- Supporting the Shopper Marketing Manager on all point-of-sale for our key campaigns
- Working with design agenices to produce trade ads and online banners
- Acting as the brand lead the 'Badoit' brand within the Shopper Marketing team
- Acting as the main contact for the Warehouse/Cash & Carry channel
- Managing the team's budget and paying suppliers
My placement with Danone Waters has been extremely enjoyable and a truly valuable experience. The young, friendly and relatively informal working enviornment was exactly was I was hoping for as a young person entering a business for the first time.
My colleagues were always willing to listen to what I had to say, and as a young employee you are actively encouraged to bring fresh ideas into the business.
My team had weekly meetings where we would sit and discuss our workload for that week and any challenges we had. Everybody at Danone also has also has monthly catch up with their line manager at least once a month to discuss personal objectives and development. Probably the most important form of support I received however was the day-to-day informal guidance I could get. The small and close-knit nature of the Shopper Marketing team meant I could interact with my line manager throughout the day and quickly resolve any issues or queries. More generally, Danone Waters' flat organisational structure means you can literally walk up to anybody in the office and ask them a question face-to-face, and no matter how senior they are they will always be happy to assist.
To start off with my workload was probably slightly on the light side, but this was understandable as I was new to the company and any student entering a business for the first time isn't going to be trusted with huge project straight away. However I soon noticed a gradual increase in my workload and ater a couple of months once our key brand campaigns kicked in I was as busy, if not busier than expected. Workload did vary from day-to-day and from week-to-week as will be the case in any business, but Danone's flexible working hours helped to accomodate this.
At the beginning of my placement I was perhaps slightly restricted in terms of some of the things I could work on without getting approval from my line manager etc., but within a couple of months I soon found I was being asked to attend hugely important business meetings as the sole representative of the Shopper Marketing team, alongside a gradually increasing workload and level of responsibility. I was given my own brand to work on, which I felt was quite a significant responsibility and great opportunity as a placement year student.
Learning and development at Danone Waters is tailored to the individual. If you want to be trained in a particular/skill you can can set up a meeting with the learning and development manager or simply mention it to your line manager at your monthly development meetings. There are many courses both internally and externally that you can go on, but you are expected to take the initiative and responsibility for your own learning. I went on an Excel training course and learnt skills that will assist me in my final year at University next year and in future employment. I also attended several industry conferences and masterclasses run externally which were hugely beneficial.
Danone Water's working culture is very informal and quite relaxed at times, but everybody still works extremely hard. The workforce at Danone in general is quite young, which I felt helped to create a friendly and vibrant working environment. The office itself is open plan, enabling you to speak to literally anybody in the business regardless of their function or seniority.
The induction process at Danone is extremely thorough and well thought out. I was given an induction pack during my first week containing lots of useful information, and had inductions scheduled with various employees almost everyday throughout the first month or so of my placement. Notably again these inductions were often one-to-one informal chats with quite senior members of the company, making me feel instantly valued and part of the business.
As previously mentioned, if there is an area which you feel you want to develop the vast majority of the time the business will help you to do this.
Danone Waters seem to promote people who perform successfully in their roles. Many interns who have performed well have gone on to secure full-time positions within only months of joining the company. As a placement year student if you perform well you may also be asked if you want to be put forward to be considered for the grad scheme, although you will still have to complete an assessment centre.
There were quite a few other interns, placement students and grads and we went out for drinks after work every couple of weeks. There were also various company events such as a Halloween Pary, Xmas Party and regular quiz nights where you could socialise and meet fellow employees.
Living in London is always going to be fairly expensive. I chose to live a short walk from the office which was really convenient and saved me huge amount on transport, but I paid a higher rent because of area I was living in. Socialising in London is expensive, but in terms of night life it is different to anywhere else and usually worth paying extra for.
In Ealing there are quite a few good pubs and bars, and a couple of okay nightclubs. It's not really a hot spot in terms of nightlife in London though, and the majority of the time I travelled to meet up with friends in other areas of London for nights out.
Danone places great emphasis on healthy living and therefore puts on various sporting clubs/activities, often free of charge. The company will even pay for you to take part in any form of healthy activity that you do in your own time up to a value of £250. I played 5-a-side football every week and there was even a staff 5-a-side World Cup tournament, with the finals being held in Paris! I also volunteered at the Danone Nations Cup and got lots of complimentary tickets to see the final at Wembley Stadium.