Graduate diaries

October 2012 - Tom, New Product Development Graduate

The Vax NPD graduate scheme is split over two years, in my first I will rotate through Product Management, Design and Research and Development before specialising in one of these areas for the second year. This arrangement gives me an opportunity to work with people and parts of the business that I wouldn’t do otherwise – something that has allowed me to build connections quickly and gain a perspective on colleagues’ job roles so that I understand the demands placed on them and can work more effectively in whichever job role I find myself in after the two year scheme. 

This accelerated exposure and support of knowledgeable colleagues has already helped me to solve problems and access information needed to deliver a range of products to be sold online in the New Year. The level of responsibility afforded to me in the form of live projects surprised me at first but I soon realised that this is normal in a company growing as quickly as Vax and that an opportunity to help shape the future of the business was available to anyone in the business driven to do so, this is something which will be a huge driver in the continuation of my career here and something that should attract those leaving University who wish to do the same. 

My first month here has been a challenging one, especially as my background is Industrial Design. Product management touches on so many more business disciplines than I had ever seen, even in my university placement year. I’m already starting to feel comfortable contributing to key meetings, and feel confident about delivering on my own project of launching a new range of products for the New Year. Exciting times moving forward, bring on month number two!

November 2012

 As the nights have drawn in and with the weather heading south I’ve had all the more reason to stay inside with my focal project progressing rapidly. Many of the new products I manage will reach consumers as early as February in the New Year and as a result a shift in focus has seen my contact with those in the business who deal with the aftercare of our products increase. As someone who is curious to understand and help improve user experience this exposure to the people who shape the entire product lifecycle is both valuable and genuinely interesting to witness. As my role progresses and relationships with people in the business develop, I look forward to helping implement the changes that will see our customer loyalty grow alongside the strength of our brand.

 

October 2012 - Laura, Marketing Graduate      

Starting my position as a Marketing Graduate was undoubtedly nerve racking at first, after sitting through hours of lectures at University, it was daunting to think of putting what I have been told into practise!  However, fortunately the staff here at Vax made me feel extremely settled, very quickly. Within the first week I already felt like part of the Vax team and that my involvement can actually reflect upon major decisions made in the company.

 I spent my first week collating a list of product names that could be used to name a new product due to be released in 2013. Not only did one of these names off my list get chosen, but also some of the other names I put forward are possibly being trademarked for future use! My second week was spent reviewing the vast array of products Vax has on shelves across multiple retailers. From this I was able to make a full packaging audit, including a competitor analysis which I presented back to the marketing team. This has led to some recommended actions being implemented immediately.  It’s great working collaboratively with people and here at Vax it’s already very apparent how important team work is. Every decision is made as a whole so that everybody’s input is involved and taken into consideration.

Vax is constantly growing so innovation and new ideas are part of the culture here. I have been involved in several idea storming sessions with product managers where I have been able to contribute new ideas that could go into future products… who knows what will come to market next. With the New Year fast approaching, retailers will soon be visiting us to conduct range reviews and deciding which of our products they are going to stock for 2013. I am currently working with the design studio to create presentation material for this.

I already feel that I have done and achieved so much in my first month and the above experiences are to name but a few. I look forward to what the next month has to offer as each week at Vax is a different week altogether and throws up different challenges. Roll on November…