F15 & PM Graduates
Hello! I am Ahmed and I am a production management graduate :D. I am very excited to write this post and share the amazing experiences I had while moving abroad, in the first training week, and in the first few weeks I spent exploring Scotland where I will spend my first rotation.
My journey with Arla started in Bahrain (where I come from) when I joined as a Supply Chain Graduate. I was impressed from the start of the steep learning curve and of the big projects that I worked on with the quality, operations, CI, & customer service teams. A lesson from my experience in Arla Bahrain that’s stuck with me is that you learn to teach which is a big motivator for myself.
After a year of learning and growing in Arla Bahrain, it was time to take the next step, joining the production management graduate programme. Knowing that I will move to different countries in Europe in the next two years of the programme made me nervous because I have never been to Europe before and never lived on my own. But my enthusiasm exceeded all worries I had. I will always be grateful of getting the opportunity to live in beautiful countries, meeting smart, cool and inspiring people, and also working on big projects that offer huge learning opportunities which the PMG programme offers.
My first trip was from Bahrain to Denmark where I spent the first training week with all the other PM & F15 graduates. The first training week was all about getting to know Arla’s culture, knowing what is expected from us as graduates, understanding ourselves more through the Hogan Personality session we had with Tom Cook, which was such an unusual and interesting experience, and visiting a farm and milking cows! Each day was a different, unexpected experience! I never thought we would write and perform an Arla song in the training week XD. A valuable lesson that I learned from the training week is to never be afraid of asking. No one knows everything and that is okay.
I am impressed of the strong relationships that we, the graduates, built in a very short period. I remember how hard it felt saying goodbye to the graduates and travelling on my own to the UK to start my journey at the site in Lockerbie!
My site is located in a very small town called Lockerbie in Scotland. It felt like I travelled back in time when I arrived to Lockerbie. The buildings and roads are old and vintage. There was also a big change from Bahrain. When I compare Scotland to Bahrain, I see three main differences, how cold the weather is, how green it is, and how big the birds are xD. The pigeons here are three times bigger than the ones in Bahrain which is surprising to me XDD. The drastic change between Bahrain & Scotland makes exploring the area more fun! I keep getting impressed by the beauty of Scotland’s nature every day!
I am glad that the team at the site in Lockerbie was very welcoming and helpful. My colleagues always offer help at work and outside of work which made me feel supported and in safe hands. I had an introduction week where I got to spend some time with the different teams to understand more about the process of production and get to know the people at the site. After the first week, it was time to set the objectives for the rotation’s projects and start setting a plan to complete the projects. Working on two big projects that will have a big impact on reducing carbon emissions is really motivating & exciting! Setting daily tasks for myself felt a bit difficult at the start after having structured introduction training weeks in Denmark and in Scotland.
Thinking about moving abroad made me nervous. I thought that it was difficult. But doing it showed me that I am capable of more than what I realize and that everything gets sorted at the end especially when you have a good support system of friends, colleagues and the other graduates! This is just the start to many challenging adventures that lay ahead of me which I am VERY excited for!