Get to know Roland – Intern, Consumer & Market Knowledge (CMK) - Germany
I joined Procter & Gamble in June 2015 as an intern in the CMK division, just before graduating in Finance and CEMS MIM at the University of St.Gallen and the London School of Economics. Soon, I realized how different this position was from “typical” internships at other companies. How come? I was truly considered as a full member of the team as from Day 1. I was attending all kinds of meetings to get insight into the business and I was also encouraged to approach anyone for help. Furthermore, my manager gave me a set of strategically relevant projects, of which I became the leader and owner. This inclusive kind of culture and the trust and responsibility given to me were the first things that surprised me most in my first weeks.
Although I was an intern and completely new to both the company and the FMCG industry, I was given the feeling of being a junior manager. While receiving a lot of support and structured feedback during the entire six months, I was expected to develop own ideas to drive my projects and to align the steps with my stakeholders independently. Soon, I also experienced what it meant to be “the leader”, of which half of the hiring process was about, and why it is so important to this company that their employees are “leaders”. I think that compared to other large companies, the own circle of influence is really wide, already at lower levels of seniority. Thus, employees are enabled and continuously expected to challenge the status-quo, be creative and come up with new ideas. As a result, there is an opportunity to change the course of business – but for that P&G needs employees who have the curiosity and courage to do just that: they have to be leaders. This is why the company puts so much weight on that in the hiring process and why it provides so many teachings seminars to their new hires, but also interns.
CMK (or Analytics & Insights, as it is now called) is probably one of the most interesting divisions to work in at P&G, for at least three reasons. First, it is one the most strategic divisions, i.e., the projects are not only tangent to the “daily business”, but to a large extent also to long-term objectives. Second, CMK cooperates with a wide range of different stakeholders, be it other divisions within the firm or external agencies. Third, this function unites analytical and creative work. Basically, it is about finding patterns in consumer and market data, workshops and studies in order to elaborate strong arguments that both support other divisions and drive internal business decisions. For example, a project can be a deep dive on a specific topic, which combines own research and the integration of global company insights, either to answer specific business questions or to provide recommendations for future guidelines. Myself, I have analysed coupons and displays in order to identify optimization possibilities and to provide recommendations for the brand and customer teams. This was a truly enriching experience, not only because I had the opportunity to learn from different leaders within the firm, but also because these projects enabled deep insights into P&G and the FMCG industry.
To sum up, I can absolutely recommend an internship at P&G to everyone who is ready to take on responsibility, who is curious to learn and who is eager to become an expert within the dynamic, fast-moving industry of consumer goods.