I can’t believe how many opportunities i’ve been given, what an amazing start to my career.

Emily Swales, European Finance Scheme, Slough.

A common concern I often hear from people who work for large international companies is that they feel insignificant in the sea of people. It’s like they’re just a number on payroll and all that really matters is that they clock their hours and get work done. This couldn’t be further from my reality at Mars.

Mars have always had a reputation for really caring about their Associates (the term Mars uses for all its employees). It’s very people and value oriented, and this is something that since I’ve started working at Mars I have witnessed first hand, as they genuinely care about your personal development.

The Mars Finance Leadership Experience, which I am a part of, runs over three years, and during this time you work within three functions: Supply Finance, Demand Finance and Governance. You spend the first and third year working in your home country, and the second year in any of Mars’ European locations. Throughout the scheme Mars back you up entirely, and I keep being continuously surprised by the sheer amount of support I am receiving. As I am preparing for my year abroad, I have already had dozens of meetings with healthcare and tax experts, as well as local relocation specialists to prepare me in every way possible for my move. Not to mention that Mars have also helped massively with monetary support, which I most certainly didn’t expect! I am moving to Copenhagen to be a Governance and Overheads Analyst, where I’ll get to work in a completely different market, giving me a chance to increase my skillset and my understanding of Mars as a global business.

The best part of my upcoming year in Copenhagen will be that I’m going to be involved in working across four different countries, and a variety of markets ranging across all segments – confectionery, pet care and food. This means that I’ll really get to dive straight in! In preparation for my move, Mars arranged Skype meetings with the teams I’d be working with, and even flew me out there to meet everyone. Now I’m really looking forward to throwing myself into both the professional and personal elements of living in a new city, and I feel so lucky to know that Mars will support me on every step of the way.

With this experience I’m also able to see how widespread Mars is as a company, and it’s incredible to travel and witness first-hand how many sites we have, and within that how many opportunities there are to grow and develop. It’s been even more unbelievable that I’ve actually met Associates in so many different countries that started their Mars journey in the same scheme that I’m currently doing. This is testament to how Mars continues to support your career journey, and it’s so amazing to see this first-hand.

Something I have also been really surprised by is that Mars’ offices are completely open-plan, even the leadership team sits with everyone else. This is so reassuring as I don’t feel as though I have to book a formal meeting, or worry that they might be too busy for me to knock on their office door. Instead I can walk straight over and chat to them. This is really nice and makes you feel so much more relaxed, and isn’t something that I’ve personally experienced anywhere before. Another perk of being within the Mars team is that we have shelves all over the office, where there is a constant supply of chocolate which has been made within the last 24-hours. In exchange for your feedback, you get to sample that day’s batch, which is very dangerous, but a lot of fun.

So far, I’ve had an absolutely brilliant experience. I’ve loved being able to meet other graduates from different countries and across functions, to experience different cultures and meet Associates from a variety of backgrounds. I’ve been offered numerous travel opportunities, which has been incredibly exciting, and I genuinely feel as though I have gotten on well with everyone I’ve met and worked with. Mars has a fantastic culture, and I’ve learnt a lot both functionally and personally since starting, and I have been given all of the support that I need in order to grow. I can’t wait to see what the next few years at Mars will bring.

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