Skip navigation to content

Case Study: Jessica

Personal details
Degree:Modern Languages (French and German) with Management WIYA Profile picture
School(s): School of Modern Languages
Year of Graduation:Jun-2006
National of: United Kingdom
Employment details
Organisation: CIES – The Food Business Forum, Paris, France
Job title: Global Food Safety Initiative Coordinator
Occupational Sector: Health and Safety
What has been your route to getting your current position?
This particular job, my third in Paris, I found via the website.

I sent my CV along with a cover letter to the contact address on the job offer.

The job had been posted on the internet by a recruitment agency, so the initial interview to determine my suitability for the job was with a French recruitment consultant. After having successfully completed this first round interview, I was sent to meet with the Director of the Global Social Compliance Programme at CIES.) It went well, and a few days later I had a phone interview with the CEO of CIES. The following week I was contacted by the recruitment agency and told that I did not have enough experience for that particular role, but that both the Director of GSCP and the CEO liked my profile and wanted to put me forward for another position. Four more interviews in three different languages followed before I was offered a job as the Coordinator of the Global Food Safety Initiative.
What does your job involve ?
The first few months in the job were a whirlwind. Within two weeks I was travelling to Denver, Colorado to attend meetings with our Food Safety Technical Committee. A few weeks later I had a meeting with our Board of Directors in Atlanta. During this time I was responsible for organizing the meetings themselves and for taking detailed notes, in order to compile comprehensive meeting reports. I was initially doing long hours while I was settling into the role, but I now tend to work from 8:30/9am to 6pm with longer hours before our meetings and conferences. Now that I am more familiar with the various aspects of food safety, my activities and projects vary. We are currently working extensively on our communication. I have created a new website for our initiative which I update regularly and for which I often have to draft new documents. I write articles for our newsletter which we publish three times a year and have regular contact with our network of food safety experts, to organize meetings and keep them abreast of decisions made by our Board. A large part of my role is networking, so I attend conferences with the aim to create awareness of the Global Food Safety Initiative and to make contacts. In terms of our work social life, we try to organize after-work drinks every month. However, as different teams are busiest at varying times of the year, this is not easy. We try to go for lunch together and organize after work social events when schedules permit
What are the best bits of your job ?
Day in the Life ....

No day is particularly the same as my job is events-driven, and my daily activities will vary, particularly in the weeks running up to various meetings or conferences.
  • 7:45 Get up
  • 8:30 Walk to work
  • 8.45 Arrive at office, make the most of the time before everyone else arrives to go through e-mails from the US, Latin America and Asia and start prioritizing work items for the day.
  • 9.30 De-brief with boss and discussion about ongoing projects/things to be done.
  • 10.30 Project work/Emails
  • 12.30 Lunch
  • 1.30 Project work/Emails
  • 3.00 Conference calls with the US
  • 5.00 Project work/Emails/Debrief with boss
  • 6.00/6.30 Walk home.
Why were you successful?
What skills/ knowledge from your degree have you found particularly helpful in this role?
What advice would you give to students wishing to follow the same path?