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Fulfilling my potential on my placement at Kraft Heinz

Business Administration student, Francesca, talks about her decision to do a placement and what she learnt from the experience.

My placement was based in London at the Kraft Heinz Company, a fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) organisation and the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world. The Kraft Heinz Company is renowned for iconic brands including Heinz, Kraft, Capri-Sun, and Philadelphia.

Why I took a placement year

Francesca beside a Heinz ketchup poster
Francesca worked with iconic brands during her placement year.

My aim in doing a placement was to gain clarity in where I want my career to head after university. As someone who had no clear idea of which career path to pursue, doing a placement seemed like the perfect opportunity to immerse myself within a business culture, learn from the best, and develop as an individual.

Aside from the chance to work on iconic brands I had grown up with, such as Heinz Tomato Ketchup, I was attracted to the company for its ownership and competitive culture. Kraft Heinz fosters a winning culture where individuals strive to be the best and I viewed this as the best opportunity to learn how to be successful and fulfil my potential. The business' view that interns are the same as any other member of the team and are given responsibility for business-impacting tasks appealed to me as I thought this would be the best way to maximise my placement experience and challenge myself.

What I did day-to-day

My role as Shopper Marketing Intern involved creating and delivering disruptive in-store media plans with the objective to drive incremental feature and display and, in turn, promote an uplift in sales. During my time at Kraft Heinz, my role was to build in-store partnership plans with other consumer goods brands to bring Kraft Heinz products out of the aisle and bring an occasion to the top of shoppers' minds.

No two days were the same at Kraft Heinz; one day could involve visiting other FMCG brands to plan our partnership strategy, the next could involve devising prediction and tracking tools to strengthen how we undertake activations.

What I got out of it

The investment from the company in me was the primary reason I enjoyed my placement. I was trusted to deliver business-impacting tasks, and this gave me the best platform to develop my transferrable skills, business acumen and confidence. Team members were interested in my development, investing time to help me learn and to challenge me so I could optimise my placement experience.

Do not underestimate the learning experience you undertake while on placement. During my time at Kraft Heinz, I developed technical skills such as using Excel and budgeting, business skills such as sales and marketing, and transferable skills such as presentation and team-working. Most importantly though, I developed my confidence and am a much more self-assured individual than I was prior to my placement.

Support from Bath

I received a lot of support from the placement team both when applying and while on placement.

We had weekly sessions that provided insights into different industries and organisations as well as individual support that included tailored feedback on my CV and cover letter and a mock interview with a real-life employer.

All these tools helped to make me more comfortable when applying and to put my best self forward during the process.

My advice for other students

My main piece of advice would be to adopt a can-do attitude and maximise every opportunity presented to you. Your placement experience flies by so make sure you fully immerse yourself into the organisation and in doing so, you will learn the most and have the most fun.