Do you enjoy talking to people, negotiating and making deals? Does constant interaction with people suit you better than sitting in front of a computer? Does travel and seeing new locations excite you? Then a sales and marketing career in a FMCG may suit you fine.
Marketing is defined as the profitable satisfaction of consumer needs. The sustained economic growth within Asia is likely to see a steady share of marketing jobs within the industry and to fresh graduates here. This is because sectors like finance, information technology and consulting have cyclical ups and downturns. While in boom years, these sectors make headlines about number of job offers and salaries, during downturns, it is the marketing jobs that remain steady. People may stop investing in technology during bad economic times, but they still eat the same quantity, brush their teeth with the same frequency, and use soap with nearly same regularity.
Career Education in FMCG
Career education in marketing is essential, because you’ll learn how to bring a product or service from idea to acceptance, and practice how to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace (and in your career). Marketing can account for one of the largest expenditures in an organization. A major portion of the workforce is directly or indirectly in a marketing job .
Most large firms will expect to see at least a bachelor’s degree for professional positions and an MBA is preferred for management careers. In today’s hyper-competitive economy, many marketing professionals are earning their marketing degrees online, in order to advance without giving up their jobs.
Language skills, a global outlook and a willingness to relocate could all help you get a place on a graduate scheme, as consumer goods companies seek to increase their presence in developing markets. For example, Unilever runs a China graduate programme and launched a training scheme for future leaders in Asia. Qualification requirements vary, and tend to be more specific for specialised technical roles in areas such as engineering and logistics.
Procter & Gamble (P&G)
P&G places a high value on language skills, which can help graduates to stand out from other applicants, including those who have come up through its apprenticeship scheme.
Any degree is accepted for most roles. However, subjects such as business administration, engineering, logistics, maths or science are particularly welcome for the supply chain management scheme, and a degree in chemistry, engineering, biology, physical or food science, or another relevant technical discipline is required for the R&D (research and development)scheme. Unilever recruits graduates on a rolling basis and is usually open for applications in July or August.
With a experience of working as an HR intern at L’oreal , I have closely looked into the hiring p
rocess from shortlisting of CV to hiring of the candidates . L’Oréal has three graduate intakes a year, starting in January, June or September.
Identifying the employers you are interested in during your second year and familiarising yourself with them will help you to move quickly to apply for vacancies when they become available. Applying for an internship in your second year will give you a head start, as these are often used as a recruitment tool.
What can I get out of an internship in the consumer goods sector?
Internships with leading graduate employers in this sector tend to be well paid. Extended, structured work placements, typically undertaken when students reach the end of their penultimate year, can be a direct route to getting a graduate job. Unilever fast-tracks candidates who complete summer placements successfully to the selection day stage of its graduate recruitment process, while 28 per cent of L’Oréal’s global graduate intake are former interns. Interns who perform exceptionally well at P&G are likely to be offered jobs at the end of their placements. They are usually assessed on project work and how they perform in a presentation at the end of the internship.
Of course, many interns won’t come away with a job offer, but they will all have had a chance to find out what it’s really like working in the industry. An internship will help you make you an informed choice about what areas of the business interest you, which you will then be able to back up and explain in your graduate job applications. If you come to the decision that the consumer goods industry isn’t right for you after all, you will have saved yourself a lot of time, effort and heartache. Whatever you take away from your internship in terms of insights into the kind of company culture and working life that suits you, you will also have developed skills that employers in a range of professions will be interested in, and you’ll have gained lots of practical, work-based examples that you can use in your applications and interviews.
Are there any other ways to get work experience at a consumer goods company?
This industry offers much more in terms of work experience than internships for second years. Although long, structured placements are a good opportunity to get a foot in the door, there are plenty of ways to find out what working life is like and whether you’d be suited to a career in consumer goods. L’Oréal’s online ‘Reveal’ game allows potential applicants to try their hand at a number of virtual business tasks. It is designed to replicate real-life scenarios in five different. L’Oréal departments and aims to identify which area of the business candidates are best suited to. Top performers can win themselves prizes, or even a job interview, though it is not technically part of the application process. L’Oréal’s Brandstorm competition also gives students an insight into the consumer goods industry. The P&G Career Academy runs events aimed at final year students and recent graduates that typically last for two or three days and often revolve around a case study exercise based on a challenge that the business might face. Again, these are often used as recruitment tools, with students who perform well frequently receiving an offer of a full-time job.