My grad story: Niamh Scally

Musgrave grad and assistant brand manager for Centra, Niamh Scally, shares her experience of the graduate programme and has some great tips for new graduates coming into the programme.

Talk us through your typical work day

My days are very diverse and can vary from being in the office, in a store or at a shoot. On a day-to-day basis, I work on producing communications for Centra stores, so this may range from producing social, radio ads, creating point-of-sale or working closely with in-house designers to create handbills, press or quality brochures. The beauty of my role is the unpredictability – I always have a project to work on, so this could range from working in event management, cross functionally or at a food shoot which is always an exciting experience!

Describe your Musgrave experience so far in 3 words

Diverse, exciting, educational.

What has surprised you about working at Musgrave Group?

Personally speaking, being on the Graduate Programme has opened a lot of opportunities for me; I feel people are more aware that I am here to learn, develop and grow as a professional and this has definitely sent more challenges my way. It was a nice surprise to see that the Graduate Programme was so well regarded by others. It’s a conscious investment that the company puts into my career, but Musgrave is really good for investing in their people in lots of other ways also.

We hear Musgrave has great perks… which one is your favourite?

My favourite perk is the diversity of the role – yes it may sound mundane but the Graduate Programme is all about development so this, for me, is true! Working in such a big company has provided me with so many opportunities; within a year I have gained experience in a broad spectrum of areas like digital partnerships, store fittings, store design, food leadership, strategy, food photography and videos, social media, event management, value for money and finance; building on existing strengths and developing more. The opportunity to move around my team has definitely been a massive advantage.

What first attracted you to the Musgrave Graduate Programme?

Coming from a rural community, I have grown up with a love for food, but above all, have seen first-hand the positive effects of supporting local producers. For me, Musgrave has been rooted in the community for years and years, and the business is a supporter of everything local. That’s why I picked the brand. The Graduate Programme itself was extremely attractive to me as I knew there would be an opportunity to rotate within divisions. This would really give me a chance to broaden my horizons and soak up as much experience as I possibly could whilst maybe giving me the opportunity to work with different brands. Another really attractive aspect is the training that we would receive at the Irish Management Institution – I felt this would help me develop confidence in areas like public speaking, presenting and negotiating by providing me with practical tips and experience – which it has!

How do you think this programme will help you in your future career?

What I am learning now is definitely providing a strong foundation for the rest of my career. Through the IMI I am learning to deal with situations now that I have never experienced before which is great for character building. Getting a taste of big projects like our Retailer Conference (an event with over 1,000 delegates) and Tradeshow – learning ways of working and gaining insights will definitely help me in the future. One of the greatest habits I have gained through this programme is the structure – by implementing personal targets, it really gives you a measurement for your progression and this is surprisingly rewarding and something that I intend to take forward. With a real emphasis on gaining experience and progression it makes you more hungry and ambitious to learn, succeed and develop. It gives you that extra kick to put yourself out there, push out the boundaries and get outside your comfort zone.

Have you any top tips for applying?

My advice would be: be enthusiastic, opinionated, dare to be different and don’t hide your passion. When working in Musgrave, you quickly learn that your team is as invested in the goals of the company and care as much about their stores as the retailers themselves. It’s important to have a passion for what the company does, whether you love food, dealing with people or have real faith in what our brands do – like supporting local; it’s important to express this because that’s what they like to see – people that really care about the company’s values, so try to communicate this in your application.

It’s not all about plain sailing either, in my opinion it’s important to have your own personal train of thought and share your opinions on food retail, do not be afraid to think differently in an effort to add value. Food retail is a very fast moving and competitive industry these days, so it’s good sometimes to be able to challenge the norms and ways of thinking – expressing your opinions shows great initiative and drive and if you don’t try, you will never know what could have been.

Find your answer in our frequently asked questions.
APPLICATION PROCESS
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 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. 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 musgravegraduates.support@aon.com as safe. We expect to have all 2022 roles recruited by the end of December 2021.

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.

GRADUATE REQUIREMENTS
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 vacancies.

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. We do not provide financial sponsorship for permits.

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.

THE PROGRAMME
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 is the duration of the graduate programme?

The Programme runs for two years, apart from the finance and commercial food leadership programmes, which run 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.

What's involved in the IMI development programme?

The IMI programme is a bespoke development programme developed by the IMI and Musgrave to support the professional and personal development of our graduates. It comprises 6 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 IMI development Programme and will work on a business project in Year 2 which you will present to our CEO and senior leaders. The modules have transitioned to interactive online sessions during the current restrictions and will return to campus in the IMI in Dublin in 2022 in line with public health guidelines

Can I work remotely?

All Musgrave colleagues in office-based roles will continue to work remotely until February 2022. The future of work at Musgrave from February 2022 will be a hybrid model, with time spent in the office to collaborate and engage, and time working remotely. We are calling this Work Smart @ Musgrave and details will be shared with successful applicants.

OTHER
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, Facebook or Twitter 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.