A day in the life of an Assistant Trading Manager

Sara Hickey, completed the Musgrave Buying (Trading) Graduate Programme and has since taken a full time role as Assistant Trading Manager. Here she shares her experience of the programme and what her current role is like.

How did you go about getting your current job?

I went on college placement for six months as a product developer which really showed me what career path I could go down as my degree was very broad. This helped me gain experience in the food and drinks industry. I started a full-time job as an own brand analyst after college and then eventually applied for the Musgrave Graduate Programme.

I wanted to work for a company that had the same values as me and the Musgrave Graduate Programme was exactly what I needed and the best career decision I have made.

Describe a typical day?

Buying, known as Trading within Musgrave, is very fast paced, and every day is different, from daily deadlines internally, to meetings with suppliers, focusing on a strong promotional plan for my category and driving sales as well as looking daily at commercials.

What are the main tasks and responsibilities?

  • Supplier engagement around the product category I manage
  • Working with sales and marketing to drive sales
  • Promotional and social media plans
  • Watching current trends
  • Reviewing planograms for stores. A planogram is a schematic plan or drawing which is used for displaying merchandise so our retail partners can maximise sales
  • Commercial targets and profitability
  • Working on handbills, Big bets and Supplier Joint Business Plans. Big bets are strategic projects or initiatives that we believe will drive profits for all our stakeholders as well as providing us with a competitive advantage in our sector
  • Invoicing

What’s cool?

Working on new and exciting projects with suppliers such as exclusivity lines

What’s not so cool?

Not taking time to reflect on your achievements

What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?

Economics and Business have helped to have a commercial understanding.

What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?

BIS in college as excel is very important. I took BSC in Food Marketing and Entrepreneurship in UCC which was a very broad course. I got great experience in product development, commercial experience in accounting and business experience through economics and I won the University College Cork new food product innovation Dragons’ Den.

What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?

Graduating from the Musgrave Graduate Programme and becoming an Assistant Trading Manager in Spirits. I have launched products such as Graham Norton’s gin and Tanora gin. I developed relations with local Irish suppliers and getting exclusivity lines with distilleries, such as Ballykeefe and Clonakilty distillery.

What personal qualities do you have that helps you in your career?

I am a people person and work well in a team. Listening to others and giving your point of view is essential for the best outcome for all.

What advice would you give to someone considering this job?

Hard work, passion for your category, having a focus for what you want to achieve and keeping on top of new trends to really drive your area.

What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?

  1. Collaboration skills
  2. Interpersonal skills
  3. Organisational skills
  4. Hard working
Find your answer in our frequently asked questions.
What do I need to consider before I apply?

Add musgravegraduates.support@aon.com to your email contacts to make sure you receive our application updates

– Make sure your CV is saved in PDF or Word format as other formats may not be supported on our recruitment system

– Are there specific academic criteria for your preferred role? If we are looking for specific qualifications, we will apply these criteria for shortlisting candidates. You may be considered for your second preference if you do not meet specific criteria for your preferred role.

I've submitted my application, what happens next?

We’ll email you within 24 hours of submitting your application inviting you to complete our online assessments. This email will come from musgravegraduates.support@aon.com so make sure you mark this email as safe. Depending on your email filters, it may be directed to your spam folder. Keep an eye on the inbox and spam of the email you used for your application. If you have not received this email within 48 hours, contact us on earlycareers@musgrave.ie requesting this to be resent. This will be resent where applicable within the time-constraints of the application process.

I haven't received details of the online assessments after submitting my application.

This email will come from earlycareers@musgrave.ie  so make sure you mark this email as safe. Depending on your email filters, it may be directed to your spam folder. Some spam folder settings will automatically delete all emails after 30 days. If you have not received this email within 48 hours of submitting your application, or believe that it may have been deleted from your spam folder, contact us on earlycareers@musgrave.ie requesting this to be resent. This will be resent where applicable within the time-constraints of the application process.

When will I find out if I have been successful?

We’ll contact you as soon as possible after each stage of the recruitment process. Correspondence up to the assessment centre stage is through email so please check your email regularly. Depending on your email filters sometimes our email may end up in your spam folder, check this out if you haven’t heard from us and ensure you have marked our email earlycareers@musgrave.ie as safe.

How many graduates do you hire each year?

We’re a fast-moving business and our opportunities change from year to year to meet our business requirements. We typically hire between 10-20 graduates each year.

Can I reapply next year if I don’t get onto the programme this year?

Yes, you can apply the next year if unsuccessful in your application.

Do I need a specific degree to be considered for Musgrave?

Many of our opportunities are open to graduates from all degree backgrounds. Where we do look for a specific qualification, we’ll specify it in the role description so check out Our Opportunities page. If we are looking for specific qualifications, we will apply these criteria for shortlisting candidates.

How recently should I have graduated?

Our roles are aimed at grads who are looking for their first or second job. However, if you are interested in a career with Musgrave and have more experience you can apply directly for any of our current vacancies on  https://www.musgravegroup.com/careers/

What is the minimum requirement to be eligible for the graduate programme?

Successful applicants must have graduated, or be on track to graduate, with an Honours Primary Degree (Level 8 NFQ). For roles where a specific degree or discipline is specified, we will apply these criteria for shortlisting candidates.

I need a work permit. Are you able to organise that for me?

It is a requirement that you are eligible to work in the Republic of Ireland. If you do not hold an appropriate work permit, regretfully we cannot take your application further. If you are successful in your application with us, we will support the required documentation for future permit application and provide financial support.

Why do I have two role choices on the application form?

We ask for your two preferred graduate roles to understand how you want to develop your career. We’ll consider your application based on your first preference as much possible. We may consider you for your second choice if we feel this would be more suited to your profile or if your academic qualifications do not meet criteria for specific role if required e.g. if you apply for an IT role and you do not hold a relevant IT/technical degree or masters.

Do I need to know what area I want to work in?

Our graduate roles are designed to provide you with the skills and knowledge to progress to business roles in specific areas e.g. if you join our buying programme, you will work in buying teams for the two years of the programme to gain the experience needed to become a buyer for our leading retail and wholesale brands. We recommend you go through our Opportunities carefully and make an informed decision on which area appeals most to your career ambition.

What's the salary?

Starting salary for roles based in the Republic of Ireland is €31,000 gross per annum and increases after 12 months subject to performance. You are also eligible to a bonus on successful completion of the Programme.

What is the duration of the graduate programme?

The Programme runs for two years, apart from the finance which runs for three years. We hire on a fixed-term contract initially and will work with high performing graduates to provide you with suitable career moves in our business post-Programme.

Will I change locations during the programme?

Depending on your graduate role, you will work in at least two of our divisional headquarters throughout the programme. These may be located in Dublin, Cork or Belfast. Check out our Opportunities to see where the roles are based and whether the role has a geographical rotation. If such a rotation is required, it forms part of your contract.

The majority of our opportunities are hybrid with teams typically working 1-2 days in the office.

What's involved in the Musgrave development programme?

The Musgrave Graduate development programme is a bespoke development programme to support the professional and personal development of our graduates. It comprises in-person and virtual modules over 2 years focused on areas such as personal growth, strategy, financial acumen, project management. You will also receive individual coaching as part of the Graduate development Programme and will work on a business projects which you will present to our CEO and senior leaders.

Can I work remotely?

All Musgrave colleagues in office-based roles have the option to work in a hybrid role, with time spent in the office to collaborate and engage, and time working remotely. We calling this Work Smart @ Musgrave and details will be shared with successful applicants. Typically colleagues will spend 1-2 days in the office per week however it can vary by team.

Will I work with specific brands or across the whole business?

Depending on the role, you may work across several brands while on the Programme to give you wide exposure of our business. Details of the brands involved in each opportunity are included in the role descriptions on Our Opportunities

I want to study for a professional accountancy qualification, will you support this?

We support our Finance graduates in studying for the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) qualification via the CGMA Finance Leadership Program provided by CIMA. This is an online learning program, similar in scope and rigour to a master’s degree, that teaches the finance, business, people, and leadership skills needed to succeed in the finance team of the future. All learning, assessments and Case Study exam preparation takes place within the comprehensive FLP platform. Musgrave provides financial support and study leave for our Finance graduates to undertake this study pathway. We do not currently support other accountancy study pathways.

Where can I get more information?

Connect with us on Instagram, LinkedIn or Facebook  for regular updates, you can also visit our corporate website to find out more about Musgrave

Are there opportunities to work abroad?

Currently all our graduate roles are based on the Island of Ireland.