Tim Humphries, European Finance Scheme, Waltham
Most Graduate schemes in global companies these days offer great programs, but Mars take their Mars Leadership Experience (MLE) to a whole new level of extraordinary. With a three-stage rotational over the last two years I have worked across Sales and Marketing and I have just joined the Product Supply team for my final rotation. This Graduate scheme isn’t like any other I’ve heard of – it’s not created just to bring new talent into the business to complete basic admin tasks. I’ve already worked across critical campaigns and brands where I’ve been given the autonomy to make a tangible difference. It’s this that makes Mars different.
In my first year I worked within the Sales team and was responsible for our Asda and Morrison’s accounts – some of our largest retailers in the U.K. This gave me immediate exposure to accounts that are important to Mars as a business, and displays how from the second I joined Mars I have been entrusted with genuine responsibility to produce quality work. Like most Graduates, I didn’t know what I wanted to do after University, but the breadth of experience that I’ve been exposed to here has helped me to establish my career path.
Swiping Right To A Career Of Real Responsibility
When I say I’ve been given genuine responsibility, I really mean it. I feel like I’ve already made an impact, especially through the launch of Pedigree® Dog Dates (a scheme that connects people with local dogs) which I worked on as part of the Marketing team.
The rationale behind this program was prompted by the epidemic of chronically lonely older people in the UK – of which there are over 1.2 million. We wanted to connect elderly people with local dogs, to start to combat loneliness. When you look at the impact of loneliness, you find that there are range of ways it’s damaging to health – research reveals that being lonely can be as bad for you as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and can increase a person’s chance of developing clinical dementia by 64%!
Knowing the importance of what was being accomplished, I was proud to lead the successful pilot of the scheme in Melton Mowbray, named the Pet Friendliest Town 2017 by the Dog Friendly awards, and saw palpable evidence of the impact my work had in the community. We connected 25 older people with 25 dogs and their owners, who participated without incentive, but from the goodness of their own hearts. Although the weather was terrible the event was a thriving success, and everyone left with the biggest of smiles on their faces! It was here that I saw fist-hand how my work at Mars was making a difference to people’s lives, which is an effect that I really didn’t expect to have working in the FMCG sector. The goal is to roll Dog Dates out across the U.K, and eventually globally, so watch this space.
Expecting The Unexpected Each Day
Every day is unexpected working in Marketing. Alongside my responsibility for the Pedigree® Dog Dates pilot, it was also my duty to manage the Pedigree® Main Meal brand, which encompasses pouch, canned and dry dog foods. My days were entirely varied, from account management, to managing budgets, to organizing TV copy and liaising with agencies… on a multi-million pound brand! I most certainly didn’t expect to be entrusted with such responsibility over one of Mars’ largest brands in only my second year.
Moving forward into my last rotation, I already have big plans for my role in the Product Supply team. Especially as I have the opportunity this year to manage a new team of four Associates, and I intend to take this responsibility to guide my team to continue producing amazing work which will, hopefully, affect the lives of many. My journey so far has taught me that Mars offers real careers, and everything they do is underpinned by integrity and trust for all their Associates. Bring on my third year.