Vicky Roberts

Country of origin: United Kingdom

Category Analyst, Pennine Foods

I chose to study at LUMS on the BSc in Marketing Management because the course offered so much variety, especially with the first year allowing the study of three different subjects. I was also attracted by the reputation of LUMS and when I visited the University it just felt right, like this was the place I would enjoy myself in and get the best experience I could from a university. Also, the option in my course to have a third year industrial placement really enticed me, as I felt it would enable me to gain practical experience to aid my degree further.

I particularly liked the fact that my final year offered so many interesting courses where you could really be interactive. You didn’t just sit and listen to the teacher but you got to share your opinion and learn by engaging with your peers.

In my first two years at Lancaster I became actively involved in a number of extra-curricular activities. These included writing for the music section of Lancaster University’s student paper, Scan, being a member and then Social Secretary of Lancaster Conservative Future executive. I was also an active member of Lancaster University Debating Society, competed in inter-varsity competitions across the UK, hosted a radio show on the University radio station, Bailrigg FM, and worked with Lancaster University’s Volunteering Unit, doing creative arts with primary school children.

My third-year industrial placement as a sales executive at Cadbury UK was hard work but definitely enjoyable and it armed me with so much knowledge. I was in a field sales role focusing around distribution, display and activity of Cadbury.

I self-managed a call file of over 170 outlets and had the sole responsibility to ensure they stocked the best products in the most impulsive buying position in store, and informed retailers about upcoming new product development.

My drive and determination in the role was demonstrated when I won the ‘Best Win’ within my division (out of over 40 experienced sales executives) within my third month of joining Cadbury UK. I also achieved 8th in the company rankings of 218 sales executives nationwide for achieving my targets as I was always striving for excellence. These targets were achieved by using my listening skills to hear what my customer (the retailer) needed, tailoring my targets to meet their needs and customised solutions through problem solving.

Not only could I see the theory I was taught in practice but I learned what it was like to work for a multi-national organisation without being guided by a syllabus. Even learning how to apply for the placement equipped me with skills, so that I was able to leave University not only with a degree, but with a confirmed job offer too.

I am now working at Pennine Foods (part of Northern Foods) as a Category Analyst, on their Commercial Graduate Scheme.