Posted 7 July
A rewarding – and challenging - year working on logistics, property, store operations and more for supermarket chain Aldi has seen a Harper Adams student secure a placement award.
Final year BSc (Hons) Agri-food Marketing with Business student, Livvy Bennett Jones, was named the inaugural winner of the newly-sponsored Cultura Connect prize for her performance while on placement with Aldi at this year’s Harper Adams Placement awards.
Livvy, from Powys in Mid Wales, was chosen as the best performer from a business or food course while on placement.
She secured her prize after meeting and discussing her role with Cultura Connect Managing Director and Harper alumnus Hugh Pocock –receiving her award from him at a ceremony earlier this year.
She said: “I was very surprised to be honest – I could see there were other good candidates. My placement year was wonderful – and when I met Hugh from Cultura Connect, I was just grateful for the chance to get to speak with him!”
Livvy’s placement with Aldi began with a month working hands on in-store as a store assistant, before undergoing store manager training and fulfilling the role of assistant store manager travelling across large parts of England and Wales and immersing herself in Aldi’s work.
She added: “I worked in the Neston region – that covers Liverpool, parts of the North West of England, and parts of Wales – even as far as Newtown in Mid Wales, near where I’m from.
“No two days were the same – in February, I moved up to head office in Neston for four months where I undertook project management– I was here there and everywhere, working in logistics, property, store operations and more.
“Finally, I did a couple of weeks shadowing my mentor, allowing me to get a real feel for the Area Manager graduate scheme, I thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in the running of five busy stores within my mentor’s area.
“At the start of my placement, it was quite overwhelming – Aldi threw you in at the deep end. I had a lot of responsibility, and I can’t believe how much people respected my viewpoint.
“The main thing that drew me to Harper Adams was the placement year – that and the support you get drew me to Harper - and the opportunity to get to go and work for someone like Aldi is great.
“It was really challenging – when people come to me for advice about placement, I tell them it’s a great opportunity – but you have to be prepared to work hard.
“If you do, you see results.”
With her final exams now completed, Livvy is hoping to travel before taking up her first graduate role – having made plans to travel to New Zealand for work after her graduation this autumn.
She credits her time at university with helping to develop her skills, contacts, and friendships, and adds: “It has been great – my time at Harper Adams really has been brilliant, any questions you have are dealt with and I have always got on really well with my course tutors.
“I have made both great friends and great contacts.
“I was also awarded a Clyde Higgs Undergraduate Scholarship, and as of that, I am part of a wide group of alumni – I liked getting the opportunity to network in that way.
“I wasn’t going to go to university at first– I was helping out farming at home – but coming here was the best decision I have made so far!”