NAME: Elisa Pogliano
DEGREE: COMMUNICATIONS STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF TURIN, ITALY, GRADUATED 2005
OCCUPATION: CUSTOMER BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT ACCOUNT MANAGER WITH PROCTER AND GAMBLE
What do you do in your job?
I am employed by Proctor and Gamble, based in southwest London. It is a leading FMCG company, which produces, markets and sells numerous household products. Brands include Ariel, Bold, Daz, Flash, Fairy, Herbal Essences and Pantene. And that’s just some of them – it’s a very long list!
My job basically involves getting in touch with customers, who are retailers and wholesalers. Their business is to sell our products; it is in our interests to support their business, so we can also grow our business. We maintain relationships with customers and keep them informed of any developments.
What was your motivation in applying?
First of all, Proctor and Gamble is a leading company, known in the trade for being outstanding. Also, I knew that the CBD (Customer Business Development) training programme in particular was excellent. The way it works is that for your fist year, if you are on the graduate programme, you are given your own customer portfolio. You are making decisions and have responsibility from day one.
We have graduate unit managers, whose primary function is to train and coach, to help us develop skills and understand the business.
What did the application process involve?
First, there was an online application on the Proctor and Gamble website: www.pgcareers.com. After that, if you are successful, you are invited to take a problem-solving test. Then, if you are successful at that, there are a number of interviews with senior managers.
What do you enjoy about your job?
What I really like is the first year environment. Although it’s tough and you work hard, everyone is very supportive. On the graduate programme you get a lot of exposure to senior managers; when you are involved in high-profile projects the managers know about it.
Most challenging part of your job?
Our motto is "a new challenge every day". Facing customers at the beginning is not something everyone is used to. It requires a lot of support and fine tuning – but the more you do it, the more it becomes something you enjoy.
Advice to readers considering a career in your field?
I would definitely recommend the training programme. To find out more, I would suggest attending an open day on campus – not just for FMCG, but if you are considering any commercial function. There are always people who have joined fairly recently who can share their experiences.