After studying GCSE and A Level German and Business at Skipton Girls’ High School, I went on to study German and Business & Management at the University of Manchester. Despite not being the strongest linguist at school, I knew that continuing my language studies would greatly increase my employability. After two years of study, I gained a one year internship at Continental Automotive in their press department in Frankfurt for my year abroad. This was an invaluable year where I gained wide business experience and fluency in German. It’s also the year where I really came to love Germany; the language, the food and the culture. Upon returning to Manchester, I completed my final year of university graduating with First Class Honours.
I then decided to take a year out. In that time, I worked for the first half and then went travelling, completing a solo round the world trip over a period of six months. This was a character building experience to say the least! I overcame many challenges over the course of the six months which gave me plenty to talk about when applying for graduate positions.
After my year out, I applied for the Lidl Buying Graduate scheme based at their UK head office in Wimbledon and following two interviews with Buying Directors, I was offered the position. After an intense one year training period with a UK buyer, I spent three months training with an international buyer at Lidl’s international head office in Neckarsulm, Germany. I experienced decision making at the top of a multi billion Euro business and an insight into the world of international food buying.
On my return to London, I was promoted to Buying Manager and given responsibility for my own category. I now source and buy all sausage, bacon, gammon and cooked meat products for Lidl in the UK as well as export markets, with responsibility for multi million pound turnover. This involves analysing the market and range we offer, developing supplier relationships and the category and ultimately negotiating contracts for supply to our 620 stores. I travel regularly around the UK and Europe and thoroughly enjoy my job, speaking German everyday at work. I look forward to building my buying career further and continuing to use and improve my German language skills.
Lucinda is also on page 19 of Lidl’s Graduate Brochure of 2015.