Welsh cy
Zeeshan Rafiq — Commercial Graduate

Name: Zeeshan Rafiq
Job title: Commercial Graduate
Employer: Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP)
Qualification: BSC International Business
Salary Range: Approx £30,000

How did you end up in this job?

After graduating University, I wasn’t entirely sure as to what profession I wanted to go in. Having done a BSc in international business, I had studied various modules ranging from finance to marketing. One thing I knew however, was that I wanted to start my career in a large multinational where opportunities were endless. Therefore once I saw an opening for a role at CCEP online whilst I was exploring the job market, I didn’t hesitate to apply. From then, I participated in a video interview which was successful and took me to the next stage; an Assessment Centre for which I gave my best & received the amazing news that I was selected for the role.

What’s the best thing about your job?

As a Commercial graduate on a 4 year scheme, the best thing about the job is that within this time period I have the opportunity to cover all aspects of commercial. To give an example, my first rotation will be in an Away from home field sales role where I will be building relationships with customers & looking at ways to activate our brands in outlet. The skills & experience gained from this rotation will be invaluable as I continue developing as a professional individual. Throughout the rotations I will have the opportunity to develop more transferrable skills & that’s the best thing about my job. It enables me to continue my journey of learning and improving, whilst having the added opportunity of experiencing different areas of such a successful organisation. 

How long have you been doing your job?

I have now been with the company since Early September. Since the very first day everyone has been very welcoming & the culture very much feels like a family. This has allowed me to settle in very quickly as I know if I have any questions or need any advice, various colleagues are happy to spare some of their time to share knowledge & expertise.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

In Five years’ time I see myself here at Coca Cola Euro Pacific Partners. At the end of the 4 year scheme, I aim to join the business full time. I would have had the chance to experience different roles in the business. I would have developed a range of transferrable skills & would see myself working towards a management position in an area where I believe my skills & expertise best align after completing the graduate programme.  

If you could give your 16 year old self some career advice, what would it be?

I would say, be curious about the future. Although its common to take each day as it comes, vision & goals are important. Get involved in as much activities you can that will enable you to develop both personally & professionally. Whether it be getting involved in more work experience or even volunteering opportunities. Talk to & get advice from accessible career support  as well as experienced individuals in careers you may have an interest in. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions, build an understanding of what careers are out there & what you think would bring out the best in you. Most importantly, never give up & work hard towards your goals, you’ll get there in the end.