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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!