Ruth Hutchinson, who hails from Lisburn, Co. Armagh, works as a business service graduate with agri-technology company, Devenish.
She began working for the firm after completing a degree in human resource management.
Although not from a farming background, the 22-year-old said working at Devenish has given her a real insight into the agri-food industry.
“Through the graduate programme, I have been able to learn about various parts of the supply chain, as well as gain agricultural experience visiting pig and poultry units.”
Ruth gave us an insight into a day in her life at Devenish.
What is your current job title?
I am a business services graduate with Devenish. As part of the company’s graduate programme, I get to experience a number of departments within the business and at present, I am working within the finance and payroll team.
Where are you based?
I am currently based in Belfast, working between one of our offices and our goods-in warehouse. In the past few weeks, I have been supporting our operations team as a result of COVID-19.
When I am at my desk, I share an office with three others from the team. In the warehouse, I work with the forklift truck drivers and pickers, providing them with admin support and helping complete stock checks.
What does your day currently consist of?
Working between the office and the warehouse, my weeks tend to vary and no two days are the same.
Within payroll, on Tuesdays, I liaise with the mill, warehouse and maintenance managers to check that the time and attendance report is correct and process the data which is then passed on to my manager.
Who do you liaise with on a daily basis?
Working within the finance and payroll department means I am in contact regularly with colleagues from right across the business.
When working at the warehouse, I also liaise with hauliers who are delivering goods to our premises.
What kind of responsibilities do you have currently?
At present, I am responsible for completing the weekly payroll for 130 members of staff and processing expenses claims.
At the warehouse, I have a varied role providing general support, be it processing the goods-in paperwork, completing stock checks and other administrative tasks.
What is your favourite part of your role?
I enjoy how varied the role is and I have the opportunity to learn something new whether it be in the office or at the warehouse.
What is the most challenging part of your role?
Every day brings its own challenges, but I am fortunate to work in a supportive environment, with colleagues who are always happy to give advice.
Looking after payroll is very important, and it is vital that I maintain a high level of accuracy and ensure that the data I input is correct.
Has this role met your expectations?
The graduate programme at Devenish has exceeded my expectations. Gaining exposure to areas across the business has been really valuable – I am learning new things all the time.
All within the space of eight months, I have gained experience in operations, training, human resources, finance and payroll, and agriculture.
What plans/hopes do you have for career progression?
My immediate plans are to complete the two-year graduate scheme with Devenish and, ideally, I would like to move into a role within the human resources and payroll teams with the company.
Why should younger generations follow in your footsteps?
Graduate schemes, like the programme Devenish offers, are a great way to experience different aspects of a company.
I have had the opportunity to work in areas I might not have considered in the past and expand my knowledge and skills in the process.
The agri-food industry on the island of Ireland has a lot to offer. It is a sector that is always innovating and is full of many great career opportunities.
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