15.07.2021

From Graduate to Permanent — Q&A with Justine Fourny, Category & Marketing Officer

We caught up with Justine, who joined us in September 2019 in the company’s first ever Graduate role, to talk all things Aquascot — including how Highland life compares to her home in France.

"It is crucial to come with an open mind, and to work hard to gain everyone’s trust."

What's your background (where you grew up, studied etc.)?

I was born and raised in France, in a little town about 30 minutes away from Paris. I moved to the city for university, where I studied a Masters’ Degree in Marketing, specialised in Retail & Customer Relationship Management. I then spent a gap year traveling around Australia and New-Zealand, before coming back to Europe and moving to Scotland for further education in Fitness & Nutrition in Dundee.

How did the graduate job with Aquascot come about?

It only took a few months for me to fall in love with Scotland, so I started researching full-time positions which would allow me to stay in the country for good. I already had some working experience behind me albeit short-term – including internships at Nestlé and L’Oréal headquarters in France – and I thought a graduate role would be the best fit for me. You gain access to top-class companies with an entry-level role, so really it’s a win-win for both the successful candidate and the company.

What drew you to apply for a role with Aquascot?

I was looking for a role that would combine my interests in the food industry and my skills in marketing. I’m also a salmon addict, so when the job advert came up, I didn’t hesitate one second! I was particularly interested in the product development side of things, which I had touched on previously but not explored in great depth. I liked that Aquascot was a dedicated supplier to Waitrose, which is a badge of great product quality. I was a bit reluctant to uproot myself another time to move to the Highlands, but the environment is ideal for an outdoor enthusiast like me.

Is there anything in particular you learned in your grad role that you've carried forward in your established permanent role as Category and Marketing Officer?

I believe the first year of joining Aquascot taught me the major characteristics of the business: its employee-owned culture and its values. Working here is totally different to working in a multinational, in the sense that every person feels part of the same team – it’s almost like everyone plays a part in strategic decision-making. Some of my missions I have carried into the new role, such as researching food trends and analysing competitor product releases, but my main area of expertise is now communication – I manage all internal and external communications, including this newly redesigned website I helped launch!

What attributes do you think are most important when joining as a grad or in an internship role?

It is crucial to come with an open mind, and to work hard to gain everyone’s trust. A lot of people have been in the company since before I was even born, so you need to understand their perspective in order to comprehend the way the business works. Even if you are assigned with a specific role, it is important to step outside your team ‘bubble’ and join cross-functional projects to get comfortable working with different people in various departments and get a broad understanding of the organisational structure.

What do you like the most about working at Aquascot?

To me it seems as if everything that happens at Aquascot does so for a reason – every process/decision is well thought through, with the approval and back-up of partners through the Partnership Council (link to Rachel Q&A). It’s not very often that you come about a company that cares as much about their employees. Not only, but the products that we deliver are respectful of the environment and the society as a whole, so it feels like I am making a difference.

Follow Aquascot on LinkedIn for the latest news, recipes and information from the Scottish seafood people in Alness.

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