Interviewing a current student of MIAM
When he started the Master in International Agribusiness Management he couldn’t have imagined everything that would happen afterwards. This is the story of Joaquín Amérigo, a Spanish student who enrolled MIAM being a graduate in English Language and Communication with French and who got a job in the agribusiness industry during the first 2 months of MIAM and then did his internship in this same company.
Where did you do your internship?
I’ve been doing my internship in Hannon Transport Ltd.’s Dublin depot, which is the main point in terms of logistics, as all the cross-docking activities are being done there, both imports (mainly France and Holland) from Europe and national collections and deliveries. The main products that are transported in the company are fruits, vegetables, flowers, and meat and even they are starting a new line of pharmacological products.
At the moment I’m in Spain enjoying my holidays, although I’m coming back to Hannon (Northern Ireland) in a couple of weeks. Then, by the end of August, I’m going to Holland and also to France, where the company is located too.
Which areas of the company did you work on?
The company always emphasized on the fact that, as I have no background on logistics, I had to start from scratch. Therefore, I started working in the warehouse, looking at how activities are done in Dublin’s depot, including loading and unloading trucks, optimizing and making the most of the available space in the warehouse, and organizing all the operations in a depot.
After that, I was moved to the office, where I learned from the planners and all the office staff. I also learned about the main problems a logistics depot can face, such as missing pallets, unlabelled pallets, dealing with a team of numerous people, or even how to deal in an auction.
Was the knowledge acquired in the master's useful for it?
All the subjects that are related to logistics and supply chain, such as Agrologistics, was definitely the most useful subjects for my internship. Nevertheless, I think every subject taught me something different that I didn’t know before.
Explain what you learned in the company that you didn’t know before.
Honestly, most of the things are present in the day by day in logistics companies. I had never been familiar with haulers, how they organize their activities, and how they are managed, from the most operational side such as loading and unloading trucks, setting the temperature in trailers or how to optimize space in a warehouse to plan the different trucks for the next day or how to manage such a big team.
Was the language a barrier for your internship? How did you overcome this challenge?
At first, I struggled a little bit with the Irish and Northern Irish accent and slang but the adaptation was very quick and easy, thanks to my experience living abroad and the Irish people’s hospitality. I really enjoyed being there, I’ve been even much in contact with their culture, especially in sports. I even went to a Gaelic Football match. I really really enjoyed it!
Tell us an example of something you did in your internship that proved your talent to the company.
Honestly, so far, everything has been learning and learning. However, I suggested new ideas such as improving the software they use or the system they have in the warehouse, as it is still done with paper, or even different ways to “tip” the pallets in the warehouse. They were pretty impressed of my knowledge despite the fact that I never was familiar with logistics, and I think I definitely made a good first impression.
Is the company offering you an extension of the internship or a contract?
I was offered a Trainee contract for these last 3 months, but I’ll be offered another contract as soon as these months are done.
So far, the only thing that I know is that I’m going to Rotterdam to keep learning and definitely start working, but I still don’t know it yet.
Do you think the mandatory internship is relevant in MIAM?
Definitely, I think the practical side of the knowledge we have been learning this last year is essential to consolidate it in our brains, especially the knowledge we’re really interested on. Besides, it is an excellent start for our working career and a good starting point to start networking.
Explain how you feel about the internship and the master's in general. Would you recommend the experience?
I do really recommend the master’s degree to everybody, even to the people that have no background in Agribusiness. I think I’m a clear example that no background is needed to do this. All you have to do is show interest and keep working to reach your goals and dreams. It all depends on you, if you have to study the double, do it, if you have to ask a hundred questions, ask them. Nobody will look bad at you and everybody will be keen to help you. Besides, I think I was very lucky to coincide with my classmates, as we all came from different backgrounds and all of us learned a bit from each other.