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Taking the leap

I’m a student at Harper Adams University in Shropshire, and I’m studying Agribusiness. My course covers a variety of important topics within the agricultural industry, including livestock production, fresh produce, sales and customer service, and more. I’ve got roots in farming, and I’ve always been interested in the 'farm to fork' journey. After studying for two years, I knew this was the path I wanted my career to take. So, when the chance to work with Co-op’s Farming & Fisheries team came around, I grabbed the opportunity with both hands. The great thing about Co-op is that they take on nine undergraduates at a time, which is rare for a course like mine. Starting a new job can be daunting, but I’ve found sharing the journey with other undergraduates really comforting.

More than just a job

The idea of working at Co-op was an extremely exciting prospect. For me, Co-op is more than just a place I've shopped before. As a farmer's daughter, I’ve always been impressed with their commitment to their British farmers and growers. I grew up watching my Dad produce beef cattle, and now I’ve finally got the chance to learn about the process – not just on the farm side of things, but from start to finish. My placement with Co-op started in July this year, and I’ve already learnt a lot. I’ve attended a few training courses already, and I feel like my placement here will benefit my professional and personal life for years to come. Plus, the colleagues I work with have years of experience in agriculture and retail, and the knowledge I get from them is invaluable.

Life at Co-op

My day-to-day role is always changing, and I love the variety and spontaneity my job brings. The colleagues in my team have been really welcoming, and I feel so lucky that the ideas and opinions I bring to the table are valued and appreciated, even as an undergraduate. Every day is a learning day at Co-op, and there are lots of opportunities to develop your skills; from farm visits to agriculture talks, industry events, supplier networking, campaigns and more. Visiting Co-op’s farming groups is one of my favourite parts of the role, and it’s amazing to see how dedicated and proud our farmers are.

Leaving the countryside and moving to Manchester to work at Co-op’s head office has been a huge change, but I’m so glad I took the leap. I meet new people from all walks of life every day and getting to know all the colleagues on my team has been great for my confidence. I’m truly loving every second, and I can’t wait to meet more people as my journey at Co-op continues.

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