From Graduate scheme to Boardroom: Hannah Dickinson - Premier Foods

After studying Geography at University I joined Premier Foods in 2001 as part of its Supply Chain Graduate recruitment programme and spent time working in the Procurement, Operations and Production planning teams. Coupled with a management development course, these first 18 months gave me a great foundation for things to come.

Premier FoodsName: Hannah Dickinson
Job role: Customer Service and Planning Director
Company: Premier Foods

Having completed the Graduate scheme, I became Planning Manager at one of our factories and, over the next few years, I worked at different sites in IT and Logistics before becoming Head of Supply Planning in 2007. In 2010 I took on our Sales Forecasting and Stock Health teams, becoming Supply Chain Planning Director for our Grocery division.

I was delighted to be invited onto our Leadership Development Programme and I believe that the experience was pivotal to me gaining my present role. The course was a huge confidence booster and provided me with many of the skills I now use every day to lead my team.

Premier Foods is a fast paced, transforming business. If you are driven, thrive in a changing environment and are enthusiastic, you can really progress.

I am now a member of the senior leadership team and in my current role as Customer Service & Planning Director I get to work cross functionally between our Commercial and Supply Chain teams. No two days are the same and I can honestly say that I love my job!

It was never my plan to join the food and drinks industry. I was impressed by the Premier Foods graduate training programme and decided to give it a try. I now have a career that is going from strength to strength and I would recommend the industry to others looking to put their first step on their career ladder.

My proudest achievement in my working life so far is when I was offered my current role as Customer Service & Planning Director at Premier Foods. I get a huge amount of satisfaction from leading and working with a great team of people, supporting their personal growth and development whilst driving significant business benefits.

My advice to young people is that they should be openminded about starting a career in the food and drinks sector. The opportunities available are very diverse, ranging from procurement, engineering, nutrition, marketing and logistics to name but a few areas where you might find yourself working. It's a fast moving working environment which makes it exciting and rewarding.

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