What's your name, job and employer?
My name is Lorna Caulfield and I’m an innovation graduate on the Ornua graduate program.
What are the main tasks you do in your job in a normal week?
The Ornua graduate program consists of two nine-month rotations and I'm currently on my second rotation which is on the innovation team for consumer foods in Dublin. I'm responsible for all projects underneath the butter category so it's more of a project management role. Day-to-day this involves liaising with suppliers as well as internal teams from procurement to regulatory to technical, in order to keep us to the deadlines of the project and meet those deadlines as the market needs. I also attend factory trials and carry out shelf-life testing and sensory on new products.
What skills do you need to be successful in your role?
In terms of skills that I need for the role, definitely communication and organisation skills are key. I need to pass messages and relay them between teams. It's really important that I can do that in a clear manner just to align the ways of working. Often this can be in virtual teams too which is a challenge in itself and in terms of organisation I typically will have a number of projects on the go at the one time such as new innovations and product modifications. I have a lot of projects on the go so these can be brand new innovations or current product modifications so in order to juggle these and keep to their timelines I need to be really organised.
What do you love about your job?
I really love the culture in Ornua. I love the people, it's a really diverse environment to work in, it’s friendly and open armed but I think at the core of my job I love that Ornua is an Irish rooted company with global opportunities. For my first nine-month rotation on the program I spent it in the UK working in Ornua nutrition ingredients and this is our powder blending site. While there I split my time between the product development team and sales, getting good exposure to very well-known brands so it's given me really good experience in such a key market at this early stage of my career.
What did you do as a student that has helped you in your career?
The course that I did was nutraceuticals and health and nutrition so that really helped me in terms of going into the food industry but if I could advise on anything it would be getting industry experience before you graduate. I was quite lucky in the fact that I had a three-month placement which was incorporated into my degree. I did it in a shared use commercial kitchen in which I got to work with small food businesses and start-ups in a variety of aspects from marketing to setting up food safety systems so it gave me really good insight now coming into a larger company and not only for the work that I'm currently doing but also for the work that's going on in other teams throughout the business.
How did you get into your job?
I attended the gradireland fair in the RDS in the October of 2017 which was in my final year. I knew I was really passionate about starting a career in the food industry so when I spoke to people at the Ornua stand and current employees, they really gave me a great insight into what they did and it got me excited about the program so I went online applied for their graduate program went through a series of interviews and assessments and got hired for the 2018 graduate cohort.