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Management Trainee Experience: Rebecca Taylor

Hi everyone,

I’m Bec, a 2017 Management Trainee based at Freshwater Place, Melbourne. Originally from England, I grew up on the Mornington Peninsula with my family and two Golden Retrievers, before moving closer to Monash University, where I completed my Bachelor of Business and Health Science. With an insatiable appetite for travel, culture and food, working for a global FMCG company was always a dream of mine. I couldn’t have been more excited to start my journey as a Management Trainee at Kraft Heinz.

Prior to commencing the Management Trainee Program, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Raquel Camara and the HR team, in Performance and Compensation. Reminiscing on the last six months, I am amazed by the amount of opportunities I have been provided with as a Management Trainee.

Our first rotation, saw us conquering the field as a Sales Representative. It was a great experience to be able to take ownership over my own set of stores, meet face-to-face with our customers and build on my negotiation skills. Having seen our products being made in Echuca earlier on in the program, it was interesting to see our products at the other end of the cycle, customer facing.

I recently completed my second rotation in Exports, where I was engaged in many fascinating research projects, that looked at exporting our Heinz Baby Food AU to China and Golden Circle Juice to South East Asia. Now, nearly a month into my third rotation, within the Beverages Marketing Team, I have been tasked with working on the Golden Circle campaign for Q4, something I am extremely excited about. I cant wait to see where my journey as a Management Trainee takes me!

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Management Trainee: Tiernan Lean

G’day all, I’m Tiernan. Originally from Scotland, I am currently based in our Freshwater Place office in Melbourne. I graduated from University in Edinburgh with a degree in Politics and after very little deliberation, decided to trade in temperamental Scottish summers for a more permanent place in the sun. Having ceremoniously dumped all warm clothing at the departure gate, I arrived in Melbourne in the middle of winter, questioning both my choice of shorts and overall sanity. Fast-forwarding a month, I was excited to begin my Kraft Heinz journey in the August of 2016, when I joined the company as a sales intern.

Initially working with Simon Campbell and the Metcash team, I transitioned into the Management Trainee program in January. To date, the program has provided me with a comprehensive look into a number of business functions. After completing our initial induction with fellow Graduates from Singapore and New Zealand, I have learnt everything from how our baby food is made up in Echuca, to how our Sales Representative live and breathe the art of the deal in the field.

I recently completed my second rotation in Commercial Performance. Off the bat, I was entrusted with business critical routines. Furthermore, contributing to the rituals that make our business tick, from the weekly Profitability Plans, Sales Call to the Monthly Commercial Reviews have accelerated my learning. My third rotation has seen me make the leap back into sales. Working in the Business Development channel, I am helping to manage the ALDI, Costco, Pharmacy and other emerging retail accounts. Who Can? We Can!

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Management Trainee Experience: Shruti Soumya

I am Shruti Soumya, Management trainee from the batch of 2016. I have only just completed 1 year of MT Program on 5th of May this year. I was born and brought up in the eastern side of India but work and education has taken me across the country. My keen interest in working for consumer centric brands motivated me to join Kraft Heinz on completion of my MBA from MDI, Gurgaon – located in the Corporate Hub of India’s National Capital Region.

The first year has been a great experience in terms of learning, sailing on rough rides, being knocked off but then emerging out stronger still, challenge after challenge. I feel very much a part of this small family like place where everyone is there to help you out if you are ready to put your best foot forward.

1st Stint- Chennai Complan Story

I was awarded with the opportunity to work in one of the strongest markets for the mother brand in India- Complan. This project taught me a lot about the category, how market leaders behaved in this category, who was the shopper, what needs ere being addressed. The project’s scope was limited to BTL- I was a part of mall activations for Complan, did an independent shopper research to understand the category from shopper’s point of view. I came up with a set of recommendations at the end of this project which made the way for the next project in Mumbai.

2nd Stint- Mumbai Merchandizing Operations

Another fun project to work on- the task was to streamline third party merchandizing operations. The project exposed me to this particular segment in Indian FMCG industry context. Merchandizing has become a very important BTL activity in India’s high retail density environment where brands have to fight to get consumer’s eyeballs. I gathered immense learning on this project, right from understanding how different companies approached this space, which category needed it more, what was happening with our brands, and finally came up with my recommendations with respect to to streamlining our 3rd party operations which are in the process of being implemented.

3rd Stint- ASM Shadow West Delhi and ASM Mumbai 2

My 3rd stint was directed towards on the job training for the role which I am doing right now of managing sales revenue for a part of Mumbai. I did a shadow stint in Ghaziabad which is a city in the western part of Delhi. This stint along with teaching me day to day technicalities of the job also exposed me to different kind of a market- in the northern part of India. It was very beneficial because although it is one country, the way markets behave change drastically owing to the diversity in India.

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Management Trainee Experience: Emma Jackson

Hi, I’m Emma, an operations graduate based at the Golden Circle factory in Brisbane, Australia. I am originally from New Zealand where I completed my degree in Food Technology. I was extremely excited when I heard I was jumping the ditch to Australia to work for Kraft Heinz.

One of my responsibilities is to facilitate onsite utilities saving projects for the four areas of water, electricity, fuel and solid waste. This allows me to further my understanding of the process and work within a cross-functional team where successful implementation of the projects will result in significant savings for the site.

I am also the owner of the maintenance ZBB package for ANJ (Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Japan and Korea). This involves me talking to all sites across ANJ to get information on their spending and comments around any variances to the budget. This role not only develops my financial understanding of the business but also my management, organisational and communication skills.

Being immersed in the factory environment has been invaluable, the people are awesome and their job ownership is reflected in the quality products being produced daily. I am looking forward to the challenges ahead and furthering my career with Kraft Heinz.

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Management Trainee Experience: Rhian Pereira

My name is Rhian and I am a Management Trainee based in New Zealand. I completed my studies in Marketing, International Business and Law at AUT University. The graduate program at Kraft Heinz has been an amazing experience, beginning with a two-week induction in Melbourne. It was great to hear talks from various departments, meet other grads from Australia and Singapore and work collaboratively on multiple case studies to solve real business problems.

A visit to the sunny Hawke’s Bay

After returning to NZ, we took a two-day trip to Hastings to see our Tomoana and King Street factories. These factories produce our tomato sauce, canned fruit, frozen vegetables and frozen meals however, that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of our Hastings operations. During our factory tours it was interesting to hear how some of our passionate workers have been working for us for many decades. They talked us through their fascinating personal career stories and the rich history of both our site operations. We also got a tour with one of our agricultural experts, around some of our growers’ farms and orchards in the Hawke’s Bay region. It was especially interesting to hear about some of the science that goes into ensuring we harvest the best quality crop at the end of the growing season.

Sales rotation

When we got back to Auckland we began our six-week Sales rotation. During the first four weeks, we primarily shadowed various Territory Managers (TMs) and learnt how to make sales calls. The biggest takeout for me was doing a store walk during each call to spot opportunities that could be pursued as well as problems that needed addressing with the store manager. What struck me doing my first store walk was that we had products in practically every aisle of a supermarket! Moreover, it was just great witnessing consumers shop the supermarket aisles for our products. In field sales, I was involved in doing shelf relays, building pallet displays for theme weeks, merchandising and talking with store managers to negotiate free cross-merchandising display space. For the remaining two weeks of the rotation, I worked with our Customer Account Managers in the office on analysing sales data and reports and making recommendations on strategies we could pursue. It was really helpful to begin my grad program in the most customer facing department in our organisation as I was able to gain insights into the breadth of our product portfolios and retail activities.

Commercial Finance rotation

For the last month and a half, I have been working with the Commercial Finance Team on a designated project to build a marketing spend tracker interface. The purpose of this tool is track marketing spend by drawing comparisons against forecasted spend versus actual spend and/or budgeted spend. This has been an extremely challenging and rewarding project to be involved with! Chipping away at my project week by week I began noticing how drastically my proficiency at Excel had improved.  I’ve also had an amazing level of support from my team and the Marketing department on this project. People in our organisation genuinely go out of their way to help wherever they can.

My grad experience has totally exceeded my expectations and I am really looking forward to what’s in store for me next!

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Management Trainee Experience: Clarisha Zukhrufa

Hello! My name is Clarisha, but most people call me Yova. I graduated from Swiss German University, and majored in Food Technology. It’s such a great opportunity to be here in Kraft Heinz, moreover being one of the Management Trainees in Indonesia.

I was thrilled when I was announced that I will be placed in Research and Development for the first rotation.  They say time flies when you are having fun, and this applies to me as it had already been 2.5 months since I’ve been in R&D, and my experience here has been unbelievable. There were so many things I’ve done which I never thought I’d be capable of doing.

Here in R&D I was trusted with handling many projects, including from three different divisions in this department which are Product, Regulatory Affairs (RA), and Process. In Kraft Heinz, people came up to me and said that I could learn so many things in this company. This is true, as I have not stopped absorbing new knowledge in every second of my time here, and it’s been a great privilege to be in R&D and be involved in almost every division.

In product, it really does feel like I’m cooking in the kitchen where I try to adjust the recipe to be perfect. In RA, I am in charge of facility audit for a new product. This made me have a broader exposure as people from many divisions and cross departments are involved for the audit to run. As for Process division, I’ve been taught on how Chili Sauce is made in the factory, and I’m also helping out to set up a new line for a new product.

Being here, I’ve had wide exposures with cross departments and even from other facilities, such as the Karawang Plant, and I was also able to meet and discuss with suppliers. Aside from that, being an MT gave me the privilege to discuss with the Board of Directors as they are very open for discussions.  I cannot wait to know what the future holds for me in Kraft Heinz, but I will just sit back and relax here and enjoy every second of my journey as a Management Trainee.

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Management Trainee Experience: Sarah Adam

My name is Sarah Adam, Corporate MT based in Auckland. I grew up in Auckland but have spent the last 4 year studying in Dunedin (which is at the bottom of New Zealand) where I recently graduated from the University of Otago with a Bachelor of Science, First Class Honours in Food Science and a minor in Marketing management.

My first couple of months being a part of Kraft Heinz has been great. I have felt very welcomed and am inspired to absorb as much knowledge as I can, in order to grow as a person and add value to the team.

After we said goodbye to the Melbourne office, the New Zealand trainees went down to Hastings where we saw the factory in full swing, having studied food science it was incredible to experience the machinery and processes in action. We were able to meet with some of the local growers who proudly showed us their produce they were growing and learnt about some of the major challenges they face.

During 5 weeks in sales rotation we developed knowledge of the grocery game in New Zealand, our negotiation skills and gained an insight into peoples behavior at the supermarket. Our wins included huge pallet and bay displays for Wattie’s week, free displays of Cottee’s Maple Syrup in hangsells next to pancake mixes and Choc whizz above ice cream.

I have now moved into my second rotation, in the Category Development team, which will be a great learning experience and insight into the business! I would like to say a big thank you to all the people who have been happy and willing to spend time teaching me and answering all my questions!

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Management Trainee Experience: Joseph Sayegh

My name is Joseph Sayegh and I am one of the Dubai office based Management Trainees in Kraft Heinz – Middle East & Africa. I graduated as an electrical engineer and worked in the field for couple of years. However, I decided afterwards to embark a new challenging journey where I will put my acquired skills into use and learn new ones… And, my new journey was the program at Kraft Heinz!

The creative recruitment process, that chose the top notch candidates, gave me a glimpse about the dynamic and exciting culture I was about to join. Indeed, from the first day, one feels that they joined a bee hive where everyone is learning, working and supporting each other.

The first week consisted of inductions about Kraft Heinz, the culture and the functions as well, while the second focused on trainings (technical and soft skills). In addition, we, as management trainees, had the opportunity to go to Cairo – Egypt where we had a factory visit and got to know the team and market there.

In Kraft Heinz, the learning curve is very steep: in a short period of time, I learned a lot about my assigned function, the trade marketing. While performing an exercise about the listing status of the NPDs (New Product Development) and their expected sales, I found how crucial the role of trade marketing in tracking all the newly launched products, to help us understand the consumption behavior in the different markets. Furthermore, upon communicating regularly with the respective business development managers of the different markets, I learned about the rituals and routines of reporting, which help us understand our performance and plan our next move as a business.

Kraft Heinz does not hire regular employees, it hires leaders and owners; and I am confident I will be up to these two big titles!

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Management Trainee Experience: David Siew

I have been very fortunate with my Kraft Heinz adventure to date. As part of the Operations Graduate Program, I had the opportunity to undergo an induction at the Golden Circle Factory in, Northgate.

Pineapples don’t grow on trees

Our first field trip was to a Pineapple farm a couple hours North of Brisbane. Upon arrival, we were greeted by an almost unfathomable sea of… rather odd-looking leafy plants. This caught me by surprise. Perhaps it was because I’d assumed that like most fruits, pineapples grow on trees; or because I’d associated them with pine trees. As it turns out, pineapples grow as a cluster of berries that develop from rich, colourful flowers. John, the owner of the property, was a third-generation farmer. He told us about the pineapple crop as we watched his workers wade through the waist high bushes, twisting and detaching pineapples with ease.

Getting the Six Sigma under the yellow belt

The following few weeks consisted of yellow belt training, which was presented by Bruce Taylor, who is usually found at our Hastings site. His enthusiastic and engaging demeanour, combined with the powerful message of his lessons, left our small group hanging onto his every word. To finish the course, we were tasked to complete a continuous improvement project in pairs, which we would eventually present to the Golden Circle team. This was a fantastic chance for us to be let loose on the site and take charge of our own learning.

Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen… Mango and Cordial

The remainder of my time with the Northgate team was spent rotating between different functions. I started on the food line, where in a single day, over 160 tonnes of pineapples or 100 tonnes of apples would be processed. Much to my dismay, one particularly hot Brisbane day saw me at a conveyer belt, hand sorting juice grade pineapples. I remember the overwhelming volume of pineapples toppling in, one after another, from a seemingly endless supply of crates. But in hindsight, it was a rather fun exercise that may have left me with a misguided sentimental attachment to the pineapple.

The other departments on my rotation included the cordial, hot fill juice and combi-pack filler lines. It was a highly rewarding experience to meet the operators, head operators and area leaders. Our conversations allowed me to better understand the major hurdles that need to be overcome, and the key factors that drive them to perform and achieve Kraft Heinz targets. I believe this will be critical to my new role at Freshwater in Melbourne.

My last few days with my Golden Circle peers were spent learning about the onsite finance, planning, R&D and quality roles. These, I found were art forms in themselves.

Goodbye, but not farewell

Leaving Golden Circle after my 7-week adventure was a bittersweet experience, not unlike the taste of pure orange concentrate, which I would not encourage to the light of heart. During my time in Brisbane, I have developed many precious friendships (including that with the hotel concierge); grown from a plethora of experiences; and pushed myself beyond my comfort zone. That aside, I am very excited to start my next chapter with the team at Freshwater, where I hope to apply my new level of understanding of life on the site.

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Management Trainee Experience: Anindya Pramudita

My name is Nindya, and for my first rotation I have been assigned as the new marketing management trainee under Beverages. My experience in Kraft Heinz ABC has been incredible. My project is to help the launch of a new ready to drink (RTD) product and help the marketing team in preparing for the festive season.

My role in the launch is the project coordinator so I am involved in almost everything. This includes from communicating with the R&D team to process the product with the FDA, to helping in collecting and summarizing the document for RAPID.

Everyone in this company is very open. In order for me to learn, I need to have a discussion with people from cross department and they welcomed me with open arms.

What’s amazing about this program is the exposure. Not only with other department, but also with the board of directors. In less than two months, I’ve already had the opportunity to lead and present in a couple of meetings in front of Pedro Albuquerque, the COO of Kraft Heinz Southeast Asia. I also like how as a new management trainee, the management has already entrusted me in handling such a big project. The company doesn’t spoon-feed us so we have to learn and have a lot of discussion with a lot of people.

It’s such an amazing experience and I am very motivated to start my career and learn more and more from everyone.