Operations Consultant, UK
"I think commitment, leadership skills and determination are crucial to ensure that I develop sufficiently to succeed on this graduate scheme"
Why did you join Smurfit Kappa?
I decided to apply to the SK graduate scheme as I really liked the profile of the company and the scheme. The opportunity to work for a large multi-national corporation really appealed to me. I was particularly drawn to the set-up of the graduate scheme which incorporates four placements of six months, each in a different discipline.
I hope that by the end of the two years I will have had exposure to, and experience of, many of the issues which a successful global business must face and manage on a daily basis. I hope to then be equipped with the skills necessary to become an accomplished manager of the future.
What is a typical day like in Smurfit Kappa?
A typical day for me in SK Yate begins at 8 am. I come in and prepare for our daily operations meeting at 9am. This is where the operations team review our performance and address any issues that we may have. It is a good way of sharing information and ensuring we are on top of everything. Generally then I will go and collect our waste recording sheets and analyse where our main issues lay in the previous 24 hours. Before lunch (on Monday’s) I attend our weekly management team meeting and document the minutes.
After a hearty lunch in our canteen, I will attempt to shake off the afternoon slumber by walking our factory floor and seeing if our crews have any issues with the waste recording system/sheets. Late in the afternoon my tasks vary considerably but always keep me on my toes until I finish for the night!
Tell us about your first days at Smurfit Kappa.
My first few days are a bit of a blur! I moved over to the U.K and started my new job on the very same day so it was a tiring few days adapting to a new country and new company. People were very helpful to me and the company put me up in a local hotel until I was able to find a place of my own.
What are your highlights at Smurfit Kappa?
My proudest moment was after my first placement when I had to do a 45 minute presentation to the UK CEO and Executive Committee. For someone who was completely new to the business only a few months previous, the thought of standing up and giving a presentation on my placement and my project in front of the CEO was extremely daunting. Once I got up there though, the nerves slowly ebbed away and I found my stride and enjoyed the experience.
What do you enjoy most about your job at Smurfit Kappa?
I enjoy the flexibility to move around the different sites and experience lots of different environments. I have also found the majority of people extremely welcoming and helpful which is great when you start out as a young graduate...
How do you see your future with Smurfit Kappa?
Will be long and prosperous I hope! I would like to think I will still be working with the company in 30 years’ time, hopefully in a senior management position in the UK or Ireland after having had the opportunity to spend some time in one of our foreign locations.
What advice would you give someone considering joining Smurfit Kappa?
I would highly recommend it, it is not the typical industry that everybody dreams of when growing up but it is far more interesting and dynamic than anybody could imagine unless they experienced it themselves. I thoroughly enjoy it.