Category Management Executive at Danone

Duration
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Region
London
Review Date

3.3/5

The Role
4.6
The Company
2.5
The Culture
2.5

The Role

1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?

As most companies, Danone advertise on their website that they will give a lot of responsibilities early on to the students that join them either for a placement or a graduate scheme. However, you never really know if this is something employers say to attract students or if this will actually be the case. Thus, it is only when I joined that I realized that, at Danone, you are actually given a huge level of responsibility. Indeed, you get to have a role which is important for the company and, as a result, people do not consider you as a younger person without experience but as one of their peers. This gives you a huge opportunity to learn a lot, develop some leadership skills to make your voice be heard and become a very proactive person. Whilst your colleagues will consider you as an expert in your own sector, they will be extremely helpful all along your year as they are aware it is your first real experience. So don't be stressed, having a lot of responsibilities does not mean you will have to face them alone and struggle, Danoners will always be here to help you! Another thing that I have loved about Danone is the fact that you really have an opportunity to step outside your role and get involved in other things such as volunteering, sports... This is a great opportunity to meet other people from the business and to have a lot of fun! Lastly, if you are somebody who really believes in the mission of businesses to have a positive social and environmental impact: this is a company for you! Danone is true to its mission and I have actually been very surprised to see that all Danoners believe in this mission and are really working to be healthy for their consumers and better for the planet. The only small negative aspect I could talk about is that, for the placements students, you have no training available (however, people joining the graduate scheme will have plenty of training). Considering that in the end we were doing the same job, I think it would have been a bit more fair to get some training all together!
5 /5

2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?

My colleagues at Danone have truly been one of the highlights of this placement year and I think that it has been the same for the other interns. All Danoners are very kind and fun - we have had quite a lot of social events!! They are also very supportive no matter how senior they are. Every time I have had a question, they have all been very helpful even when they were overwhelmed by work. I have also been very positively surprised about how much senior people cared about you as a placement student. They consider you like a fellow colleague instead of a young inexperienced person that they will see leaving in a year and some of them even organize 1-2-1 meetings with the students in their team to talk about their future! Lastly, a very important thing to mention is that if you are overwhelmed by work, your colleagues will always try to take on some of your work or find a solution so that you feel a bit relieved. As a result, nobody finishes really late and you will truly be able to enjoy your placement year and discover London as much as you want!
5 /5

3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?

Support and guidance are two words that Danoners live and breathe. Although you are being given a huge amount of responsibility when you arrive, you are not left alone with your computer and your clients. Your manager and your team will be here to guide you, teach you what there is to know and help you when needed. You will be surprised by how fast you can learn!! If you wish to do things outside of your role, your manager will also help you achieve it.
5 /5

4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

The important thing to know about roles such as Sales or Category Management is that there can be some days/weeks where you will be very busy with loads of deadlines whilst there will be other weeks where you will finish quite early and not have a lot to do. If you are a person that wants to have a very regular schedule with always days that start at 9 and end at 5, then you might not be very happy! However, I do not think you will find a job that is always very regular. Also, when I say 'very busy', you will probably never finish after 7 so it's not that bad!
4 /5

5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?

At Danone, you are being given a huge amount of responsibility and your manager, colleagues or even senior people will always welcome any proactive initiative that you can make. It took me a bit of time to understand that as I have the very hierarchical french mentality where you have to wait for the senior people to let you know what you should do but once I understood the freedom I had, I truly developed and enjoyed my time there! It is just amazing to be able to make your customers' business better and try to find new ideas to help them. Moreover, you get the opportunity to present the slides and recommendations you have built to your clients. This is something that not a lot of my friends doing some placement years have been doing. Those client facing opportunities truly give you the opportunity to develop your communication skills and helps you discover the capacity you have for building relationships with people. You can also get some internal opportunities to present and get some exposure if you are willing to (and I highly recommend doing so).
5 /5

6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

This placement year at Danone, with its high level of responsibility, has provided me with skills that I will keep for life such as: proactivity, leadership, communication, flexibility, data analysis, networking but also some PowerPoint, Excel and other FMCG specific softwares that are very useful. Those are skills that you will need in most of the jobs you could apply to today and I am very grateful to have been able to develop or strengthen such skills. However, if you are passionate about technology or very digital savvy, you will find that these are elements lacking at Danone.
4 /5

The Company

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

3 /5

8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?

3 /5

9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

3 /5

10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • There were no perks with this Placement Year
3 /5

11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?

3 /5

The Culture

12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?

3 /5

13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?

3 /5

14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?

3 /5

15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?

3 /5