Matthew’s career with a coffee exporting company in Africa also stemmed directly from his placement. The Business with Marketing and Management graduate is assistant general manager of Taylor Winch Tanzania, a subsidiary of the Volcafe Group, a Swiss-based coffee house that buys, exports, hedges and trades green coffee from all over the world. It’s a challenging but rewarding role.
“I am based in Moshi in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania. I chose this career because of the opportunities to see parts of the world and experience other cultures I would otherwise not have had the chance to see, and I frequently travel across East Africa and occasionally to Asia and the US. The reason this career path was even an option to me is because of the experience I gained on my placement year with Volcafe in Kenya.
“In a typical week I am responsible for procuring hundreds of tons of green export ready coffee from estates, farmers and cooperatives across the country. I enjoy meeting farmers and being able to make a real impact on a community by helping to bring them out of poverty by finding a market for their coffee which pays them a fair price. In addition I enjoy being able to live, work and travel in a country with such a diverse culture and traditions.
“To be successful in this job you have to be self-confident, well organised, be able to work under pressure and outside your comfort zone. You also need to be comfortable traveling to remote areas and engaging with people from various backgrounds. There is a real demand for coffee traders who are willing to work and travel abroad. It’s not for everyone, but if you are an outgoing person and are looking for a career which will take you to interesting places across the world then I would encourage anyone to get involved.”