10 Years since starting in CE – Rachael Meaney
We spoke to CE Alum, Rachael Meaney (MEng Chemical Engineering Graduate), who wanted to share her experience over the last 10 years, to demonstrate the experiences you can have as a Chemical Engineering student and alum. You can see what she had to say below:
Where are you 10 years after starting at Manchester? (This should include your current job and any additional qualifications (charterships, MScs)
I am currently a Workplace Relations Partner for Tesco; researching, developing and delivering HR policy changes across the UK business, and minimum policy standards across the Tesco group (UK, ROI, Asia, CE and Subsidiary Businesses). In addition to this, I partnered our Distribution function HR teams and Directors on the Union Relations agenda. I am soon to finish my MA in Human Resources Management and become an associate member of the CIPD.
Can you tell us a bit about your journey? (Whether you did a grad scheme, what roles you’ve had, have you moved around different companies?
I’ve worked for Tesco since graduating, I started on the Distribution Management Graduate Trainee scheme where I worked within the operational distribution and logistics functions and at the end of my scheme I found that whilst I’d enjoyed the operational side of things I had a real passion for the people agenda. I then had a series of great opportunities to really build a great foundation of HR knowledge still within the distribution function, working as a; leadership trainer, change coach and support people partner.
I then left distribution and joined the central HR team as a Change Partner, where I was the project manager for two major TUPE transfers including for the sale of Tesco Opticians to Vision Express. When this project was delivered I returned to distribution as an operational HR Partner, partnering the leadership teams across two distribution centres. I then returned to the central HR team to deliver my current role, where I still work closely with the distribution operational HR team.
How did Manchester help you on your way? (This could be a skill you developed, a company presentation, etc, defining memory or happy memory)
I had a great time at Manchester and still look back on my time there really fondly. Whilst there are more defining moments than I could mention, not least building lifelong friendships, professionally one of the most defining aspects was the departments close relationship with P&G of who I was luckily enough to be sponsored by throughout my degree and gained valuable work experience with through three summer internships. The work experience introduced me to supply chain and distribution which was a significant contributor to me applying to Tesco and my subsequent career.
Any advice for ChemEngers starting their degrees this September?
Be open to and enthusiastic about opportunities that come your way during your degree, as having a rounded profile with work experience will set you apart from other graduates.