Eight Hundred – That Was The Number Of People I Was Competing Against To Get On The Mars Graduate Program!

I thought I had no chance of being selected. By the end of the process the company hired three graduates, and to my surprise – I was one of them.

During my selection process, the interview panel comprised of Senior Managers and Directors. This showed me just how much the company cares about their leadership program. The entire process was incredible. I was treated as an equal and the questions they asked showed their interest in my ambitions and the reasons behind why I wanted to join the company.

Making An Impact In My First Rotation!

When I joined Mars, I got the opportunity to rotate between three roles over the course of three years. During the first year, I worked in Trade Marketing and was accountable for a project called Display Strategy. Our team was responsible for analyzing and identifying guidelines to design best in class point of sale materials (POSM). This is important because POSM is the point of contact between the shoppers and us, so our design had to catch their eye and make them want to purchase our products.

We were also asked to determine and assign different roles in Trade Marketing, Brand Marketing and Sales to ensure a clear process of order for POSM. I was surprised the organization trusted me with such responsibility. It gave me confidence in my abilities. Once I completed the project I realized that with the right support system and resources, even a young graduate like myself can make a difference in such a huge company.

Rotating Into A Role Driven By Analytics

For my second role, I worked in the Brand Marketing department as the Brand Executive for Future Consumption – the products shoppers buy now to consume later e.g. mini bags or multipacks. I had two main responsibilities in this role. The first was to develop excellent strategies through new launches, including seasonal ones for Christmas, New Year etc., and the second was to improve our market position and reach new consumers, using analytics to determine the right distribution channels and product prices for the 11 countries in our business unit. At first, I thought analytics would be boring, but I later realized it was actually fun and engaging, especially when this data guides your strategies and results in positive gains. I am proud to say that during this time, with the help of cross-functional teams, we were able to increase sales in Future Consumption by 1.5%.

My Career Defining Moment

Towards the end of my second-year, I asked myself where I wanted to go in my career. I looked back at the last two years and found what I really enjoyed doing was communicating with people and being useful to others. And that was when I realized I wanted to work in the HR department. So, I put in a request with my managers and was soon transferred. During this time, there was an integration of Mars Wrigley Confectionery, which led me to move into the role of HR Business Partner in the segment, because a new position became available. This was a really exciting time for me and reaffirmed my decision to work in HR. Despite having worked with Mars for less than three years, I was given responsibility for the Assessment Centers and recruitment process. I was suddenly on the other side, helping Mars find the right people to join the business!

So far, my journey has been an exciting experience and I look forward to working with Mars for many more years to come.

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