After obtaining my degree in Economics and Marketing from the University of Melbourne, I never imagined that I would be where I am today, almost two years into the Mars Leadership Experience… and working in Corporate Affairs as a Social Media Graduate. Right from the start of my journey at Mars I’ve experienced the unexpected – even before I actually started working!
Once I had been offered a place on the three-year rotational program, I was given the option to start immediately or at the beginning of the following year. I wasn’t expecting a company like Mars to give me, a fresh graduate, such flexibility! I chose to delay my start date and used the 6-month break to learn Arabic in the Middle East. From this moment I knew that joining Mars was the right decision, and I haven’t looked back since.
The Freedom To Manage My Own Accounts
My first rotation on the Mars Leadership Experience was in Sales as a Customer Development Manager. I had never considered a career in Sales so I found this role particularly interesting as it showed me a whole new world. I was instantly given a lot of autonomy and began managing accounts within the specialist Petcare division of premium diet dog foods.
This was a field role, which meant that I travelled alone between suppliers, and therefore critical I fully understood my brands – fast. This role was a big learning curve as for the most part I would manage myself, which was certainly a surprise in my first graduate role!
Developing The Social Media Strategy In Mars Petcare Australia
For my second, and current rotation, I am in the Corporate Affairs team, which was particularly unexpected – I didn’t have any previous corporate communications experience! I was even more shocked to be looking after our social media, a role which hadn’t previously existed in Australia! Consequently, I was lucky enough to spend a week at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology to learn about digital marketing and online copywriting from industry professionals.
For Mars to give me this great responsibility was completely astounding to me. However, Mars supported me constantly, not only by providing training but also by connecting me with the social media teams in the UK and US. I didn’t expect to work with people across the globe at Mars so easily, and for everyone to be so helpful! This showed me that Mars were really invested in my success.
Making A Difference
At Mars every Associate gets two days of leave a year to volunteer for a cause they’re passionate about. As part of the Skilled Volunteering initiative, where Associates are encouraged to utilize their business skills to help others, I assisted an older lady to set up Instagram and Facebook accounts for her pet rescue center – something so simple but extremely impactful on her facility.
I never thought that I’d be able to have such an impact on the community. In fact, I have recently helped out as a Site Champion, a role where someone in each office takes charge of helping to mobilize Associates to volunteer at our local pet rescues. Most recently, I have arranged a day for Associates to visit three rescue centers around Melbourne for them to see firsthand what they could contribute their volunteering hours towards.
What Will The Future Hold?
I am yet to find out where I’ll be placed for my final rotation, but I’m hoping to stay in the digital space. There are numerous opportunities in social media, which I find very exciting. However, I know that whatever my next role may be, at Mars I’ll be given constant opportunities to develop personally and grow my professional skills to ultimately identify where I want to take my career in the long-term.