Croda was unknown to me at this time but I took the opportunity to apply for the European Graduate Programme. During the assessment days, I was very attracted by the good atmosphere of the company and especially by the great training that was given in the programme. I had the great chance to match the business need and to become part of the Croda family. I started my 1st placement in the laboratory of our plant in Chocques (France). the Chocques plant was working on achieving GMP certification. My main objectives were to make sure Wilton's lab equipment would be operational after transfer from the UK to France as well as being responsible for developing new analyses and procedures in the laboratory to respect GMP certification and in relationship with other site departments.
The European Graduate Programme is an opportunity to travel abroad and discover new cultures and new ways of working. In order to get this experience and perfect my English, I requested my 2nd placement be in the Product Assurance Team housed in historic Cowick HQ in England; a different job from the previous one allowing me to see anoter side of a global business. The main objectives were to check our product compliancy to regulations and to develop relationships with our European sites a global standard system for vendor approvals.
One last important aspect to me was to experience a commercial role, but still staying in England to continue my language training. As such, I requested the opportunity to spend my 3rd placement as a sales & marketing coordinator for one of our market sectors, Industrial Chemicals. I had the luck to be at the befinning of a reorganisation of this business and it's structure which, gave me the great opportunity to be involved in everything: technical data gathering, literature, sales support, price evaluation, training, negotiation and team interaction.
I enjoyed the commercial side and more especially the Industrial Chemicals business unit so much that I decided to apply for the position of IC sales representative for the French territory as my permanent role after the Graduate Programme. I wasn't destined to be a sales representative, however, it was a natural evolution after my last placement and an experience I think extremely rewarding to do. Because of the Graduate Programme I discovered how useful it was to have worked in different parts of the Croda business.
A new organisation in Croda France gave me the opportunity to add a technical marketing / local business development role in our Coatings & Polymers division to my current role. This new role is something which I tend to do more as a permanent role so the experience fits well with my intended career plans for the future
Having gathered experience in sales, I moved to a full time business development and marketing position in January for all ATPP and Crop Care businesses for Croda France. It was a great opportunity to expand my knowledge in the industrial side and to broaden my understanding of Croda’s expertise. I am now learning from the different business areas as well as facilitating communication between the people in those business units. My experience in sales was helpful to offer the most impactful messages to answer our customers’ needs or to find the best opportunities in local niche markets.