Welsh cy
Imogen Passam — Commercial Graduate

Name: Imogen Passam
Job title: Commercial Graduate
Employer: Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP)
Qualification: BSc Psychology, MSc Marketing Management
Salary Range: Approx £30,000

Give a description of a day in the life of a Commercial Graduate.

Since starting in September 2021, every day has been different so it’s quite hard to describe a typical day. We’ve visited some of the different sites that make all the well-loved and iconic Coca-Cola products, including the site in East Kilbride, Scotland. We’ve also done lots of training in all sorts of areas including sales, personality insights, cyber security, food and drink safety etc. We even got to be baristas for the day at Costa Coffee HQ! In January we will start our first rotation in our new positions, which will be as Field Sales Executives.

How did you end up in this job?

I knew I was interested in the business/consumer behaviour side of my Psychology degree, so I went on to study Marketing for a Masters. During this time I became more aware of FMCG companies and thought that one of these would be such a fast-paced and exciting place to work. I’d also heard that many of them offer Grad Schemes, which can provide amazing progression and career development – so I set my sights on one of these schemes after graduation. I never could have imagined I’d have secured a Grad Scheme for a company like Coca-Cola a year later.  I’m so grateful for this opportunity and can’t wait to pursue an exciting career with such an amazing company.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of pursuing this career?

I think the best advice would be don’t give up when you get rejections. I applied for so many graduate schemes within the food & drinks industry, it was incredibly competitive. There were times when I didn’t think I was going to get one, but all my hard work paid off in the end. If you know this is the career for you then keep working hard and it will happen! Also, before an interview/ assessment day really do your research on the company and come up with some interesting questions to ask, it will help you stand out from other candidates.

What’s the best thing about your job?

There are so many great things about this job, but I think the main one has to be the people. Everyone I’ve worked with so far has been so friendly, knowledgeable and inspirational – people are so willing to spend time helping you to learn and develop. All my fellow graduates on the scheme are also amazing. The second best thing is the products – brands such as Coca Cola, Schweppes, Sprite, Fanta etc. are such massive global brands, it’s still exciting when I see them in the shop and think wow I work for that company.

Where do you see yourself in five years time?

This is a tricky one because I don’t know where the next 3 years of the graduate program will take me. I’d love to utilise my marketing degree in the future and potentially work in brand management or work in commercialisation. Our scheme aims to develop us into managers fairly quickly, so I’m excited to see how that progresses and hopefully I will be in a management position within the next five years. I know there’s so much opportunity at CCEP to explore different areas of the business that I’m sure to find something I’m passionate about.