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Work Experience: Helena's Tales from AAF

As part of our effort to help and develop people of all ages where we can, we took on two new temporary members of staff in the form Helena and Ross, who both did a bunch of awesome work and proved to be real keen learners too. Each of them wrote something for our blog, too, on their time at the Tree House. First of all, we have Helena talking about her time in finance, marketing and sales, and how this may help her going forward:

 

Hi! My name is Helena and here is the story of my two weeks at All About Food!

I am currently a sixth form student going into my final year at school, so when Katie B in the finance team told me about the work experience placement here at AAF, I thought it would be a great opportunity to gain some insight into the working world and give me something to write about in my personal statement for University whilst enjoying myself at the same time! My favourite subject in school is Business Studies and I hope to go to university in the future, perhaps to study Business Management and Marketing, so the fortnight I spent at AAF taught me so much about what my future could look like and much more.

During my first week in the Tree House I was with the finance and supply chain team, where I learnt about purchase invoicing, sales invoicing and sales order processing. On Monday morning I attended my first AAF village huddle with the whole team of Foodies, where I quickly noticed that everyone was super welcoming and friendly! Throughout the week I also worked on Microsoft Excel, even gaining a Level 2 understanding of the programme after I completed a morning of intense training! I observed a workshop on IDP (individual development programme) and also learnt about the complaints and new product development processes. This I found really interesting. I finished the week off with Mug Club lunch which is a community event where I helped to make GBK burgers for an American themed party for local carers. We had lots of fun singing and dancing along with the entertainment, courtesy of The Power of Music!

In my second week at AAF I swapped the numbers of finance for the creativity of marketing and sales. I spent the week learning a lot about the different brands within the AAF family, food trends in 2016/17, supermarkets and how they operate and new product development. On Tuesday, me and Ross (who was also on work experience) went to various supermarkets in the area including Tesco, Asda, Iceland, Morrison’s and convenience stores. We were taught about how these companies present their products, the different marketing techniques used and the differences between wholesale, convenience and grocery retailers. Wednesday might have been one of the best days (maybe ever?!) as we went to the Red’s True BBQ restaurant in Liverpool One and ate so much amazing food. Ross and I were set a project to complete over the week, in which we had to launch three new products for Red’s and a new brand idea, so our trip to the restaurant was technically for research! I finished my last week working on our project ready to present it on Friday after an amazing goodbye lunch. A truly lovely treat!

In summary, my two weeks at AAF taught me so much about the grocery industry and about the business world in general, something which I am so interested in. I’m really glad I got this opportunity to further my knowledge and gain valuable experience – even though I had to wake up at 7 o'clock in the summer holidays! Thank you to all the incredible Foodies that helped me, you all taught me about confidence, social and practical skills and how to be a good businesswoman! I look forward to my future and hope I can one day be like you all.