Generation Next mentoring scheme case study: Melissa Kelly

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Posted by: JasmineThompson
Posted on: 27/10/2022

Throughout your career, the advice of a mentor can be really beneficial in giving you the skills to help you solve problems in your current industry, or broadening your knowledge of the business world – but it can be particularly beneficial when in the early years of your career. We talk to Generation Next member Melissa Kelly, sales lead at TTK Confectionery, about her experience of our mentoring scheme.

Tell us about the business you work for and your role within it?

TTK Confectionery is a food gifting company based in Nottingham, focused on building show-stopping food gifting ranges based around trending flavours, colours, prints and packaging.

TTK is a family-owned business with a diverse and vibrant team. Directors Martin and Jess began with the aim of designing modern confectionery gifting products, starting out with just one retail store, and now the company sell to retailers all over the world.

With an award-winning creative and buying team and a SALSA accredited food packing facility in Nottingham, TTK Confectionery are considered progressive leaders in innovative food gifting design and development.

My role at TTK is focused on sales and customer service. I look after all our customers whether that be Sainsburys and ASDA, a tiny independent retailer with one shop or even a business based in Australia. As well as looking after our existing customer base I am also responsible for actively searching for new business and income streams. My position is heavily focused on company turnover and sales targets and ensuring customers receive the highest level of service possible.

Why did you sign up to Generation Next membership?

Generation Next was highly recommended by my colleague who is on the board for the network and it seemed like a great membership to be part of in terms of making different connections and exploring different opportunities, to help me develop both professionally and personally.

Melissa’s experience of the Generation Next mentoring scheme

I joined the mentoring scheme as I thought it would be extremely beneficial to have someone from outside of the organisation give me some pointers on things I was struggling with.

I chose Michael Charlesworth as his previous experience and roles were most similar to the role I am currently in. I initially wanted to gain some confidence and advice around export markets and negotiating.

How has the support you’ve received from the mentoring scheme been useful to your career development and current job role?

I really enjoyed the mentoring sessions that I had both virtually and in person with Michael. I learnt things I wasn’t expecting to learn which as well was a huge bonus, although some things may not have related to my role specifically they were still valuable in terms of the business as whole.

I’ve taken on board lots of tips and tricks that I can put into practice immediately, especially when it comes to negotiating with potential new customers as well as existing ones. I’ve gained a lot of useful insight into different export markets and ways in which to tackle these.


By becoming a member of Generation Next, you can access our mentoring scheme. Our members can gain the skills and knowledge needed to progress in business by learning from the advice given by their mentor, all while building their professional network through the Generation Next events and socials.

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