logical step to boost my experience, knowledge and provide me the key ingredients to step forward and progress within the business.

What does your typical day involve?

There are four roles which I undertake as Production Manager, these are Early Shift Duty Manager / Back Shift Duty Manager / Early Support Manager or Days. As duty manager I would oversee the sites milk process & production which is 5 milk pasteurisers, 3 cream pasteurisers, six standard milk filling lines, two ESL (extended shelf life) milk filling lines & 3 cream fillers. As support I would assist the Duty Manager on the early shift & on days I would concentrate on my department (Polybottle Filling) and address staffing issues for my 49 staff who report to me, health & safety & quality issues, performance improvements & general admin.

What gives you the most job satisfaction?

I would say, knowing that because of mine & my teams hard work everyone can have & their enjoy their milk every day with their tea, coffee & cereal.

Tell us more about your environment in terms of work-life balance…

Due to the nature of the business the shifts range from (04:30am to 14:30) or (14:30pm to finish) (Monday – Saturday) if I am duty manager on early or back shift. If I’m working days it’s Monday – Friday 7am – 16:00.

My Girlfriend works away in the week so most weekends I spend with her. This means working the shifts in the week isn’t an issue for me.

How did you get to where you are today?

I left school at 16 and took a part time job while I looked for full time work. My Dad who was working at Wiseman’s as a Driver told me about vacancies in the logistics chill loading vehicles. I was successful in getting the job and worked for 4 ½ years in the logistics chill doing various roles before in Oct 2010 I applied for “Project Eden” which was a course run by Wiseman’s to develop staff by sending successful applicants on a 3 year foundation degree course which consisted of blocks of around 4-7 weeks per time away at Reaseheath College.

Coupled with the companies positive attitude & support towards the course I was able to gain experience in most areas of the production side of the business, develop my skills, knowledge and connections & with the knowledge & skills learnt at Reaseheath I could work with the site teams on projects and support the site teams with my acquired skill set.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of following your path?

Gaining experience in a production environment would be a key benefit to anyone looking to go into production management.

Working or applying to a company which offers work based learning schemes such as “Project Eden” is a very good way to gain academic skills as well as practical “hands-on” skills which is what I believe employers look for.

How well is your job compensated? What is the starting salary for someone in your field, and how much can this be expected to rise?

Salaries are negotiated on experience & length of service so can vary.

Further to this, there are a range of opportunities within the business & industry to provide me a very secure & promising career in Dairy.

What kind of hobbies or extracurricular activities do you do to relax?

My main hobby is cars, I own a high performance car (Toyota MR2 Turbo Import – currently 300bhp) & enjoy very much all the work that goes into maintaining it.

Apart from that I enjoy the usual things, films, socializing with friends, computer games, spending time with my girlfriend etc.

Before taking the job as Production Manager, I worked for 5 years part-time as a Special Constable for West Mercia Police, which was an amazing experience. However, due to the nature of the role, I had to leave the police to fully commit to my new job as it was infeasible undertaking two highly demanding jobs.

Chris Budd alumni issue 1

Where are our students now? – Chris Budd

Each month we’ll look at past students and give you some information about what they’re doing in the food industry.

This month starts with Chris Budd. Chris was with us for six years – he studied his Level 3 National Diploma here, and then went on to study his Foundation Degree and graduated with a 2:1 in his BSc (Hons) Food Technology. Chris made the most of his time in College, and took a year’s paid work placement in industry to gain further experience.

Here’s his experience:

Where-are-our-students-now-Chris-Budd“I studied at Reaseheath College for 6 years in total, beginning with a National Diploma in Food Manufacturing and Nutrition, and leaving with a BSc Hons Food Industry with Management.

During my time at Reaseheath, I gained valuable experience working in creameries, working with retail and own label products, including frozen and ambient.

I also gained additional qualifications such as Level 3 Food Safety and Level Auditing and Inspection Skills, which have helped my C.V. standout when I was looking for employment.

Reaseheath College, in conjunction with Harper Adams University College, are well recognised within the food industry and are known to deliver high quality courses as well as graduates that are prepared for employment.

When I left Reaseheath, I was actively seeking employment, and it didn’t take too long before I was offered interviews.

I successfully landed a job within the Samworth Brothers Group in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, as a Process Development Technologist at Kettleby Foods.

In my role, I support all departments in the concept, trialling and launching of high quality ready-meal’s for retail.

Working in the FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) arena has its challenges, and my role offers great variation, from attending customer panels, to managing factory trials, to visiting suppliers.

I believe that I had the best preparation I could have from Reaseheath, and I am confident that the skills and knowledge gained has set me up for a long and prosperous career in the food industry.”

Chris will shortly be moving to a new job with greater responsibilities, working as a New Product Development manager for the Covent Garden Soup Company.