Earlier this year we were delighted when Musgrave grad Ross Kerrigan was given the title Graduate Employee of the Year at the gradireland Recruitment Awards 2018.  

Throughout his two years he has exemplified what a grad can do if they apply themselves, soaking up everything the programme had to offer, and building that into a new job role and ultimately a future career within Musgrave. Ross, from Galway, graduated in International Business and French and joined the grad programme as a member of our Store Development team, supporting the development and implementation of our evolving store formats in SuperValu and Centra stores. 

The programme gave Ross the opportunity to pursue his passion in design and architecture alongside an enthusiasm for retail, creating a solid platform for career satisfaction and growth. 

On Wednesday, 3 October, Ross will be sharing some of his experiences at the gradireland Careers Fair at the RDS Simmonscourt as part of a panel discussion. But if you can’t make it, here he shares some of his experiences of the Programme and some advice for new grads.  

Why did you choose the Musgrave Graduate Programme?

Before joining Musgrave, I worked part-time for four years in retail while studying in NUI Galway. I really enjoyed retail work, and decided to pursue a graduate programme in this field. I applied for a number of retail graduate programmes, but what separated Musgrave from the rest was the opportunity to work with a family-owned, Irish business which enables local entrepreneurs to grow successful businesses. The possibility of working with brands such as SuperValu, Centra, Daybreak and Frank & Honest was very appealing, and as a language student I saw Musgrave’s operations in Spain through the Dialprix and Dialsur brands as an opportunity to potentially work abroad in the future. Also, the position as store development graduate was truly unique, blending retail and interior design into one. 

What has been your most stretching experience so far?

Within six weeks of joining, with the support of my manager, I was working on a virtual reality project using equipment to create 3D walkthroughs of some of our leading Centra and SuperValu stores, with the goal of engaging our retail partners in the new look and feel of our revamped stores. Virtual reality was new to the business, and a significant investment was made in the equipment. With the backing of a cross functional team in Musgrave, and the support of some truly innovative and driven retailers the project was a success and the 3D walkthroughs we created were showcased at our SuperValu and Centra brand conferences. Being trusted to lead this complex project speaks volumes of the graduate programme, and the belief that senior management have in graduates at Musgrave 

How have you been supported on the programme?

All participants on the Musgrave Graduate Programme participate in a bespoke development programme designed in conjunction with the Irish Management Institute (IMI). For me this has really helped me to develop strong communication skills, self-awareness and resilience as well as practical skills in project management, marketing and finance. Fortnightly meetings with my manager, reflecting on my progress to date allow me to highlight any difficulties I may be experiencing, but also to set goals and identify potential opportunities. My mentor in the business is also a great support. A number of senior managers and directors joined Musgrave as graduates on the programme, which shows that aspiring graduates can reach the highest level in the business.  

What advice would you give graduates on how to succeed?

My advice to graduates in any role would be to set clear goals, harness your strengths, take every opportunity that arises and be yourself as much as possible. I have learned that authenticity and honesty can get you a long way in business.