Megan Beresford

Shift Operations Manager

  • Environmental Science BSc (Industrial)
  • Leeds, University of
  • Placement Year (10 Months+)
  • British Sugar

Describe a normal day in the office.

I work a shift pattern in a factory which involves mornings, afternoons and nights so my working hours are constantly changing, which is one of the things I enjoy about the job. My role on the shift team is to learn the process of making sugar in a way which considers health and safety and the environment. I do this by shadowing members of the shift team, theory work and by meeting with experts within the company.

“I have advanced my skills in communicating with people from all over the company to create development opportunities and seek out knowledge to enable me to be the best possible shift operations manager I can be.”

How did British Sugar prepare you for your placement/internship?

Before I started, I visited the factory to meet my shift manager and mentor. My mentor introduced me to key people around the factory and helped to arrange PPE and show me around site. I also had a week on boarding with the other new graduates from around the business which gave us an insight into how the company operated and was an opportunity to network with a range of people within British Sugar.

What were the highlights of your job?

The element of team work and camaraderie within the shift team is very rewarding. Team work is vital to ensure the factory is working effectively and everyone is safe so it is a great feeling knowing that you are helping to achieve this goal. During the off-season I was involved with factory maintenance; this offered a new perspective into how the plant worked as I had to go inside tanks and vessels, giving me opportunities to further my practical knowledge.

Shift Operations Manager

What is the most valuable lesson you learn on your placement/internship?

Building good working relationships by gaining the trust and respect of your team members and colleagues is vital. In this industrial environment I have found myself relying on the knowledge and experience of those around me. I have advanced my skills in communicating with people from all over the company to create development opportunities and seek out knowledge to enable me to be the best possible shift operations manager I can be.

How has this placement/internship affected your career prospects?

Coming from an environmental background into an engineering role has vastly broadened my knowledge and expertise. The training I have undertaken so far includes NEBOSH, first aid at work, confined space and basic mechanical, electrical and control engineering not to mention the training on the process itself. Along with the technical knowledge, I have also learnt valuable team leading and management skills. All of these new skills have greatly improved my future career prospects.

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