Jonathan Blake, Digital & Technology Graduate at Diageo

I applied for a role at Diageo because it was clear that the graduate scheme was full of potential and not just limited to one workstream. Within D&T, there are many different teams with roles you wouldn’t even know exist before you apply


Jonathan Blake

Digital & Technology Graduate


Why did you choose to apply to a graduate role at Diageo?

Beyond the fantastic brands that fall under Diageo’s vast portfolio (all of which I love!), I applied for a role at Diageo because it was clear that the graduate scheme was full of potential and not just limited to one workstream. Within D&T, there are many different teams with roles you wouldn’t even know exist before you apply – and luckily you’ll get to experience almost all of them.

It’s perfect for someone who has brilliant skills but isn’t sure of exactly with narrow path to send themselves down as they graduate – lucky you don’t need to decide straight away. The scheme will give you exposure to Strategic Planning, Data and Analytics, Cyber Security, Employee/Customer Experience, Project Management and more – all within just 3 years!

It sets you up fantastically to roll off into a permanent position that you feel comfortable in at the end of the scheme.

What do you wish you knew when you were applying to Diageo?

I wish I understood just how global my team would be! There are massive Diageo offices in plenty of countries around the world, and it’s more than likely that many of your team members won’t be in the same time-zone as you! Nevertheless, this means the diversity is fantastic and vast – and who knows, you’ll likely even get the chance to travel as part of the role.

Tell us about your experience as a graduate with Diageo? – what kind of support is offered, what is the culture like, etc.

You’re absolutely supported when you join Diageo as a graduate, with so many people you’re able to contact that it can be hard to keep track of them all! I know I can reach out to my line manager, my career mentor, the graduate scheme sponsor, my Diageo buddy, my workstream buddy, our HR representative, the early careers specialist and more – all of whom will be happy to find the time to speak to you about any and all concerns you may have.

Even beyond that, you’ll join the scheme with a small group of other graduates in your same department as well as a wider, larger group of successful applicants who are in the other teams. No doubt there’s a great social buzz between you all, with plenty of opportunities to grab a drink in the Diageo bar at the end of the day.

Tell us about your current graduate role with Diageo? What’s the most exciting thing about it?

My first and current placement in the D&T Grad Scheme is as a Business Analyst within the Europe Customer and Consumer Plan Team. This means that, alongside my line manager – the Business Partner, we speak to relevant stakeholders about projects in the D&T pipeline and narrow down the details. We agree upon timeframes, requirements, what’s possible, who needs to be involved – and we liaise with many other teams to confirm and align the information such that the projects can be signed off and progressed.

It’s an exciting role because it’s at the forefront of a project’s journey – you’re essentially the first people to properly work on a given project and see it “come to life”. It’s great because no project is the same – already I’ve had exposure to the Diageo Bar Academy, discussions about Plastic Tax, Guinness/Cocktail taps and how we keep track of all of them, EDGE 365 and Diageo One, customer experience, and more.

No two projects are alike so it gives you a great opportunity to learn plenty about what goes on at Diageo, as well as strong network opportunities with senior stakeholders across the company (not just in D&T).

What skills/knowledge did you learn at university that you are now implementing in role?

I studied Maths at university – so while you’re not calculating equations day-to-day, the skills come especially in handy when working on Excel spreadsheets for financing, or using the Power BI platform for data manipulation and insights analysis.

It sounds implicit, but communication/networking/socialising is very important – and you probably became strong at this at university without even realising. This helps greatly in chatting to your co-workers, but conversational skills are also extremely important when it comes to understanding requirements and asking deeper questions about a project.

Share your top 3 tips for someone looking to secure a graduate role.

  1. If you reach the assessment centre process, take your time and read through your task carefully. Understood what’s being asked, and make sure you can verbalise your thought-process and have justifications for any decisions at the end. There aren’t necessarily right or wrong answers for a task, you’re being judged on your critical thinking and analysis, as well as your approach.
  2. There are plenty of graduate schemes at Diageo, but make sure you apply to just the one that fits your current skills the best. You don’t necessarily have to have prior experience (it’s unlikely many people have already made Sales!), but you should be able to show that you’re adaptable and eager to learn.
  3. Be passionate about Diageo! Get online and read about our success stories or our 2030 Ambitions and be able to share why you respect the company, its values and its brands. Even if you’re not a consumer, there’s plenty to like about Diageo!

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