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How you can secure a graduate role with Pernod Ricard - Taylor's story

Book open Reading time: 5 mins

I’m Taylor, and I recently joined Pernod Ricard after graduating from Warwick University in 2021. I studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics with a particular focus on Philosophy and Economics, as well as an external module from Warwick Business School. At university I was the President of one of the UK’s first Retail and Luxury Societies, hosting events focused on a range of topics such as the age of digital fashion, sustainability, and the spirits and wine industry - topics and industries that I have a strong personal interest in. My work experiences before joining Pernod Ricard consisted mostly of marketing roles within a few different areas including the automobile industry, promotion and loyalty, and graphic design.

What is your role and how long have you been at Pernod Ricard?

I joined Pernod Ricard just over two months ago as a Graduate Business Development Executive on the Commercial Graduate Scheme. My role mostly consists of working within the field sales team, but I am currently undertaking my eight-week placement in customer marketing. I have also had the opportunity to shadow Brand Activation Executives and experience roles similar to mine in the off-trade, giving me a well-rounded understanding of how the business operates.

What inspired you to apply for this role/Pernod Ricard?

I have had a long-term interest in the wine and spirits industry, so when I found the Commercial Graduate Scheme listed on Bright Network, I was excited to apply. Pernod Ricard’s portfolio also includes some of my favourite brands, so the opportunity to be a part of these brands was a major reason to apply. The role also gives you a chance to understand different areas of the business which is very important to me.

What has been the single most important thing you learnt so far in your job?

Whilst I have already learnt a plethora of information from joining Pernod Ricard, one of the most important things I have learnt is the importance of being proactive. It is important to always look for opportunities to be a part of something within the company, whether this is a project that you find interesting, an activation at a bar close to your house, or if it's simply asking plenty of questions. I think that this also relates to having a growth mindset and encouraging yourself to further develop your knowledge and skills. A growth mindset is also transferable and applicable to everyday life, and something that I encourage myself to utilise daily.

What would a ‘normal’ day look like for someone in your role?

Being a part of the Pernod Ricard Graduate scheme, every day has been different. The start of the grad scheme consisted of bettering our brand knowledge and taking part in informative and engaging pieces of training. A ‘normal day’ in the Business Development Executive role consists of visiting seven on-trade venues in your patch, having a conversation with the managers and seeing how we can aid them concerning the sales and listings of our products. A normal day might involve discussing some of our new products, helping them design a seasonal menu, and auditing the bar. In customer marketing, a normal day is spent at the office working on an array of exciting projects. This could include briefing the design team, coming up with ideas for branded point of sale, or attending group meetings. It's great to have this variation as it keeps the job exciting.

What do you find most interesting with the sector you’re in?

Being a part of the Wine and Spirits sector, there are plenty of interesting aspects to be gripped by. I will start by saying that I am most interested in how much there is to learn. Since joining Pernod, I have learnt a lot about spirits, and I continue to learn more every day. Training has consisted of brand briefings, tastings, and bar school, giving me a much wider knowledge of our brands and the industry. Working in this sector has also allowed me to meet different people every day, from all walks of life. I have had amazing conversations with cocktail creators, set designers, bar managers, and even influencers that all have ties to the wine and spirit sector. It is really interesting to see how the sector can bring people together.

What is the culture like?

Pernod Ricard prides itself on its convivial culture, and when working at Pernod it becomes apparent that this is not just a buzzword. The culture is open, fun, and friendly. At the core of the company is the importance of geniality and having conversations. Everybody wants to know what you are working on, how you are doing, and if they can help you with anything you need. The culture makes Pernod Ricard an undoubtedly happy place to work.

Have you had the opportunity to get involved in any activities outside work?

Whilst there are a range of outside opportunities to get involved in, my personal favourite is attending our brand activations which take place all around the UK. So far, I have been to Absolut, Jameson, and Malfy activations which have all represented their respective brand perfectly. The events allow you to meet new colleagues that have worked on the event, take part in games, and even enjoy a cocktail, whilst seeing how the brand come to life. It is also a great way to see how our consumers get to experience our brands.

How did you find the application process?

The application process for Pernod Ricard was by far my favourite of any job I had applied to previously. Although the five-step process may seem daunting at first, the employers are incredibly welcoming and warm. Questions are welcomed, and it was as much about finding out if the role is something for you as it is for them. I particularly enjoyed the assessment centre where I got to meet some of my current colleagues whilst getting a stronger feel for the company culture and the importance of collaboration within Pernod. Most importantly, it is what made me realise that I truly wanted the job.

Finally, any tips for anyone who’d like to apply for a role at Pernod Ricard?

If you are applying for a role then don’t be afraid to ask questions, it is important to be curious and find out why you think you would fit the role and company culture. Show how passionate you are, whether this is towards the industry, the company or the portfolio. It is important to be open and authentic, so most importantly, be yourself!