Kate Holland, Assistant Marketing Activation Manager, Glanbia
Kate Holland, Asst Marketing Activation Manager with Glanbia, outlines her experience with the Bord Bia MSc programme:
What led you to apply for this programme initially?
This programme was a perfect fit for me from the word go. After graduating from UCD with a BSc in Human Nutrition, I was passionate about pursuing a career in the Irish food and drink industry, yet I was eager to further my studies into food business and innovation, marketing and entrepreneurship. I was attracted to Design Thinking and how businesses are using it to drive insight led innovation, with this course providing an attractive offering in leading its learning with a Design Thinking approach.
The food industry has faced many challenges in the past, and going forward will again encounter societal, economic, environmental challenges to name a few. Design Thinking techniques have been undertaken by the most successful companies in the world, creating innovative solutions in challenging times and circumstances. I was drawn to the opportunity to learn and take inspiration from these world-leading companies, to add to my skill set for my future career within the Irish Agri-food industry.
What were the biggest learnings that you took from the programme?
This Masters allowed me to take the learnings from modules led by innovation, insight and industry experts and put theory into practice during my placement with leading meat producer Dawn Meats. Modules included Design Thinking, Global Brand Strategy & Marketing, Marketing Consumer Research Techniques, Design Ethnography, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Strategy.
During my placement, I worked across NPD, commercial and technical projects. Alongside the NPD team, I was involved in product concept development, product trials and product set up from concept to shelf. Also during my work with Dawn, I worked on market research and insights projects where I executed market research and consumer trend analysis to ensure innovation with Dawn was consistently consumer focused. My placement allowed me to work with major retailers including Aldi and Lidl Ireland as well as international companies. This opportunity gave me the confidence in bringing theory from modules into the working environment and a platform to trial learnings from different industries.
Design Thinking teaches you to see life, consumers and even disputes through a different lens: an empathetic and compassionate lens. It teaches you the necessity to walk in the shoes of another in order to best meet unmet consumer needs and wants. This open-minded approach now guides the way I undertake projects in my current life and work.
What do you feel has been the outstanding impact of this programme on your work life?
During the course of the Master’s, Bord Bia’s influence has strengthened my passion to work towards promoting Ireland’s most valuable commodity. Bord Bia’s influence has also taught me of the value of Irish produce in export markets. Irish Agri-food is a leading figure in global food and drink quality, production, sustainability and taste. I look forward to carrying this sense of pride of Irish produce as part of the International Marketing team with Glanbia promoting Irish quality dairy products across the globe, particularly in China and SEA markets.
I have learned to work as part of a dynamic team, highlighting the significance of bringing market and product insights into the process from concept to shelf. Along with my toolkit of skills I have gained from practical and exciting modules, led by experts in their field, I will continue my career consumer focused and with an unquenchable thirst for innovation.
DCU Business School and Bord Bia are now seeking applications from ambitious recent graduates who come from a broad range of undergraduate degrees and who want to develop their global food industry expertise.
To apply, please submit your CV and a cover letter detailing your reasons for and motivation in applying to this programme to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 29th 2020 at 5pm GMT.
For further information on Bord Bia please see https://www.bordbia.ie/careers/msc-insight-innovation
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