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Zeeshan Rafiq, Commercial Graduate

Excelling at an internationally renowned business has been a dream of Zeeshan’s since he was a young man. After choosing Business Studies as an option throughout his GCSEs and college, he went on to earn his Bachelor’s degree in International Business from the University of Kent. Zeeshan has done his best to absorb all the theory that goes into successfully running organisations – from marketing and human resources to strategy and finance. Now, as a Commercial Graduate at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP), he’s living his dream by putting it into practice.

 

Question: What made you decide that you wanted to pursue a graduate scheme?

“The reason I wanted to pursue a graduate scheme – CCEP’s in particular – was the opportunity to gain exposure to different roles within the business. This rotational element of my programme is invaluable, enabling me to develop due to so many diverse experiences. Throughout the scheme, I’ve received mentorship and guidance from colleagues whom have a vast range of knowledge. For an individual who is looking to grow both personally and professionally, this graduate scheme is an incomparable experience and an exciting start to your journey.”

 

Question: What was the application process like for CCEP’s programme?

“The application process for CCEP’s programme was very smooth. First, I completed an online application, then I was notified soon after that I had been selected to complete an online interview. With the online interview having been successful, I was then invited to an assessment centre at CCEP’s office in Uxbridge, London. Here, I received a simple briefing of what to expect on the day and was given a task to complete. Soon after, I was offered a position on the programme and I couldn’t have been happier!”

 

Question: When did you join the programme and how has your experience been?

“My experience has been amazing. From the very first day, I felt part of the CCEP family. Before joining the organisation, I had read about how passionate CCEP is about its people. But when I got here, I saw for myself why this business has so many long-serving employees. Not only is everyone in it to win together, but this environment really inspire you to develop yourself and supports you on your journey.”

“I knew I wanted to work for an organisation that operated at an industry leading level. To get frontline experience and understanding of how what I’ve learnt translates into day-to-day activities. So far, I have not been disappointed.”

 

Question: Do you have any advice that you’d like to share with university students thinking of applying?

“Understand what it is that brings out the best in you and don’t let opportunities pass you by. As a university student, you have been tasked with challenges and have had to adapt your ways of working to get where you are. So you do have the skills and attitude needed to approach this opportunity. Research the organisation and don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions. Reach out to accessible career support and practise interview questions. Give yourself the best chance to show your true self throughout your CCEP recruitment journey. Then go ahead and apply!”

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