Category Development Exec Intern

by Pernod Ricard UK

Best Student Employer


  • The Role
  • The Company
  • The Culture

    The Role

  • 1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
  • I throughly enjoyed my year working at Pernod Ricard. Within the role, I was continually challenged and pushed to expand my knowledge and skills through engaging in opportunities both role specific and in area of significant interest throughout the business. The category team was incredibly supportive of my development, constantly contributing towards advancing my experience. The culture at Pernod Ricard remains a notable highlight to be working in such a positive and friendly environment with a large array of out of role opportunities.


  • 2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
  • The company culture drives all teams towards creating friendly and supportive networks. I was engaged early on in meetings and team discussions, quickly feeling comfortable to share my thoughts and opinions, while additionally being able to ask for support where needed. The category team were highly supportive, offering feedback on work and made me feel like a valued member of the team from the start. Pernod Ricard integrate you into working as a real member of the team, and I never felt as if my intern role was valued any less within the business.


  • 3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
  • The category team restructure allowed me to work under the guidance of two line managers during my placement. Both managers where incredibly supportive of my development, quickly homing in on my specific interests and engaging me within these in addition to my direct role. I quickly established open lines of communication, and no question was judged or left unanswered. In terms of more structured support and guidance, I had weekly catch ups in order to discuss my week, my work and any questions I might of had.


  • 4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
  • The nature of the category team means we periodically receive new data, resulting in naturally busier times. However, you quickly get used to the routine and each quarter gives rise to new opportunities to analyse and develop your skill set. During quieter periods, the team is happy to engage within additional projects or work, or individually using the time to build confidence using the databases and programs. Towards the end of my placement, my role changed slightly and I was able to work more freely in my category support to wider areas of the business or assisting other members of the team.


  • 5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
  • The opportunities for responsibility were above and beyond my expectations as an intern. I was lucky to have customer accountability for the Impulse and Wholesale sector. This additionally lead to opportunities to travel and present both as part of a team and on my own. Not only did this allow me to work directly on my skill set but gave insight into other businesses. Overall, this role pushed me to constantly review and assess my performance and allowed me to develop far beyond my expectation, on a personally and professionally level.


  • 6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
  • I expect the skills learnt this year to greatly assist me in my final year and through into post-graduate employment. As a management student, the insight into business structure, culture and market performance remain key learnings, especially now having seen their impact on business success. Additionally, the training on data systems such as Kantar, Dunnhumby and Nielsen alongside my further development of Microsoft programs will be valuable when entering the graduate market for a multitude of roles.


    The Company

  • 7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
  • The office always offered a relaxed and inviting atmosphere. Especially during the start everyone made and effort to make me feel comfortable and show me around. Additionally, the hot-desk policy allowed me to meet members of wider teams and and get to know them all quickly. The communal areas of the office really support the company culture with the multiple coffee points, work pods and the office bar allowing for tastings and training to take place on-site.


  • 8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
  • The HR team were supportive from the start, helping us all get introduce to each other months before our start date. Through the year, the HR partner would check-in and there were open lines of communication if needed. The category team supported with a detailed handover which became my bible throughout the first few weeks. After settling into the role I knew there were key areas of interest that the role touched upon, the team were quick to further engage me within these and play to to skill set while supporting and engaging my development throughout.


  • 9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
  • The first couple of weeks I was providing with extensive internal and external training on core data software. This was challenging at the start but allowed me to open lines of communication to both the team and externally for help. My line manager heavily engaged me with trade events and customer meetings from the start, this allowed me to build my own knowledge on the market and developed my approach to thinking via a hands on approach.


  • 10. What were the perks on your work placement?
  • Flexi Time

    Subsidised/Company Gym

    National Travel

    International Travel

    Financial Bonus

    Company Parties/Events

    Staff Sales/Staff Shop

    Above 25 days holiday


  • 11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
  • Unfortunately Pernod Ricard have removed their graduate entry level role found in the fieldsales team. This would have been a key area of interest for me having throughly enjoyed my engagement with the commercial team this year. However, there are exec level roles available within the company and a significant amount of previous interns working as managers within company emphasising the desirability to return. I can safely say, I do not know one intern who wouldn’t love to return in the future.


    The Culture

  • 12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
  • The intern group got on very well from the start. Lunch times spent socialising offered a nice break from work and we quickly became good friends. We frequently enjoyed after work drinks and enjoyed evenings out together. This helped grow my confidence in networking with colleagues and enjoyed building my relationships there although at the start put me slightly out of my comfort zone. Overall, everyone in the business is lovely and up for socialising!


  • 13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
  • Living cost is high in London. I was lucky to be able to live at home, allowing me to have a little more disposable income, however, those living out found areas that were more affordable such as Acton. There are areas near-by such as Hammersmith where there are cheaper bars/pubs When out socialising with work, I was often treating and Pernod Ricard have set up discount at some pubs/bars, which is beneficial especially with those located on Chiswick Business Park.


  • 14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
  • Chiswick Business Park is located in West London and has a couple of bars/pubs that are easy to visit for after work drinks, some of which Pernod Ricard have set up discount with! Additionally, being located along the District line and near the Piccadilly line (24/h), it is easy to get into central and experience the nightlife there. During the summer months we made use of the staff shop and socialised together on our own accord.


  • 15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
  • There was plenty available to engage with, mostly sports based such as football, lunchtime yoga and Pilates. Additionally, charity events such as quiz nights, football tournaments and the “Good times from a good place”. I personally wish I had made more time for my involvement within these and would highly recommend for others to partake.


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Placement Year (10 Months+)

Business Analytics, Business Management, Market Research, Marketing

Central London and City

September 2020

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