27 March 2018

CEO on the Road: Procter & Gamble

Two of our students Olivia Lim and Shirley Wu got up close and personal with one of our Corporate Partners, Procter and Gamble (P&G) Australia when they went to visit their head office as part of the CEO on the Road program. Read about Olivia and Shirley’s experience as they got a sneak peek of their offices, got to network with some of the team and gain insight into what it is like to work at a leading FMCG company.

Olivia Lim

I was very lucky to be one of two students selected to visit the Procter & Gamble (P&G) Australia office as part of  CEO on the Road. My role was to be a student ambassador representing the University of Sydney Business School. As I entered the P&G office, the walls in the reception area were decorated with P&G’s various awards and award-winning products such as SKII, Pantene and Oral B. We met Emma Russ (Talent Manager & HR Business Partner) who kindly showed us around the office and gave us insight into the working life at P&G.

Something that was very memorable to me was as we entered the main office, there was a large award with signatures from the P&G team which to me represented the diversity in their organisation. It was made aware to us that at P&G, diversity is in the essence of their culture and they currently have employees from over 30 countries.

At the P&G office, there is a fully stacked breakfast bar and massage chairs for their employees to enjoy. We also met employees from the marketing team. They were very friendly and passionate about their work. They proudly showed us their recent successful marketing brief - it was absolutely inspiring.

Later on, we had a wonderful opportunity to interview the General Manager of P&G, Vivek Gupta.  It was such an honour to be able to ask him questions about his personal journey and gain insight about various internship opportunities. He mentioned that he started as an intern 20 years ago. He was such a humble man and his story was truly inspirational.

We also met a student graduate, William Longman (Category Strategy Manager), who answered our questions about his personal journey to P&G, internship experience and what it’s like to work there. It gave me a much deeper understanding of their work culture which was very insightful and informative. The interview session ended with Emma Russ informing us about the graduate program application due dates, advice, tips and what it takes to be a good fit for P&G.

At the end of the tour, all of us who attended the event received a very generous gift bag which was filled with many P&G products. The experience was truly invaluable and allowed me to really feel what it would be like working at P&G. It was also a wonderful networking opportunity. It has made me much more certain about my career path into an FMCG company. I would highly recommend any student that has a particular interest to take part in the CEO on the Road.

Shirley Wu

As one of two students chosen to attend the CEO on the Road event at Procter & Gamble (P&G) Australia, I was given the opportunity to learn more about the FMCG industry and meet new and interesting people in the process. I was also given the rare opportunity to explore their corporate head office in Macquarie Park, and even speak with the newly appointed General Manager for their Australian division.

When we arrived at the office, we were greeted by Emma Russ (Talent Manager & HR Business Partner) who took us on a tour of the P&G Australia office. One thing that stood out was that the kitchen was stocked with fresh fruits, cereals and juices available for employees throughout the day. There was even a smoothie machine and a fridge stocked up with smoothie ingredients!

We were given the opportunity to interview the General Manager and a University of Sydney graduate currently working at P&G Australia. We met with Vivek Gupta (General Manager), who answered our questions about the organisation and his 20-year journey to his current position. His responses demonstrated the possible career pathways in a large FMCG company and really inspired me to take up every opportunity in my future career. We then met with William Longman (Category Strategy Manager and University of Sydney graduate), who answered our questions about the graduate program and his experience at P&G Australia. His responses were very insightful and gave me a fantastic understanding of the graduate program and company culture. At the end of the day, we were given gift bags containing several P&G products. Emma also made us smoothies for our trip back to university!

One thing I have learnt from this experience is that culture is the number one factor differentiating one organisation from another. There is no ‘perfect organisation’ for everyone, as each and every one of us are different in our work preferences. It really takes one to network with employees at an organisation and be able to explore the office space to gain a clear snapshot of an organisation’s workplace culture. After visiting the P&G Australia office and meeting several of their employees, I have gained a clearer understanding of the organisation’s culture and how people within the organisation interact with one another. I strongly recommend all students to attend networking events and participate in programs like CEO on the Road to successfully choose an organisation that is perfect for them.

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