What's your job about?
Procter and Gamble is an FMCG company with market-leading brands in several categories. They provide quality household and health & beauty products to consumers through different channels but mainly through grocery stores. I started as a Business Development Manager which involves going into Independent Grocery Stores and talking to Store Managers on how to improve their sales. This could be through promotional displays, ranging of new products, and/or improving the shelf layout to create an easier shopping experience for the consumer. I learned many ways to help businesses grow and a variety of sales skills in order to achieve this growth.
Now, I am a Category Strategy and Development Manager which involves analysing category performance for a customer and creating insights about what is growing, what is declining, and where the opportunities to maximise growth are for the customer. I create shelf layouts specific to the customer based upon my extensive data analysis so the customer and P&G mutually benefit. Finally, I present these category insights and shelf layouts to customers to educate them on what is occurring in the market and in their stores so they make well-informed decision and maximise growth. Finding truly useful and interesting insights is a thrilling experience! It’s like solving a complex puzzle but that puzzle can possibly generate huge profits for the customer and P&G.
What's your background?
My family is Australian but we moved around my whole life. I was born in the USA, lived in England, went to primary school in Perth then during high school I was in Singapore. Living in Singapore was very crucial in my development as I was surrounded by different cultures and learned to get along with people from all backgrounds. My school fostered my leadership skills and boosted my confidence because I was able to do many presentations and public speeches as well as perform in bands to large crowds. My confidence, ability to present myself and get along with people was a major part of how I got the P&G graduate role. Throughout university, I sold suits for 2 years and also did a Sales internship in my penultimate year of study. This work experience made me realise my passion for Sales and improved my sales skills.
Therefore, I knew exactly what I wanted to do after completing my Bachelor of Science which was not pursuing a career in Chemistry but a career in Sales. I have always loved to talk to everyone about anything so I knew I needed to secure a job at a workplace where I could use all of this talking for good use. P&G was the perfect opportunity for this where the company culture is fun and social but committed to excellence.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
I studied Chemistry and grew up overseas so absolutely someone with a different background could do my job. If you are confident, resilient and eager to learn then you can do my job. You can’t be afraid of a challenge or to learn new things because it’s a steep learning curve but after 3 months it’s unbelievably rewarding. You will learn so much so fast which will set you up for a career, not just a job.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
My favourite part of the job is presenting to the customers about their category and trying to influence their ranging decisions for the upcoming year. This makes all the time spent analysing data, finding insights, creating visually impactful PowerPoints completely worthwhile. I enjoy how once you become competent at your work, my colleagues come to me for help even if they have worked at P&G for over 10 years! It makes me feel valued and that my work has a genuine impact on the success of the company.
What are the limitations of your job?
You must be very autonomous and self-driven otherwise your work will pile up. There is a lot of responsibility given to you on several projects at once so your need to prioritise effectively and adjust timelines so you can deliver excellent work for your team. The workload is like a rollercoaster so be prepared to work a few long days when necessary and then enjoy the times where it’s more relaxed. However, you aren’t alone because you can build a strong relationship with your manager and seek guidance from them.
3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...
I only figured this out in my final year of studying but going to the library to study for exams was the best thing I ever figured out. It made it much easier to get work done, achieve good grades, and have a disconnect between studying and my actual life. I made some friends at university but I wish I had spent more time with them after classes on campus because those are the golden moments of the university. Finally, don’t pressure yourself too much and take advantage of the lifestyle you have because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity!