What’s it like to work in the Nestlé graduate program?
>>Kel Noble: I’m Kel Noble, and I’m a
commercial graduate here at Nestlé.>>GradAustralia: Coolest part of your job?>>Kel Noble: The coolest thing about my job
is I get to work with iconic brands. So, I remember when I was probably about 14
years old going into the supermarket and I thought that one day when I finish uni
I’ll be actually working for Milo or selling KitKats to my retailer.
That’s something that I never thought was possible, so having that opportunity to work on billion-dollar brands – iconic brands – that I’ve grown up with is something that’s been so exciting for
me.>>GradAustralia: What’s your background?>>Kel Noble: I grew up in Melbourne, before
I moved to Singapore for seven years. While I was in Singapore I got exposed to
a lot of different cultures and different life experiences.
I went to an international school before I moved back to Sydney
and that’s where did my high schooling and then went to uni here before I joined Nestlé.
One of the real key things for why I did my degree, and why I chose Nestlé, was my background.
Having the opportunity to move to Singapore with my dad’s company – our whole family moved
– gave me a lot of desire to work for a global company one day.>>GradAustralia: What do you do at Nestlé?>>Kel Noble: So the purpose of the graduate
program is to give us candidates a well-rounded view of the commercial side of the business:
sales, marketing and category. Across last year I spent my time in field
sales as a territory manager, so I was calling on our convenience channel
stores and then I was managing a small team of merchandisers.
During that time, from a day-to-day prospective, I’d be selling new products to our customers
and our accounts, managing the field budgets and then obviously
the activations in-store. I also managed a small team of merchandisers
and that was great because you really got that people management
skill kind of straight away, so that was obviously quite a steep learning
curve but it was great.>>Kel Noble: Now I’m in marketing,
so I’m working in the beverages division (Nescafé, Milo, Nesquik)
and I’m working on some really cool projects. So, one at the moment
(I can’t really go into too much detail)… but I actually get to work on this from start
to finish. So we’re actually in a stage of developing
the product, the packaging, design and then I get to work all the way through
to the commercial side of in-store activations and things like that.>>GradAustralia: Could anyone do your job?>>Kel Noble: In the graduate program there
are some specific skill sets that people with different backgrounds do need to have,
and obviously showing and demonstrating leadership qualities is one of them.
The big thing about the graduate program is they want to find potential leaders for the
future. Demonstrating leadership skills and qualities
is something that is highly regarded, and almost necessary.
On top of that you need to have a lot of people management skills and desire to win, and passion.
The passion is very important especially in the graduate program
going through your first year in field sales, you need to be a passionate person,
you need to show that passion consistently throughout the year,
because day-to-day things change and you don’t always get the desired result that you want.
You’re gonna have some tough days, but you need to be passionate and show your
commitment to the company and that’s what’s gonna get you through.
So, yeah, people with different backgrounds definitely can do the job.>>GradAustralia: Limitations of your job?>>Kel Noble: One of the things I found was,
things would work really well one customer but they wouldn’t with another.
You’re looking at 120 stores, so you’ve got to adapt to all these different customers
and the customer’s needs, so that was something that I found quite hard
and the learning curve when I started was pretty steep on that.
That limitation obviously got minimised by being agile, adapting to the customer needs
and really working on a strong, solid, long-term relationship with them to overcome those limitations.>>GradAustralia: Advice to your teenage self?>>Kel Noble: So the first piece of advice
would be care less about what people think of you.
That’s probably one of the main things – don’t worry about what people think because at the
end of the day you’re the only person that shapes your future and your development.
The second one would definitely be stay in the present.
Don’t dwell on the past, it’s all about the journey and not the destination to be honest.
So, you really just want to focus on the present, enjoy it, don’t think about the destination
or what’s happened in the past. And I think the last piece of advice would
be don’t be afraid to take chances, take risks,
you’re gonna go through your life and you only get one,
so just take those chances and a lot of the time it will pay off.
And if it doesn’t then you’ve got a great story to tell!