I highly enjoyed the insight week at Danone. Having attended other insight days/short internships I felt that Danone really valued our opinions and inputs in presentations compared to other consumer goods companies. The week was very well structured, and provided variation between presentation and interactive sessions. It also provided an excellent opportunity to network with a variety of Danone employees as well as other successful students.
I felt highly valued during my time at Danone. The HR team was always nearby to answer any questions and to create professional relationships with. Additionally, in preparation for our group proposal, we had employees take time out of their day to help us. We also had exposure to a number of professionals in the business who presented to us a bit more about their department and roles within it.
We were given the perfect amount of guidance, we were assisted through all the information we needed, but were also given space to prepare and present our ideas and analysis. The guidance we received was from professionals within the respective department, therefore it was highly valued and useful information. More time for detailed feedback would be appreciated for next time.
The practice of using a data pack to create an analysis and presentation was very good practice for any future graduate assessment centre. I have learned teamworking skills, presentation skills, and networking skills specifically. Overall for an insight week, its really good at giving you exposure to the business, the sector, and skills you need to collate information and present it which is useful in any degree or employment.
The insight was very well structured, we were given a booklet which outlined the schedule for a week. Everyone was prepared therefore the schedule was followed without delays or organisational issues. From this we knew what to expect day-to-day, and were guided through the week by a consistent HR team which gave continuity.
The general atmosphere during the insight was really positive - everyone was willing to help each other (other campus brand managers and Danone employees). Everyone was also happy to have fun with the week and genuinely enjoy it - the HR team and Danone employees want you to be yourself and get to know you as people which made the environment really enjoyable.
I feel that the company invested highly - in order for the week to happen they paid for hotel, food and travel expenses which allowed us to have the opportunity to make the most out of the week without it being a financial burden. Using a questionnaire before the week, we were given an insight profile at the start (personalised character analysis) which alone is highly valuable and is useful for determining development areas. Feedback throughout the week required a time investment by many different staff in the business.
Danone worked really hard to give us exposure to as many business areas as possible, and have time with graduates in the firm to ask them questions. As part of the Campus Brand Manager role it is important to understand the different aspects of the role: salary, travel opportunities, reward structures, benefits such as gym memberships and massages, and I feel like they did this well. By being in the offices, you see how nice the corporate environment can be, and how they encourage health by free fruit, water and yoghurt to staff.
Unlike many other firms I have visited, the company culture is central to everything that Danone does. With a key mission for health, everything the company does from its products to how it treats their employees is consistent. It is highly visible to anyone visiting the firm that the staff are all passionate for this dual social and economic mission.
Very valuable - it helped me to determine that I do really want to work within consumer goods, and specifically for companies that valued health of its consumers and employees. I went on to apply for the graduate programme, and considered a range of companies that I otherwise would not have. The insight profiles we receive also help detail personal strengths which was useful in career planning.
Expenses (hotel, food, travel) were paid for generously.
We had exposure to a high number of departments within the Head Office, and had plenty of time to network and discuss their role. There was definitely opportunity for follow-up networking as you wish, if you chose to request connecting via LinkedIn/ email etc, depending on how proactive you were.
Networking/social event opportunities were not formally arranged but occurred naturally, which felt very comfortable. As everyone was staying at the hotel, lunches and dinners were a good time to connect with other CBMs and were sometimes joined by various staff members, which again provided enough opportunities to chat informally.
We were given a presentation on the corporate social responsibility activities that Danone runs, and they demonstrated to us areas that employees can get involved with (a certain amount of days per year are given to staff to participate in such activities).
I would highly recommend this insight and the CBM scheme to friends at my university. It is timed really well, just before the academic year begins, and motivates you to plan for a successful year in the role. The opportunities, networks, and skills throughout the insight are highly valuable, and its an opportunity that is definitely worth taking.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
10th July 2017