Heriot-Watt University is proud to boast a strong professional relationship with Scottish international food giant Baxters, managed and cultivated by our very own Associate Professor of Marketing Elaine Collinson. After several years of successful partnership, we were delighted to announce the continuation of The Baxter’s Talent Programme for 2018/19, giving three lucky Business Management students the chance to work closely with a hugely successful multinational brand and a full MSc scholarship with the School of Social Sciences!  

Our lucky winners for 2016/17 were Akshita Bajpal, Craig Imrie and Lisa Balestrieri, who each undertook six month internships with the company after completion of their MSc programmes, which best equipped them with the tools and know-how necessary to run with Baxter’s exciting and practical work-experience opportunity. We caught up with all three applicants after their placement to hear how their experience went, what they learned and how their expectations differed from reality. Lisa, a student on our MSc International Marketing Management course, told us how thrilled she was to learn just how exciting and fast-paced the food and drink industry could be:

“This experience was incredibly enriching and stimulating. The last months were characterized by hard work and commitment, which increased my self-confidence and led to a series of important achievements and personal satisfactions.”

Lisa Balestrieri, (Student)

During her time with Baxters, Lisa was also fortunate enough to work with the company during the famous Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh, an annual celebration of Scotland’s rural and farming community. Helping with the promotion, organising tastings and collecting feedback from consumers allowed her to put her marketing theory into practice before making useful recommendations for Baxters to improve its performance at next year’s show.

Craig, a student on our MSc in Business Strategy, Leadership & Change, used his invaluable experience with Baxters to base and write his dissertation project. Alongside this, Craig was given the chance to take part in Modern Slavery and Ethical Trading Awareness training, providing education on labour exploitation prevention which is becoming increasingly important...

“as growing consumer awareness and Governmental legislation demand greater care and efforts by organisations.”

Craig Imrie, (Student)

Working closely with Baxters’ top team at Fochabers, Craig was given the chance to implement the skills learned during his MSc in a real and useful way, assessing the leadership, emotional and social competency reports for employees in key leadership roles throughout the company at home and abroad.

Akshita Bajpal, a student from our MSc Logistics and Supply Chain Management course, helped Baxters with the design and implementation of three projects designed to cut the costs of their outbound logistics.

“The first would be to find opportunities to reduce the internal supply chain cost by 10% using lean tools, optimise the flow of material into and out of the warehouse and lastly optimising the utilisation of vehicle to the customer.”

Akshita Bajpal (Student)

Akshita outlined that a highlight of the process was being provided the opportunity to put theories and concepts learned on the MSc programme to the test as well as gaining the necessary skills during the internship to take on commercial problems in the future with complete confidence! All three of the interns agree that The Baxters' Talent Programme has been tremendously beneficial for both their personal and professional lives. Thanks to their hard work, our students have forged strong ties with Baxters that could lead to exciting opportunities ahead! We are incredibly hopeful for them. Of course all this would not be possible if it were not for the generosity of Baxters - in particular Clyde Marwick, Group Human Resources Director, who has ensured the professional links between Heriot-Watt, the brand and some of our brightest students has been mutually beneficial. The Baxter’s Talent Programme is a collaborative scholarship offered to students undertaking one of our three specialised degree programmes: MSc in Business Strategy, Leadership and Change, MSc in International Marketing Management and MSc in Logistics and Supply Chain Management. We are absolutely thrilled to announce that Baxters will be running its career-enhancing opportunity again this year, providing our students with the chance to put their degrees into practice in a real working environment, in return offering the organisation some of the University’s most ambitious minds!

Article credit to Olivia Young, who is currently working as an intern with SoSS Marketing and Comms team. Olivia is a postgraduate student on the International Business Management with Marketing programme and has been awarded the Caledonia Scholarship.