General Mills: From the Interns’ POV

Supply Chain Management Graduate

In [February 2013] Veronika was in her second year of studies in Logistics & Supply Chain Management at the University of South Wales, when her Placement Rep sprung an idea. Had Veronika considered General Mills for an internship?  Her answer was typically candid, ‘never heard of them’ but she had heard of Haagen-Dazs!  Through Veronika’s own research, she soon determined that the opportunity would yield specific and substantial supply chain experience, and help her understand what a career in the discipline might actually mean.  Despite some reservations on distance from South Wales and the London cost of living, Veronika began the process.

A CV submission, Skype audio interview, and f2f interview with a case study and presentation to boot (warehouse planning at Christmas) – Veronika embraced it all!  To such an extent that she covered an entire Whiteboard wall with her case study response!

Describing the f2f Interview: ‘it was a really deep two hour discussion; one Manager, one Director, then the case study brief for immediate turnaround.  When they popped back in, I asked for a further 15 minutes to keep scribbling!  Went well, I think!’

It did of course! As a couple of weeks later an offer was forthcoming, which in addition to vocational appeal, promised of a truly international and cross functional opportunity.

On joining, weeks one and two began slowly, but Veronika’s desire to maximise the opportunity resulted in more responsibility and rewarding work – demand planning, KPI reports, feedback on each 3 month rotation – all of which has now informed the intern programme as it is today.  Veronika characterises it as a very real welcome from the business for a ‘Fresh pair of eyes’.  More literally speaking, she asked if she could visit a couple of factories to REALLY understand processes and potential improvements.  A couple of days with Yearsley Group, Manchester for frozen foods was hugely informative and invaluable, and in turn enabled Veronika to add more value to the business.

Three years on and Veronika is now a Demand & Supply Planner for Yoplait UK & Ireland, and enjoying the full range of General Mills experiences.  Her advice to prospective General Mills applicants:  ‘Show your energy!’

There is no doubt that Veronika has done precisely that!

Shopper Marketing Graduate

Nathalie graduated in Finance & Marketing from Boston College in 2013.  A first job with a Luxury Service company in London did not stand in the way of pursuing her real passion, opportunities in FMCG.  Nathalie’s time in the US (and love for Cheerios!) meant that General Mills was a well known entity.  However, there were no appropriate vacancies on the website.  Undaunted, Nathalie accepted the invitation to send in a speculative cv.  Two weeks later, Nathalie received a reply suggesting that she apply for a role in Shopper Marketing, and as part of that process complete a case study to ‘Tell us about an activation that you have seen in store which caught your attention, and what worked and what didn’t, recommending improvements.’  Wow!  As Nathalie says:

‘Despite my interest in FMCG, it transpires that businesses have their own language, so I quickly needed to define ‘shopper’ and ‘activation’ – which I did through my own research – and remained enthused!’

Nathalie had a two hour one on one interview with her potential line manager, including a mix of both competency questions and real probes into her cultural fit.  A scheduled session with HR a couple of days later resulted in an offer being made at the end of that hour – Shopper Marketing Convenience & Emerging Channels Intern!

On joining in July 2016, Nathalie enjoyed a broad and comprehensive induction across all brands, which provided a superb overview of the business and an immediate input to Outlook contacts!  Ongoing training and learning has been invaluable, augmented by two weekly 1to1s with her line manager, and weekly Prioritsation meetings.  Not only that, Nathalie’s role covers all General Mills and Yoplait brands, requiring concentration across varied campaigns; secondly, her focus on emerging channels means that their lead times are very short, requiring dynamism and decisiveness in getting to market!

‘My biggest learning has been to embrace ‘the deep end’ through being prepared to ask!  Everyone has been very happy to pass on years of experience and expertise.’

Alongside that learning, Nathalie has had to prioritise ‘Working across all brands in numerous campaigns in these highly demanding channels has honed my prioritisation skills!’

Her first six months have been hugely rewarding – ‘There is not always a right and wrong answer, but in presenting my detailed thought process, my colleagues value how I think!’

Click here to apply for roles in Supply Chain, and also in Brand and Shopper Marketing, and HR functions with General Mills.

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