Max O'Brien

Profile

Max O’Brien

Programme

BSc (Hons) International Business Management

Employment

UCC Coffee UK & Ireland

My placement experience

For my work placement, I joined the Sales and Marketing Department at UCC Coffee UK & Ireland. I was very fortunate to find this at such a late stage, as my original placement in Madrid was cancelled at the last minute. However, I really landed on my feet and I feel that sometimes our choices are made by our circumstances.

Sales and marketing is a role I can see myself fulfilling in the future, thanks to the insight UCC has given me. I spent time with the sales team, understanding the coffee business from the origins to point of sale, and received plenty of help and guidance from the Head of Marketing, Dan McGrath.

I thoroughly enjoyed my placement, and every day was as exciting as the first. I was involved in many different projects, including The Marketing Hub and The Tender Hub, where I collected marketing and tender information, which will be hugely beneficial to the sales team and the company in general. I also worked on a brochure for the Carlsberg Group, completed The Machine Competitor Review for UCC Coffee, and managed the Employee Facebook site, expanding it into a social haven for employees.

My favourite aspects of the role have been learning about coffee in general, visiting the roastery, taking part in sales days, meeting customers, and going to events, such as the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Taste of London, London Coffee Festival, Hampton Court Flower Show etc.

I’ve gained valuable sales knowledge and experience, which has enabled me to see the theory I’ve learnt in my degree put into practice.

My experience at UCC Coffee, has been invaluable. Being part of a large, successful company has taught me that everyone’s role is important, and instrumental to business success. The sales team have involved me as much as possible, and I was able to see how the team present the ‘Total Coffee Solution’. I’ve gained valuable sales knowledge and experience, which has enabled me to see the theory I’ve learnt in my degree put into practice. Furthermore, I have improved my communication skills, and increased my business contacts considerably.

The role inspired me much more than I expected, and I can wholeheartedly say that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my placement experience. UCC Coffee is an exciting, young, and dynamic company, and I would be very interested in working for them when I complete my degree next summer.