A big welcome to Princes’ new commercial graduates

We are delighted to introduce our three new commercial graduates to Princes.

After some fierce competition, Lucy Johnstone, Becca Marks and Siobhan McGovern all won places on this year’s Commercial Graduate Programme.

Already well into their induction bootcamp, the three have the opportunity to gain real, on-the-job experience.

Over the next two years, they will each spend eight months at a time rotating across our Sales, Marketing and Buying teams in our head office in Liverpool.

From the start, they have the opportunity to make a difference, to learn from the best and to be supported with a tailored, award-winning learning and development programme.

Alongside this, our graduates receive a highly competitive salary, a great benefits package and the opportunity to achieve professional qualifications.

This year’s cohort will also have the chance to gain a nationally recognised Level 4 Associate Project Manager Apprenticeship (including APM membership).


Introducing our new commercial graduates

Becca Marks, 21, from Raunds in Northamptonshire, started her first rotation in Princes as a Buyer in the Edible Oils team. She says:

“Until a few weeks ago I was based in Devon after graduating from Exeter University with a degree in English. Now I’m living in a studio flat in Liverpool, a city I’ve never been to before, and I love it.

“Unlike many of the other candidates I hadn’t done a business degree and I wasn’t sure if this would count against me. I think it’s great that the company is not stuck in a mindset that you need a particular degree to work for them.

“Like many people, when I was growing up, I didn’t know what I wanted to do for a career. Work experience really helped. While I was studying, I worked part-time for a small bakery chain helping them with everything from their social media to product development. I enjoyed making a difference and learning about the running of a small business. The next step was to work for a bigger company.

“I looked at a few different graduate schemes but Princes’ personality stood out for me, I liked what they offered and applied.

“What struck me from the start was how human and friendly the interview process was. Interviews with other companies were chiefly carried out at the start by AI robots but I had a call with a real person from the HR team!

“The interview process was personalised and there was always someone on hand if I wanted to ask a question.

“I was challenged to give a PowerPoint presentation introducing a new Princes product and to explain how I would package and market it, with an eye to sustainability. Unlike the dissertation I was writing at the same time for my university course, this was incredibly exciting and it made me want the job even more.

“I’m a month into the Commercial Graduate Programme and I’m really enjoying it. I can see that already the three of us are going to be good pals.”


Lucy Johnstone, 23, from Upton, in Wirral, joined the Marketing team for her first rotation. She says:

“I didn’t go to university in the traditional way. Instead, I left school at 18 after taking A-Levels in science and food technology and started a degree apprenticeship in Business Management and Leadership.

“I spent four years working for a company in Cheshire that makes fogging and misting systems to suppress dust. A degree apprenticeship enables you to gain a full degree while you work, without racking up student debt, and you get a day a week to study, which I did through Chester University.

“After graduating, I decided I wanted a career in the food industry. I knew a couple of people who started their careers with Princes and they told me how well regarded the programme is.

“I liked the idea of a job where you are encouraged to get stuck in straight away, where you can progress and where there’s a brilliant mentoring system in place. Being able to rotate through three departments also gives you time to see what you’re good at.

“Plus it’s a bonus that Princes has a very cool head office in the Royal Liver Building!

“I’m ambitious – I’d like to head a department one day – and it was good to be tested in the recruitment process, which was hard. It gives you a real flavour of what the job involves and I put a lot of effort into preparing for it.

“Everyone I spoke to during the interview process was by phone, Teams or face-to-face and I found it very friendly, well organised and professional.”


Siobhan McGovern, 23, from Wirral, is doing her first rotation in the Sales team. She says:

“It’s quite funny because Lucy and I went to the same school and we live close to each other.

“I did a Fashion Marketing degree at Leeds Beckett University but quickly realised that the marketing element was where I wanted to focus.

“My degree was over four years and included a year in industry. I got a placement as a junior buyer for ready meals and pizza for the Co-op in Manchester.

“The manager was great and wanted me to get as much out of the placement as I could. I met lots of people in the industry, saw inside the factories, and learnt lots about marketing, competitive analysis and new product development.

“After three years living in Leeds and the challenges of being a student during the pandemic, I was keen to find a great job close to home. I chatted to a family friend who has worked for Princes for 25 years and they told me about the Graduate Programme.

“I applied and was delighted to be offered a job. I love how flexible the company is. If you want to work 11-7 instead of 9-5, you can. They also embrace hybrid working so I can work from home as well as in the office.

“The training is great. Spending eight months in three very different departments not only gives you real insights into those area, it also gives you more career options.

“I’ve started my first rotation in the Sales team and in my first week I went to my first ever FMCG trade show. It’s brilliant.”