University Intern gains insight into innovation
8 week intern programme provides hands-on experience for student and valuable insight for NWF. Daniel Barratt came to Natures Way Foods as an intern and tells his story in the article below.
I was particularly interested in conducting an internship with Natures Way Foods due to my keen interest in the FMCG industry. The opportunity provided me with access to one of Britain's fastest growing food manufacturers, giving me insight into what innovative and productive processes are required to generate success.
My first 7 weeks were spent learning and participating in the production process. I was able to view the system from a range of managerial perspectives, alongside conducting a dynamic collection of operative roles. The production team delegated me a plethora of daily tasks, allowing me to advance my own personal development and expand my knowledge of the wider business environment.
Alongside shadowing various managerial positions, I was delegated a number of different tasks with considerable levels of responsibility including: project improvement, operator positions, attending team meetings, and small team projects. My application was sternly put to the test in the form of a mock interview, followed by a presentation to the Operations managerial team meeting.
My final week was spent with the Category and Innovation team. I had to apply the business processes, aims and values into a new, challenging environment. I chose the Category and Innovation department as the creativity, innovation and ambition associated with new and existing product development coincided with my personal strengths and capabilities.
Right from the start I was tested, being presented with the task of evaluating the Starbucks model, and using that to analyse and determine whether Costa Coffee or Nero provided the best opportunity for Natures Way Foods. This was an incredibly creative and all-encompassing task. I carried out my own primary market research in Chichester with the help of the NPD manager, from food service. We used this research to conduct in-depth market, customer and consumer analysis. I developed my very own new product and determined whether the product was commercially viable with the help of the chefs and sales managers. All of my work was then collaborated into a pitch in the form of a presentation to the C&I team.
My experience with Natures Way Foods has been fantastic. It has been a huge learning experience in terms of personal development, industry knowledge, business processes, managerial qualities, communication techniques, people skills and workplace environments just to name a few. None of this would've been possible without the friendly, supportive, enthusiastic and delightful attitudes of every single member of staff. I was overwhelmed by the level of positive encouragement and an eagerness to help me achieve my goals. This is reflected by the outstanding company ethos and community at Natures Way Foods, which ultimately generates a brilliant environment to learn, develop and succeed. As a Politics Undergraduate entering my final year of study, I would recommend to graduates of all disciplines that Natures Way Foods is an excellent opportunity to kickstart your career.