- Course: Chemical Engineering BEng
- Nationality: British
- Job title: Customer Availability Leader
- Company: Procter & Gamble
Why did you want to undertake a year in industry?
When I began my third year at university, I was eager to secure a year-long internship placement for a number of reasons. I firstly wanted to gain some full-time work experience to give myself an idea of what a career would be like in this specific industry. I also wanted to increase my employability by developing new skills, while also getting a foot on the career ladder which seems to be becoming increasingly difficult for university graduates.
What was the name of the company you worked for and what do they do?
I work for Procter & Gamble (P&G), one of the world’s largest fast-moving consumer goods companies. They own household and health-and-beauty brands, such as Head & Shoulders, Ariel, Oral-B and Pampers.
What was your role within the company?
When I joined P&G, I began the role of Customer Availability Leader for one of the major retailers that P&G distributes its products to. This role is part of a vast company supply chain for Northern Europe. In terms of the supply chain, the sub-function in which I worked, Customer Team Logistics, is the face of P&G to the supply team of the retailer that we ship to. A general description of my role is to ensure flawless execution of any events or planned activity by the retailer that includes P&G products – including the supply of promotions, retailer-specific customised displays, and the changeover between old and new products.
Can you please give me an insight into a typical day?
Mornings are usually spent reviewing the supply of P&G products into the retailer over the last 24 hours and identifying any risks to supply over the next 24 hours. If there any significant risks, it is escalated as part of the daily calls we have. In the afternoons, I might look into some project work such as how we can ensure more P&G products are always available for consumers to buy from retailers' shelves – or I might travel to the retailer’s head office to talk through P&G’s supplier performance and collaboration opportunities.
What did you enjoy the most?
I loved the variability of the role and the self-governance of many of the things I could get involved in. I also worked with a fantastic team, which made coming to work enjoyable. I undertook many projects throughout my placement which gave me satisfaction through working proactively for improvement rather than 100% reactively.
What did you get out of this experience?
I have gained a huge amount from my placement year. This is my first full-time job and the transition from student to employee is a bit of a culture shock. However, I am now prepared and I believe the transition will be much smoother when I leave university and start my career. I have also developed a lot of new skills as part of my day-to-day role, most notably: communication skills, conduct and stakeholder management within the workplace. I feel the amount I have developed as a person is huge and I am a much more rounded and employable having completed my placement.
Do you have any tips and advice to current students thinking of undertaking a year in industry?
Complete lots of applications to try and ensure you get one! Don’t be disheartened if some companies reject you – keep applying. Securing a placement is hugely beneficial in developing as a person and preparing you for working life.