GRIPPLE GRADUATE FOCUS – HARVEY HANCOCK, PRODUCT MANAGER

 Having graduated from Sheffield Hallam University, Harvey Hancock joined the Gripple graduate scheme in 2019. After two rewarding years spending time working in Marketing, Sales, Business Development, and Ideas & Innovation, Harvey has progressed into a fulltime role in Product Management.  

We caught up with Harvey last week to conduct a quick interview about his time at Gripple and how our graduate scheme helped him in his early career.

What attracted you to the Gripple graduate scheme?

“I met with a member of the previous Gripple graduate cohort at a careers fair during my time at university. The main thing which stood out after speaking to them was the positivity surrounding the culture at Gripple.  At the time I was unsure what job role would be most suitable so the opportunity to spend time in each department, combined with the ‘open door’ culture where everybody is welcoming and happy to help, sounded perfect.”

Which departments did you spend time in during the program?

“My graduate programme started off in Marketing – helping the Marketing Services team work on the new website – before moving on to rotations in Sales, Business Development, and I&I.”

What do you think makes the Gripple graduate scheme different to others out there?

“The Gripple graduate scheme provides you with the responsibility to manage projects which will contribute towards the overall success of the business. Whereas some Graduate schemes may fear putting graduates in positions with genuine responsibility, the Gripple scheme encourages and trusts graduates to work independently right from the beginning of their scheme. Help and advice is always on hand if needed but the trust placed on graduates to work independently is what sets the Gripple scheme apart from others in my eyes.”

What was your favourite project from your time in the Graduate program and why?

“My favourite rotation during my graduate programme was my time spent in Business Development. The project followed a similar structure to the research side of my now permanent role in Product Management – allowing me to converse with different departments and regions globally to decide whether there was a commercially viable opportunity in concrete reinforcement for Gripple. The project culminated in me presenting to the team who decided on whether investing more time and effort into investigating the opportunity was viable. This process provided a great insight into the relationship between Business Development and Product Management which made it very clear that Product Management would be an enjoyable and fulfilling role.”

How did Gripple support you as a Graduate during the pandemic?

“Gripple were great with all three of the graduates on my rotation during the pandemic. As the pandemic began in the UK, I was on my Raleigh Expedition in Nepal – meaning we were to some extent unaware of the situation which was unfolding. Gripple contacted us and told us that we would need to leave our expedition and fly back to the UK as soon as possible to avoid the border closures. Gripple couldn’t have been more helpful in what was a genuinely stressful situation – with the P&C department regularly checking up on us and helping us to organise our travel back to the UK. Once we arrived home, the manager of my home department gave me a call to explain the new ‘work from home’ plans and let me know that it was okay if I needed time to settle back in for a few days before beginning back at work. Whilst everybody was working from home, the whole business was great in up keeping the culture which could easily have been lost due to remote working – with groups created to keep each other up to date with our lockdown activities and regular zoom quizzes organised!”

At the end of the scheme how did you know which department you wanted to choose for a permanent role?

“Marketing was always my favoured module throughout my time at university. Towards the beginning of my assessment centre, I sat down with the graduate scheme co-ordinator and expressed my interest in Marketing which allowed us to design my rotations to give me the best opportunity to get a feel for how a role in Marketing would work. Each rotation provided me with further insight into how each department in the business interacted with the Marketing department. This made the importance of the Marketing department, and its integral role in the functioning of the business, stand out as a real opportunity for me to contribute towards moving the business forwards in the future.”

How did the Gripple graduate scheme help prepare you for life in your new permanent role at Gripple?

“The Gripple graduate scheme provided me with the confidence to know that I can take skills which were learnt at university and utilise them in a position of genuine responsibility. The trust which was instilled by the business during my time on the graduate scheme meant that I was able to contribute fully whilst continuing to develop great relationships with my colleagues. Regular catchups with my home department manager and the graduate scheme co-ordinator provided me with the opportunity to feedback on personal development areas on which I felt it was important to focus during the 18-month period – ensuring that we created a great platform to build upon during my permanent role.”

Tags: Careers

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