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Marissa’s experience shadowing Compass Cymru's MD during National Apprenticeship Week 2024


As an apprentice chef with Compass Cymru at Cardiff City Stadium, every day presents new opportunities for learning and growth. However, the last few days have been even more new and exciting as we have celebrated National Apprenticeship Week. As part of this, I had the chance to shadow our Managing Director, Jane Byrd, on a ‘Day in the life’ experience.

The morning began with me joining some of Jane's team calls, where I listened in to her planning meetings. It was interesting to understand some of the decisions Jane participates in making, hear about what’s coming up, and (virtually!) meet many new team members and catering partners too.

After this, we got some fresh air and conducted a safety walk around the stadium. In my culinary apprenticeship, I know the importance of health and safety in the kitchen, but it was interesting to explore this outside of the cooking environment. There’s a lot that goes into venue and event planning to ensure the wellbeing of those who work at the stadium, as well as all of our visitors and customers.

Caffeine was next on the agenda, and after coffee we conducted a planning session for next month’s International Women's Day. As a young woman forging her path in the culinary industry this was great to be part of - Jane and I brainstormed how we might be able to celebrate and empower women within our industry in Wales.

One of the highlights of the day was our trip into Cardiff city centre to sample some Asian cuisine, which happens to be my favourite. I love international cuisine and it was a great experience exploring different flavours and culinary techniques, which I will take back to the kitchen.

Throughout our time together, Jane and I found time to chat about our career goals and aspirations. Jane has a range of experience in the hospitality industry, and so it was great to speak to someone so inspiring at the start of my career. She gave me lots of guidance and encouragement.  

Overall, I had a fantastic day. I’d firstly like to thank Compass’ apprenticeship team for organising this opportunity and letting me get involved. Secondly, a big thank you goes to Jane for her time and advice, as well as such a fun workday. I’m really grateful for the experience, and all the support I’m getting with Compass Cymru and the Levy culinary team.

Jane Byrd with Marissa