Chemical and Energy Engineering student, Fiyinfoluwa Olatoye

Fiyinfoluwa Olatoye

Why did you want to undertake a year in industry?

I took the year in industry to gain some first-hand experience of the professional world before my graduation. Also, I wanted to see and appreciate the practicality of the theoretical knowledge gained in the classroom, which would then give me a clearer picture of my future career options.

What is the name of the company you work for?

McCormick UK Ltd is a food manufacturing company and specialises in the production of various seasonings, flavourings and spices. McCormick markets a range of wet and dry products including herbs and spices for chefs, restaurants and catering establishments. Schwartz is their flagship brand. They also supply the foodservice market with other leading brands.

What is your role within the company?

Throughout my time at McCormick, I supported the operations team with the collection, analysis and deployment of data. I was required to attend meetings, produce models and control systems, and also prepare the data collection systems. I was on hand to give support across the site whenever and wherever possible.

Can you please give me an insight into a typical day?

There has not been a typical day as varies depending on what needs to be done. My tasks include:

  • Inputting production and waste data
  • Preparing models and control systems
  • Attending regular project-oriented meetings
  • Taking up other administrative tasks

What do you enjoy the most?

I am particularly enjoying the variety the placement gives. Although I work mostly with the operations team, I also get the opportunity to meet and communicate with people from other teams. This role has given me a wider understanding of how businesses are run and also a general exposure to the manufacturing process industry. This role has given me a better appreciation of data through its analysis and deployment.

What do you think you have got out of this experience so far? 

My industrial placement has enabled me to appreciate the relevance of my time at university, as well as many practical and analytical skills. I have also built my professional network.

Do you have any tips and advice to current students thinking of undertaking a year in industry?

Take the opportunity – it is really worth it. Apart from getting a break from university, it widens your professional network and also gives you hands-on industrial experience, which puts you in a good position for graduate roles. The application process is no doubt daunting but give it your best and do not give up. Always remember to be the best version of yourself.