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  • Role: Process Development Manager
  • University: Cambridge
  • Degree: Chemical Engineering

Rachel Cooke

The chocolate gets me out of bed in the morning!

Working for Cadbury

I like variety and new experiences in my working life, so working for Cadbury seemed like the perfect career. In my current job as a Process Development Manager, there is no such thing as a typical day. I could be doing a plant trial one day – running the machinery differently to see how we could make a new product – and travelling around Cadbury factories another.

Today, I’ve been tasting a new bar of chocolate we’re considering making. It was delicious.

Fast-paced progress

When I joined Cadbury I never thought that within eight months I would be living in Dublin managing a shift of 20 people. The wide range of people and challenges I encountered kept me busy, as did making sure I made the most of my time in Ireland. I knew I’d made a success of it when the operators stopped the production line to say goodbye to me.

I really appreciate the opportunities Cadbury has given me to develop myself through training courses and community work. I couldn’t believe it when a couple of months after joining the business I was spending my lunch breaks rehearsing a dance routine. However, the rehearsals paid off and on the night of BBC Children in Need, my dancing troupe was foot perfect!

Currently I’m running a project with a local school, giving the pupils a business perspective on how to develop and brand new products and showing them the engineering principles behind making chocolate.

After the graduate scheme

The variety of opportunities I’ve had in the last three years has been great: a systems project to integrate the commercial and manufacturing systems, shift management, engineering development and procurement. When I was in procurement (my final placement on the graduate scheme), I was responsible for buying all the fruits and nuts for Great Britain and Ireland and also two other commercial projects – £4 million annual spend. During my four placements I went on training courses ranging from negotiation skills to chocolate making and typically have had around 25 days training each year.

Now that I’ve finished the graduate programme and taken a permanent position, I’m finding the contacts made during my placements really helpful. In addition, I’ve had the experience of working on projects involving chocolate, sugar confectionery and chewing gum in nine different factories across the Europe and BIMA regions.

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