A graduate student’s initial greatest worry is finding a job right after they leave the campus but in the long run, a greater challenge is landing a position that aligns with their passions, provides them the right mentorship, fulfills them intellectually and helps them grow. At Nestlé, we understand this challenge and to fulfill our commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and to Be a Force for Good, we have developed the Nestlé LEAD Management Trainee program that helps young graduates transition into their careers and become future industry leaders.
Beginning with a Rigorous Induction
With a proven track record of producing leaders, Nestlé LEAD Management Trainee Program is a major focus for the organization. The next year, in 2022, over 24,000 young graduates applied to the program and engaged through various campus and virtual recruitment drives. These applicants go through a rigorous assessment process including tests, assessment centers and interviews over the course of months to eventually get screened and selected for a competitive year long program that puts them on a path of learning and success. As a result, 20 candidates were selected.
One Year – Multiple Skills!
While the program itself is a yearlong one and each trainee has a parent function that they eventually work in, it helps young people build multiple skills by rotating in different functions throughout the year. Each trainee works in four different areas over the course of the year, one of which is their main function but also three other departments to diversity their skillset and learn how different divisions operate in tandem to make business successful. This opportunity to work in areas like finance, supply chain, marketing, sales and others within one year truly helps management trainees build on their skills, leadership potential and business acumen, that gives them an edge in the coming years.
Zoraiz Hussain, a part of the 2022 Management Trainee batch feels the program offers a lot of practical experience. “At Nestlé, everyday there is a new learning and since we are rotating around various functions, there is also continuous growth. We learn skills that we can apply and within a few months, I have been able to broaden my horizon and thinking abilities”.
He feels that the Management Trainee Program has been a transformational experience, one that has allowed him to use the knowledge he gained from university, build on that during the work experience and truly apply it in his everyday work.
Mentorship and Guidance Along the Way…
One of the most attractive aspects of the Nestlé Lead Management Trainee Program is the mentorship and guidance it offers to trainees. The program is designed in a way that these trainees work closely with their managers (who are a part of Nestlé’s leadership team). However, it is not just their managers that they get mentorship and guidance from, they are also able to get insights from NIM members (C-Suite at Nestlé) and get mentorship from them.
“Being part of an accelerated program like this, really allows you to push your limits and venture into territories you wouldn’t have otherwise. In a short span of time, I’ve gotten the chance to interact with and learn from the best professionals in the industry”, says Areeb Ali, a Management Trainee of 2022 batch.
Areeb has been able to explore professional areas of interest using the various platforms Nestlé offers for self-learning. “Power BI is one of the few skills I improved upon via the learning portals. I believe that the networking opportunities and self-learning resources provided have helped me carve out a career plan for myself and allowed me to really enhance my skill set”, she added.
Challenging their Thinking Abilities
While all management trainees work on their daily and routine tasks, they are also given challenging projects in every rotation. The idea is to place them in situations where they have to put on their thinking hats and stretch their problem-solving abilities to come up with sustainable solutions to emerging business challenges.
For Danial, another member of the 2022 batch, a great learning experience was working on the VR video journey. Titled “Walking in the Shoes of a Pakistani Consumer” this was targeted for the Nestlé Senior Executive Program - an innovation ideation camp held for the global leaders of Nestlé. For this, Danial worked with the regional capability development team from Vevey and Germany. “Navigating the local landscape amidst political turmoil was challenging. It was demanding yet the most fulfilling experience I’ve had. I learned resilience, operational excellence, and maybe a bit of German”, he recalls.
Leaving the Comfort Zone, Entering the Growth Zone
The program also realizes that learning begins at the end of one’s comfort zone and that is why trainees work in areas away from their hometowns and continue to move cities and functions at our manufacturing sites, sales operations, and the head office throughout the course of the year. Whether its moving from one city to another or being put in a challenging project in a field where they have never worked before, the program enables young professionals to truly comprehend the business value chain, push the boundaries of their comfort zone and grow exponentially.
Sohaima Taj, a 2022 Management Trainee, who had never been away from Karachi, believes this program has opened an entirely new world for her. “In only a matter of a few months, I have worked in two different cities; Lahore and Sheikhupura and my career has only just begun! I worked in Karachi for a year before coming to Nestlé as a management trainee but my learning in only a few months has been much more than my learning in a year back at home”, she added.
Training Future Industry Leaders
For years the Nestlé LEAD Management Trainee Program has been enabling young people to transition from campus to corporate, learn the skills and business acumen required for a corporate career, thrive in diversified roles across the value chain, and then eventually turn into industry leaders. The program is designed to help young people develop leadership traits at an early stage of your career by collaborating with global teams and gaining a global business view.
Nestlé Pakistan Head of Strategy and Business Development Samra Maqbool who was a Management Trainee herself back in the day and has worked in multiple functions across the value chain including consumer communication, recalls the program as one of the most enriching and transformative experiences of her life at the time. “Being a part of the program really gave me an edge and helped me learn about business and the company from day one but one of the best things it did to me was helped me develop a growth mindset and a sustainable problem-solving approach from the beginning of my career, which has been immensely beneficial throughout”, she added.
Join the Nestlé Lead Management Trainee Program to transform your career and Be a Force for Good. Applications open till 12th March 2023.
These efforts are in line with UN’s Sustainable Development Goals: 5 – Gender Equality and 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth.