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Louisa Liddiard at Ornua Ingredients UK

1) Brief introduction to placement company:

Ornua Ingredients UK formally known as Meadow cheese and The Cheese Warehouse merged in December 2015 under their parent company Ornua formally known as the Irish dairy board. Ornua Ingredients UK, is a dairy solutions business providing quality, innovation and excellence to the food service and wholesale sectors. The business comprises of around 300 workers both office and factory based over 2 UK sites- the head office being Ledbury and the 2nd site being in Whitchurch. This business I still growing and will soon become 5 sites in the UK under the Ornua Umbrella.

2) Brief introduction to self:

I like to think of myself as a very determined and enthusiastic person, I was told in my interview for Ornua Ingredients UK that ‘this is a business where you either sink or you swim’ and it sums up my personality traits and career drive that I have really enjoyed learning to swim. I love a challenge and being thrown into the deep end with things, which is a large part of why I decided to do a placement year this year. I wanted to get a feel for what I was learning in a lecture room in reality and how this would differ from my expectations. I have always aspired to be a business woman and this year has definitely given me a strong taste for this and has only made my aspirations stronger and made me more determined to succeed. 

3) What were your responsibilities:

• Customer visits – large customers and difficult customers

• Run meetings- merger meetings, line 4 and BGM

• Organise and book events and hospitality

• Organise the launch day and set it up

• Deal with customer complaints and different suppliers

• Dealing with enquiries so have to have knowledge of products

• Assisting in a new brand launch

• Assisting in company merge and launch of new name

• Run aspects of the merge (document change overs)

• Pricing for customers both current and potential

• Be involved in important business meetings

• Taken notes for meetings and pass these on to be made into business plan

• Help design adverts, website, broachers, etc.

• Keep up to date on market trends and inform others of this to save them time 

• Carried out insight information 

• Carried out product testing and comparisons 

• Attending and organise Casual dinning and other important events 

• Creating business relationships both internal and external with suppliers and customers 

• Assist in the cheese award entries and choosing which ones to put forward

4) What skills did you develop:

During my time at Ornua Ingredients UK, I have spent a lot of time focusing on developing my known weakness’s and my unknown weaknesses as well as my strengths. My communication skills have always been something I pride myself on, I enjoy meeting and communicating with new people and I believe this is an area I am relatively strong in; however, I have had to develop this further throughout this year, by experiencing different business situations where I have had to adapt my communication in order to communicate in these situations in the appropriate manor. I believe an area I have developed the most would be the confidence I have in myself and being confident in the extent of my knowledge and what I am communicating across to others. As well as being confident in disagreeing with someone in a professional manor and not to be shy about being outspoken even to those who are above me in their roles. In addition to these skills I believe I have developed my written skills, creative skills and my organisation skills. These I have had to use in my everyday work life.

I feel I have achieved many different things whilst being at Ornua, the main thing being the involvement I had in the merger of the company which started out as Meadow cheese and The Cheese warehouse, this was an extensive and stressful project which had to be completed in a very short lead time of 3 months, with only 2 members of staff in the department who were in charge of carrying out this huge change (myself and my manager). This then lead to the achievement of running the Casual dinning show and other customer shows under our new brand name Ornua Ingredients UK. However, throughout my time at Ornua Ingredients UK I have achieved many personal and business related goals and I am very proud of myself and how this year has gone for me and am happy to say I will be leaving my placement year and my final year of university with a full time Job as the Marketing executive of Ornua Ingredients UK.