When I got back from my first time in Disney World three years ago, people kept asking me how my trip was. Again and again I would tell them “It’s huge!! There’s so much to do there!”
My first week at Kraft Heinz Company was no different. Our first week at the Aon Center in Chicago was all about discovering the size and scale of the business, and how it operates. Day one was mostly onboarding paperwork, which gave us something familiar to work on as we got over the shock of the 76th floor views. By day two, we were able to better understand some of the acronyms that would soon comprise our daily vernacular: ZBB (Zero Based Budgeting), MBO (Management by Objectives), KPI (Key Performance Indicators), and PPE (Plant Property and Equipment) are just a few!
We also got to try our hand at booking travel using the online system to plan for plant visits next week… but more on that later. Wednesday kicked off with a career-fair style rotation, discussing how different functions of the business contributed to the vision: To Be the Best Food Company, Growing a Better World. We heard from Finance, Sales, Marketing, Operations, and R&D to learn about their structure and responsibilities at the corporate level. While this helped us better understand what our fellow corporate and sales trainee cohorts would be focused on, it made us all the more excited to find out more about our operations-based placements.
Thursday we were able to team up with the other trainee programs for a little friendly competition. The entire day was spent on a Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) simulation. Even though my team was wrongfully edged out of the winner’s circle, the game gave us a valuable understanding of how cash flows through a company.
Finally, we had made it to Friday! We started the day a little earlier than usual and commuted out to the Glenview location outside Chicago. . All of us were a little unsure of what to expect at the Research and Development facility, but we were pleasantly surprised. Not only did we get a delicious taste test of the a new Caramels product new to the Kraft Heinz portfolio, but we also got to see a lot more of the business processes that will be helpful in our positions. This included a tour of the pilot plant (where new products and processes are developed), and a few demonstrations of the quality testing equipment used in plants across the country. Finally, my high school chemistry classes are going to be put to use!
Next week our cohort is sadly going to be split in two as we visit different plant locations, but we’ll have lots of new Operations exposure to share with each other when we get back! Until then, we’ll be spending the weekend working on another important initiative–team bonding.