Fran baldwin

Fran Baldwin

What is the name of the company you work for and what do they do?

I work for Nestlé, a nutrition, health and wellness company who are the world’s largest food and beverage manufacturer. Nestlé is a global business operating in 191 countries with over 330,000 employees. It sells more than 2000 brands worldwide in a variety of categories. In the UK, Nestlé consists of 12 businesses and 85 brands and products range from confectionary to water, infant nutrition products to cereal and coffee to pet food.

What is your role within the company?

During my placement year I am working within the Nestlé Nutrition, Health and Wellness team. My role involves supporting the NHW team on a day to day basis, as well as taking on a range of responsibilities. These include checking the nutrition information on any communications with consumers, benchmarking Nestlé products against consumers to identify whether we can make a nutrition or health claim on a product, assisting with the employee wellness programme and recipe analysis and project work.

Can you please give me an insight into a typical day?

Every day is different in my role at Nestlé. Despite being an office-based role I am regularly out and visiting other locations for meetings, industry events, external training courses or simply to visit other Nestlé sites.  It means that my time spent in the office is always super busy and the days fly by. Nestlé operates a flexible working system, therefore as long as you work your contracted hours within a week, you can start and finish at any time you like on a given day, obviously ensuring that you are meeting business requirements for your role. If I’m in the office, I typically start my working day at around 8:30am after a trip to the onsite gym. My day usually then begins with checking and attending to any emails I’ve received overnight, followed by meetings about various ongoing projects. I also have my own work to do in between meetings and this can include tasks like benchmarking of our brands products against competitors, recipe analysis or approvals of communications. I typically finish my day in the office at around 5pm, but again this is my choice and varies depending on what tasks I have left to do or what I have planned in the evenings!

What do you enjoy the most and do you get involved in any interesting projects?

I enjoy being surrounded by like-minded people and being paid to work in a field I love, despite not actually having a degree yet. There are so many incredible opportunities available for me to enhance my knowledge and also network within the nutrition field whilst at Nestlé. From the very beginning of my placement year I have learnt skills that I can not only use within my year at Nestlé, but in my future career as well. Nestlé has provided me with the opportunity to learn and develop my skills in a supportive but realistic environment. This placement has provided me with more of an insight into the various job roles available to nutritionists in industry – something I would not have known had I not done a placement year.

Why did you want to undertake a year in industry?

I wanted to undertake a year in industry to gain more experience in the Nutrition field. It can often be difficult to do this as a student and the opportunity to work in a large organisation for a year is invaluable. It also looks great on my CV and will hopefully improve my chances when applying for future jobs.

Do you have any tips and advice to current students thinking of undertaking a year in industry?

If I was to offer advice to current students thinking of undertaking a year in industry, I would say do it! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by utilising such an incredible opportunity. There are so many benefits to a year in industry: networking, development of degree-relevant skills and earning some money to support yourself in your final year at university are just a few. It may seem like a scary prospect, especially if you have to relocate for a placement, but after the first few weeks you will adapt and gain so much from the experience.