Grad Profile: ‘I really enjoy working in a fast-paced environment’

Claire McAlinney is assistant trading manager with Musgrave

Claire McAlinney (24) took part in the Musgrave Buying/Trading Graduate Programme. She has recently been appointed to assistant trading manager.

Tell us about yourself, where you’re from, what you studied in college?

“I come from a farming background in Co Tyrone. I studied a five year Masters of Science in Food Science and Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast and joined the Musgrave Buying/Trading Graduate Programme in 2017.

How did you find out about the Musgrave programme?

“When studying for a Masters in Food Science and Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast, I had a part-time job in my local SuperValu store. These opportunities enabled me to develop a keen interest in the food and retail sector. I really enjoyed working in the busy retail outlet and recognised the benefits a Musgrave brand has on a local community.”

What is the Musgrave programme like?

"The opportunity to gain cross-divisional experience has enhanced my knowledge of the exciting Musgrave brands throughout the island of Ireland. I have been provided with a range of opportunities to learn and develop my professional skillset in conjunction with the training that I have received at the Irish Management Institute. You are given real responsibility with excellent support from management and other graduates."

Explain the kind of work experience you did – if any – and what the course entails?

“I have gained experience across different sectors within Musgrave which include retail and wholesale. This has empowered me to develop strong working relationships with colleagues. Regular meetings with my manager provided me with the opportunity to highlight recent successes and identify skills which were a development focus.”

What do you work at following the programme?

“I have recently been appointed as an assistant trading manager for Musgrave. My goal is to develop a strong set of skills to enable me to progress to trading manager. I really enjoy working in a fast-paced environment, taking on real responsibility and developing strong working relationships with others.”

What’s your advice to graduates applying for the programme this year?

“Ask yourself what is your career destination? How are you going to get there? What skills do you need to develop to get to that destination. Finally, work hard. Network. Maintain a positive attitude. Smile.”