This week marked the first full work week in our home locations outside of our training in Chicago, which for me marked the beginning of my placement in one of our customers’ sales office in Rogers, Arkansas.
The Trainee Program thus far has been a slow transition into an ever-evolving world that is so much greater than it appears from a shelf. I’ve studied business in school and have always felt that I had a grasp on the workings of a company, which this past week has proven how poorly I’ve simplified the complexities of an organization in my head. The program places each trainee in an In-Store rotation, which means working with several stores while simultaneously being part of a greater conversation within the sales office itself. You meet the customers who buy products, the employees who stock them, the managers who order them, the workers that make them, and the teams that ensures the model is living and breathing and growing—and after that you’ll never see ketchup the same way.
At the end of the day it’s hard to see a product as anything other than living. You meet people that work day after day to see it grow and succeed and take part in a conversation greater than itself. Seemingly everyone has stories of brands and lines or models that have lasted decades while others only lasted a few months. Many have witnessed the passion they’ve invested into projects grow into something successful while others have seen theirs die. Employees here learn to give everything their all and to drive their categories and guide them as they change and evolve. Day after day each of them work to add something that makes the whole tune more beautiful while keeping to the melody everyone knows and loves. Kraft Heinz tells like a narrative, creating stories and dialogues for brands and products that each speak to someone in particular while drawing them into a greater conversation.
When you work at Kraft Heinz your friends and family ask what you’re learning or what you’ve been doing. On the surface we’ve been doing store walks, meeting employees and hearing their stories. This week we had a taste test of a large grocery stores’ hot dog set (OSCAR MAYER Beef hotdogs won!) and have worked through training videos assigned to us.
Looking from the outside it can be hard to see how each individual experience made us better employees or better people, but just as it’s just as impossible to describe an orchestra from an individual instrument, you can’t understand Kraft Heinz without acknowledging every moving part within it. Even being a part of it now I don’t feel I will ever understand it, but I can appreciate it, help it grow, and be in awe of something whose individual parts are too complex for one person to ever fully comprehend. So now I’m working to steer it in a direction that’s going to help people, solve problems, and feed the world while learning to trust my instincts, relying on those around me, and working with others towards a common goal. Working here will challenge you, humble you, and make you appreciate everything that has come before you while working to create what will come after you—that’s what you learn at Kraft Heinz.