What are the benefits for you from the internship? Why do you consider the time was spent in a use- and senseful way?
I have written my Master Thesis at Procter & Gamble Prestige in Cologne for 6 months. When I look back over that period that I spent in manufacturing department I can tell I am totally satisfied what I have done and what I have learned.
Doing an internship or writing a Bachelor/Master Thesis at P&G is not like doing that anywhere else. Since I have completed my first four internships - domestic and abroad - in different departments of various industries, I can easily compare my P&G experience with others, which was the most exciting and challenging one I have ever had so far. Good mentoring, family-like and direct working atmosphere, advanced standards and high technology are the highlights that made me feel safe at the very beginning. After getting this reliance on the functionality of the company, I could start to focus on my task immediately. Therefore, onboarding took me not long to have my hands on the job. I had the chance to ‘learn-by-doing’ with the generous help of all employees, and finally gaining the autonomous working capability made me more self-confident.
On the other hand, I was given reasonable time to form my project to a thesis in order to get an acceptance from university. At the end, I could manage to complete my project at P&G and finish writing my thesis in 6 months, which moved my time management ability forward. Besides the professional network I could establish was a precious opportunity for me in terms of mentoring and career planning.
What was your most exciting task/project as an intern with P&G? Was there anything you did not like?
I was responsible for a validation project which had a broad influence on final product quality, cost and productivity. With the main focus on scrap reduction I completed an investigation on production line to define bottlenecks. According to results I got from the investigation, I prioritized production steps on which we have most loss. I was also assigned to run a validation project for all product types, which I could combine with my scrap reduction task.
I was aware of the fact that the results of the validation would be reported as I did. I’ve learned to follow standards and how to document the work done clearly. I had the whole responsibility and it kept me on track to do the right thing precisely. Ultimately, I had to meet all quality success criteria to be successful with validation tests. At the end, project was evaluated and confirmed by a quality audit team, which was the most exciting achievement I have experienced during my thesis studies.
What do you take personally with you from your internship? Has the internship influenced your future career in any way?
6-month at P&G helped me figure out what I like to do in the future and in which industry I see myself after finishing my studies. I was already convinced that I would like to work in FMCG industry and, of course at P&G as a pioneer global player in this field. I believe that my Master Thesis at P&G played a key role to start my career as a Process Engineer at P&G on Gillette. Getting a job offer already confirms that the time spent during my thesis was useful as well as improving my professional skills and personal capabilities.
What would you recommend future P&G interns? Do you have any hints or tipps regarding the application or the work at P&G?
Reputation of selection process follows P&G for life J But, there is a logical reason behind: Hiring the best graduates from top universities! Of course, there are some precious touches during the hiring process to decide on the best match for P&G but none of them are unfeasible steps. Therefore, you should not get afraid at the very beginning of the process. You should just take the initiative to apply on!
What I like in our hiring process is that there is no assessment center in which you find yourself with 10 other candidates. Our Talent Supply Team considers your application individually and treats this way till the end of selection process. You will be invited for 1-day visit. This visit aims to get to know each other closely in a personal way as well as your abilities. It is just expected to be yourself. You should make the first step forward, rest would follow of itself.
How did you experience the training and coaching during your internship?
After completing my validation tests, it was the time to bring this study on the production floor. New method should be implemented and I was experienced enough to train our employees on this topic.
First of all, I documented every step which I used as a guide before I implemented the new method to see if there is any lack of information. My double check confirmed that documentation was broad enough for the ones who follow this guidance for the first time. Hereafter I trained all employees and coached their first practical trial on the production line.
Knowing that I am the one responsible for the whole project made me more focused on the task. Training employees and coaching them improved my leadership aptitude dramatically.
What do you think candidates need to have to complete a successful internship with P&G? What capabilities and skills do you consider as being helpful?
I strongly believe that internships give opportunities to students to experience anything they want. As a student it is allowed to ask any kind of questions, to try different industries and to find the best match for yourself. Since then it is a unique opportunity to complete a successful internship at P&G. it is the time for you to get to know P&G better and to see if it is the right thing for you before you start your career. From P&G’s point of view it is not any different. P&G would also prefer to continue on its way with familiar faces naturally. If you are good enough to show your abilities and to fit in P&G’s working atmosphere during your internship, I do not see a reason why you should not be offered a job.
You should just bring your courage, curiosity, self-confidence, leadership aptitude, and teamwork abilities. With efficient mentoring you get from very well educated and experienced P&G employees it should not last long to find your own working style. Believe in yourself and make a step forward!
RWTH Aachen University (international student); M.Sc. Production Systems Engineering; Age: 28; Current position: Process Engineer at Gillette in Berlin