017on the job

By Rose Flores,2014-05-08 10:16
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017on the job

Day in the Life

    Assistant Brand Manager, Brand Management

    7:45 a.m.: Arrive at office. (“There‟s no P&G parking lot, but there‟s plenty of parking in downtown Cincinnati.”)

    8:15 a.m.: Finish eating breakfast and reading paper at desk. (“It‟s a cubicle in kind of an open bullpen area for each brand. The brand manager has an


    8:30 a.m.: Check in with brand manager. (“You don‟t meet with your manager daily, but my brand manager‟s door is always open.”). 9:00 a.m.: Receive data needed for pricing study via fax, begin analyzing

    consumer response to recent markup.

    10:00 a.m.: On the phone with advertising agency, checking to see when the

    storyboards for the new campaign will arrive.

    10:15 a.m.: On the phone with the purchasing department, checking what

    types of paper can be used for a questionnaire to be inserted into packages.

    (“We have to make sure it‟s attractive, so people will actually fill it out.”) 10:30 a.m.: Meet in conference room with financial analysts to receive more

    data for the pricing study. Go over their preliminary interpretations.

    12:00 p.m.: Lunch with a colleague from the brand group for $3 or $4 at

    cafeteria. Choose from salad and sandwich bars, a pasta dish and several

    other hot entrees. (“It‟s a pretty great cafeteria, the food was decent, it was

    subsidized.”) Or go out to eat if you‟re afraid the food has Olean and your stomach won‟t take it. (“There‟s a good Chinese place, a good Thai place, there‟s Skyline Chili a block away where you can get the 5-way,” a Cincinnati concoction that involves chili, onions, cinnamon and spaghetti.)

    12:45 p.m.: Drive 15 minutes to a research center in the north of Cincinnati

    to meet with research and development staffers. (“What progress are we making in making a milder soap? How‟s the color coming?”) 3:00 p.m.: Drive back to central office. Flash ID badge at 11-story old granite

    general offices, where most Brands are located. That office is connected by a

    On the Job

    Procter & Gamble

    Procter & Gamble

    On the Job

    skywalk to two new glass 20-story tower-domes. (“They‟re called the Dolly Parton towers by the locals.”)

    3:15 p.m.: On the phone with customer development managers, set up

    meeting in the next couple of days.

    3:30 p.m.: Work on pricing study more. Take notes for eventual presentation.

    4:30 p.m.: Weekly meeting in floor conference room with brand group,

    including the brand manager.

    4:50 p.m.: Make brief presentation to group about the questionnaire: how it

    will be distributed, what incentives will be included to promote responses.

    (“We‟ll offer a prize drawing or something like that.”)

5:30 p.m.: On the phone with purchasing to order the questionnaire paper.

    6:00 p.m.: Leave for home. (“It‟s your discretion when you leave. You knew what you had to do, there was no one really watching. It was just more of a

    sense of „Get the job done.‟”)

    Job Descriptions

    Brand Manager, Brand Management

    Assistant brand managers and brand managers analyze all aspects of a brand‟s sales and marketing. “Brand management is general management with an

    emphasis on marketing,” explains one employee. The majority of employees in brand management are recruited from MBA programs, and employees say

    the company is shifting away from employing brand managers without


    The important thing to know about brand management is that it‟s THE department for those looking to move high up in the company. “Brand management is Boss. I can‟t recall anyone wanting to move from marketing to finance, but I do remember more than two cases where people wanted to

    move from finance to marketing,” says one employee. “I know of no general manager worldwide that reached that position without having to pass through

    the brand management department,” says another. Employees coming into the department (they always come in as assistant brand managers) can give

    preferences of what types of products they work with, but, explains one

    employee, matching company needs and employee desires is “an inexact science.”


Procter & Gamble

    On the Job

    Projects might include

    . determining how a change in pricing would affect a product‟s performance . developing direct-mail and other advertising campaigns

    . predicting market receptivity to new product concepts

    . packaging design

    . developing new product ideas

    . analyzing market research on focus groups

    Assistant brand managers are split into junior ABMs and senior ABMs. Junior

    ABMs are more responsible for promotions and market research; senior

    ABMs look more broadly at marketing campaigns and strategy.

    Account Manager, Customer Business


    This is management, but out in the field and as a telecommuter in sales rather

    than at home offices and in marketing in Cincinnati. Many undergraduates

    starting out in the company with an eye on management enter through this

    department. The position involves meeting retailers to help them plan their

    marketing strategies. The account manager is focused on four major areas:

. ensuring that a retailer has the right mix of products

    . working with the client to evaluate optimal pricing strategies

    . planning product promotions

    . advising on product placement on the shelves

    Summer Internships

    Procter & Gamble‟s internship programs are the best way to get started at the company. Says one MBA intern who is almost certain she will accept a

    company offer: “Summer internships almost always result in job offers. This summer, interns received their offers before they left P&G. During this past

    summer, the CEO stated that one of his long-term goals was to recruit brand

    people only from the intern pool.” Another MBA intern says she knew of no one in the program who did not receive an offer. Says a former undergraduate

    intern currently working for P&G, “It‟s contingent on performance, but I knew that if you did well, you get an offer.”

    Procter & Gamble

    On the Job

    Interns are given a surprising amount of responsibility. “Interns often get the most politically sensitive projects: to kill or not kill a brand; strategic focus

    of a brand,” says one former brand management intern. “These were not just make-work. These were real projects,” says another. Also, interns in Cincinnati have weekly lunches with high-level managers, perhaps even the

    CEO. “That was a fantastic experience,” says one former intern about the luncheons.

    Undergraduates entering their sophomore year to first-year graduate students

    can also apply for internships in a variety of other departments: Research &

    Development, Product Supply/Engineering, Customer Business

    Development, among others. The close to 500 interns are flown to Cincinnati

     where about two thirds of them remain for the summer for a one-day orientation which involves business presentations by company managers and

    a reception and dinner with the chairman and president. Customer business

    development interns stay an additional day for more seminars; these interns

    get to use a company car for the summer to travel to meet clients. Interns who

    stay in Cincinnati are provided housing. Projects for undergraduate interns

    vary from analyzing cleaning products in labs to planning display strategies

    with grocery store managers.

    Department Descriptions

    Brand Management

    The main choice of the MBAs, brand management is, according to former

    CEO John Pepper, “an opportunity to manage a company within a company.” This department manages individual brands by gaining insight into its

    consumers and researching cultural trends. Brand managers develop

    promotions and other marketing strategies for their product. Brand managers

    in the United States are either in Cincinnati or Baltimore. This department,

    employees say, has an up-or-out policy.

Finance/Accounting Management

    Along with Brand Management, this department is one of the two most popular department choices of MBAs and those with management aspirations. With oversight of business decisions, finance and accounting professionals analyze accounting data to maximize long-term profits, cash flow, and return on investment. Although this is a management-track department, in order to move into the higher echelon of P&G, finance people

Procter & Gamble

    On the Job

    need to spend some time in Brand or Marketing. Although concentrated in Cincinnati, Baltimore, and Norwich, N.Y., this department is spread out throughout the country.

    Human Resources

    Internal transfers from other departments fill the vast majority of Human Resources positions at P&G. The department oversees recruiting, training, diversity, benefits, compensation and organization evaluation. Management Information Systems

    Employees in Management Systems lead development and application of information and communication systems throughout the company. This department is filled by applicants with computer science or engineering backgrounds, and it is centered in Cincinnati.

    Market Research

    Sort of a feeder into Brand Management, this department gauges market response to new product concepts, advertising campaigns and product changes.

    Product Supply

    This large division is comprised of Manufacturing, Engineering, Purchases and Customer Services subdivisions. It is in charge of actually transforming raw materials to finished products, and delivering the products to customers. Professional and Regulatory Service

    This department provides expertise in human and environmental safety and product regulatory issues, often working on obtaining licensing approval from the government.

    Public Affairs

    Public Affairs handles communications with the media, government officials, community groups, shareholders and employees. The department also manages consumer relations.

    Procter & Gamble

    On the Job

    Research and Development

    These are the guys with the white coats and goggles in the labs. Although product development gets the most press, this department is also responsible for developing new packaging and manufacturing processes. The department

    hosted a global R&D symposium in March 1998 that drew thousands of attendees.

    Customer Business Development (Sales)


    Providing on-site consulting for Procter & Gamble throughout the world, this department identifies business-building opportunities and develops customer alliances.

    The most important thing to know about career paths at Procter & Gamble is that the company sticks to a promote-from-within policy. Therefore, the vast majority of new hires are at the entry levels. Because of this policy, career paths do not differ substantially for undergraduates and MBAs, although MBAs, of course, can expect to move faster initially. Employees described the career paths as fairly rigid, with the expected dues-paying and set paths that one would expect at a large and relatively conservative company. The second most important thing to know is that in brand management (but not other departments) P&G has a somewhat brutal up-or-out policy. Career Paths

    Brand Management

    This department is becoming increasingly closed to those without MBAs. “Out of about 15 to 20 new brand people a year, maybe a couple are

    undergraduates,” one former assistant brand manager says. P&G employees

    entering Brand always start as junior assistant brand managers. If they move up the ladder, they will become go to a senior ABM in 12 to 15 months, a brand manager three or three-and-a-half years later. From there, it‟s

    marketing director after five years and then category manager after five more years. This position is on the cusp of upper management, and can lead to a position as general manager of a region.

    If a Brand employee is not promoted within the timeframe the company has set up, they are placed on “special assignment,” one former employee reports.

    This means two months in an office with just a phone and a desk to find

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    On the Job

    another job. This can happen at any level up to category manager, meaning it can happen to employees who have been with the company for 10 years or more. Needless to say, this creates a high attrition rate.

    Finance and Accounting

    Ascension in either of these tracks leads to executive financial management. Entry level is as either a financial analyst or accountant. For accountants, the path goes: senior accountant, group manager, associate director, director, and then executive financial management. For financial analysts, the career path is as follows: manager, category financial manager, comptroller, and then executive financial management. Again, those with their eyes on being a top management need to spend time in Brand.

Sales Management

    The first promotion from account manager is to account executive. This

    position develops business plans with customers. After this, customer

    business employees often move to other company functions, such as Finance,

    Product Supply or Advertising.


    Annual evaluations for P&G employees are based on the company‟s seven “What Counts Factors”:

    . initiative and follow-through

    . leadership skills

    . creativity and innovation

    . problem solving

    . working effectively with others

    . communication skills

    . priority setting

    Employees are rated quantitatively on these factors. Interns are evaluated

    once informally halfway through the summer, and then formally with the

    “What Counts Factors” at the end of their experience. For supervisors, evaluations are split into two parts: the business they oversee, and the people

    they oversee. In other words, half of their evaluation is based on how the

    people in their group develop.

Procter & Gamble

    On the Job


    Because Procter & Gamble emphasizes developing its employees and a

    promote-from-within policy, it is very proud of its training programs. In

    Cincinnati, there‟s a building close to headquarters that is used for “P&G College,” with half-day to full-day courses on rating advertising, being more

    sensitive to diversity issues as a manager, etc. “When you‟re in your first couple of years, you‟re there maybe every other week,” says one brand employee. “Later, it‟s maybe once a month.” There are about 20 students in each session, usually from the same function. Employees, in part because of

    the free sandwiches “students” get, welcome the sessions. Apparently the sandwiches are so good that P&G tells employees that going to the college to

    get some when it‟s not your turn is grounds for firing. However, “I‟ve never seen that happen,” one employee says.

    Outside of Cincinnati, training often takes the form of regional seminars

    taught worldwide by company executives who are experts in particular

    subject areas. “At Procter & Gamble, the most important thing is training,” said one former category manager in Asia.


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