Microbiology student at University of Leeds

Rachel Thompson

Rachel studied BSc Microbiology and completed a work placement at Molson Coors Brewing Company. After graduating from the University of Leeds she went on to work for Molson Coors as a Supply Chain Graduate and was promoted to Project Specialist.

Where did you do your placement year & what was your job role?

I did my year’s placement at Molson Coors Brewing Company in Burton on Trent. My role was in the Research & Development team and I spent my first six months in new product development, in a lab environment creating the companies new products. I absolutely loved this role. I then did my last six months with the sensory team – this involved a lot of beer tasting and learning the attributes behind beer flavours. It also involved looking at the science behind consumer research.

What were your key responsibilities? How did these develop as your placement progressed?

For the first 6 months my key responsibilities were to help with a big cost saving project which was to be put in place over 8 different countries across central Europe. This project was successful and the new recipe has been implemented across all of these countries. I also worked along the Carling Cider team and was involved in the launch of the new flavour. In the last 6 months my main responsibility has been to run a benchmarking Project across Romania, Czech Republic and Canada. My main duties were to set the project up and align with research agencies as well as the marketing teams in these countries to make sure the correct products were being used.

What opportunities has your industrial placement opened up to you?

It has opened my eyes to the real world and what it is like to work in a global business. Another opportunity is the networking you get exposed too. Molson Coors work with a lot of suppliers and you get to know the staff at all of these other companies which really opens up your job opportunities for when you finish university.

What were the most enjoyable and most challenging aspects of your placement?

The most enjoyable part of my placement (besides from the great salary) was working in the lab with a great team and seeing the products you had worked on from the drawing board make it to the supermarket shelf. The most challenging part was working in the fast pace of a global company but it helped me develop as I learned to deal with the pressure and work successfully under pressure.