Emma was placed by Young Foodies and shares her experience of working for a food and drink start up.
What is your current role?
I'm a Field Sales Executive for Unrooted Drinks, a startup health drinks brand.
Did you always know what job you wanted after graduating?
I have always really loved food and drink and throughout university knew I wanted to go into that industry. I also knew I wanted to join a business that provided a combination of the commercial side of things with something I loved so I thought what better way to achieve that than through joining a small food and drink business.
Did you know you wanted to go into a Sales role?
Not at all, I was looking at any sort of entry level job in a small business. Young Foodies supported me in learning about the different types of jobs available in the FMCG industry and what a Sales job would actually entail. I didn't know much about Sales at the time and hadn’t really considered it but, as soon as I had read more about what it involved I knew it was perfect for me.
Now that you are working in Sales, what core personality traits would you say are well suited for a Salesperson in the FMCG industry?
You have to be a people person, that is definitely the most important thing. Before I knew more about Sales roles I always knew I wanted to do something where I would be working with people and then discovered sales as the perfect fit. You need to be flexible, it's not your normal nine to five, sit at a desk all day. And you have to be quite independent, you have to be confident planning your own diary and getting out and about.
What would you say that you are enjoying the most so far in your job?
I'm learning so much every day - about business in general and also more about Sales and the strategies that go behind it. The freedom and flexibility are amazing - I spend most of my time in London, but I'm doing so many different things all over the UK. I've done trips to Manchester and I'll be doing trips to Brighton and Bristol, there are just so many different opportunities. I love being able to go out and about, meeting and speaking to new people and not being stuck at a desk 24/7. Having a new experience every day is just amazing.
What three things do you love the most about the startup world?
It's fun, it's really dynamic and every day is different.
You feel like you're really making an impact and your voice is heard.
Is there anything that pleasantly surprised you about working in the startup FMCG industry?
I think the fact that brands are out there to support each other. There's a lot of camaraderie in the smaller brands and everyone knows everyone.
What would your advice be for someone looking to find a job in a startup brand within the food and drink industry?
Join a brand that you feel passionate about, get to know the story behind them and their product because your job will be selling this brand and making it go somewhere. And so if it's something that you don't feel anything towards, you're not going to give it your best effort. I didn't know about Unrooted before I started but I knew I wanted to work for a small, sustainable business, and I felt passionately about trying to cut down on emissions and food waste - I knew that that's something I could sell.
Find out how you can kickstart your career with Young Foodies here.