Procter & Gamble attracts students to internships.
What to expect?
If you prefer watching from distance how things work in practice, then you’d better not even apply for an internship at Procter & Gamble – agree Annamarie Németh and Ondřej Pánek, who as students joined P&G as summer interns, and have stayed with the Company working in managerial roles since. “I enjoyed the internship is a real-life experience. Here, you get straight on the floor“, says Annamarie. Procter & Gamble is looking for new summer interns right as we speak – join today.
↑ Annamarie Neméth and Ondřej Pánek. While students, they passed an internship at Procter & Gamble, demonstrated talent and got a full-time job. Today, both lead their own projects.
Jobs.cz: You both have a real experience of internship at Procter & Gamble. What was the condition you had to meet to join?
Annamarie: In fourth grade, I entered a competition Procter & Gamble Challenge di Roma where me and other four candidates came as winners. That was two years ago. The Company has offered us the opportunity to continue straight to the hiring process. In the last semester of university, I worked at the Company twice a week as an intern while finishing off with my thesis.
Ondřej: I took an internship role at P&G in 2006. That year I just came back from a year-long study in Sweden, and was looking for an opportunity to gain some practice. What attracted me about Procter & Gamble was their offer to students to contribute to a real project in operation.
Jobs.cz: How demanding was the hiring process?
Annamarie: First, I registered on the website and completed an on-line personality questionnaire. Second, I undertook a Reasoning Test and the 1st Interview in Rakona. After a few days, I was invited to the final three interviews and a plant tour in P&G Rakona. Yes, it was quite challenging.
Ondřej: It is important to say that the process of hiring people to internships is exactly the same as for managers. When students succeed in practice, they may be offered permanent employment. Internships tell us a lot about candidates, and we find it easier to see how we get along. We tend to hire a high percentage of people who have successfully passed our student internships.
Jobs.cz: What is the actual internship about? What do the students get their hands on?
Annamarie: Each student gets his/her own project. My project concerned packing of antiperspirants and deodorants with the objective to explore how scrap – product that must be either thrown away or reworked – is generated in the manufacturing process. I had three months to implement, and then I presented the results to a wider leadership audience.
Ondřej: My internship took me to the production of sulphonic acid, which is used in making of Dry Laundry detergents. My task was to optimize the acid production while reducing emissions that arise as a by-product. Six months later, I presented the project results to the plant leadership.
↑ We enjoyed how practical the internship was. We contributed to solutions of real issues say Annamarie and Ondřej.
Jobs.cz: How does it feel for a student to face real time practice? How long did it take you to fit in?
Annamarie: For me, it was difficult mainly due to the fact that I was finishing off my thesis along with the internship. It was quite a ride. But there was no issue with running the project, joining the team or getting support from others.
Ondřej: Entering a new environment is of course challenging, you need to cope with it. But I don’t remember seeing it as extra demanding, because the Company provided me all the support I needed to work on the project.
Jobs.cz: When you look back, what do you consider best about your internship? What did you enjoy the most?
Ondřej: A great experience to me was the downtime in the sulphonic acid production when we dismantled the making device. I found it amazing that I could watch this live and see the thing from the inside. During the shutdown, I also managed to push through a change that ultimately resulted in a 20% decrease in emissions generated during production.
Annamarie: I really liked how genuine the internship was. Until then, I only got to practice in the university lab. As an intern though, I had to deal with real processes. I was surprised by the degree to which I can interfere with the project. Here, you actually get the opportunity to put your hands on as of day one.
Jobs.cz: You have both stayed at Procter & Gamble. What are your current roles?
Annamarie: I joined Rakona – a P&G manufacturing site – as a Process Engineer. I am responsible for a packing line, and thus keeping everything on the line working while I support teams of operators in technology matters.
Ondřej: I lead a team of Project Managers in the Regional Technical Centre. A Project Manager must have a very good understanding of technology in order to manage implementation of new processes into operation, to propose solutions and to decide how to adjust equipment. For example, Research & Development requests support in producing laundry detergent of a given composition. Our team is then responsible for technical adjustment of the current process and introduction of these changes to individual manufacturing plants.
Jobs.cz: Working environment at P&G is international. Is communicative knowledge of English an essential condition for students applying to internships?
Annamarie: Yes, it is a must. Already during the hiring process, you may be interviewed by a foreign manager in English.
Jobs.cz: What is your usual working day like?
Annamarie: At 7:30 in the morning, we have a meeting where we review the results of all packing lines in the last 24 hours. On this basis, we determine our priorities for that working day.
Ondřej: I lead a group of Project Managers for the region of Central and Eastern Europe. In the morning, I meet with my team, and then proceed as per agenda in various scheduled meetings – with technologists or our management. My daily job is varied.
↑ How to join Procter & Gamble for an internship? Be yourselves and prove a communicative level of English – advise you Annamarie and Ondřej.
Jobs.cz: Ondřej, what is the flavour you need to make it from a summer intern to a leader you are now?
Ondřej: At P&G, we value leadership. This proves already at internship – when you don’t manage people, but lead a project, for which you are accountable. It is also important how you react to changes, how you adapt or whether you can even lead them. Technical expertise is essential here – you must know your field and be able to propose solutions.
Jobs.cz: What are the benefits the Company offers to summer interns?
Annamarie: Students will certainly be interested in the opportunity to live in the Company dormitory located six minutes from the workplace. Each host gets a private studio apartment with bathroom; there is also a gym and lounge. If you decide not to use this housing support, you get a contribution on commuting.
Ondřej: Interesting is also the benefit to purchase Company products at discounted prices.
Jobs.cz: What would you advise to students asking you for hints on how to prepare for an internship at Procter & Gamble?
Annamarie: Don’t underestimate. The first part of the hiring process includes various tests, and you definitely shouldn’t give up in the middle or think it’s just a formality. In the next steps, it’s important you stay yourselves. Pretending doesn’t pay off.
Ondřej: I agree – don’t underestimate the hiring process and believe in your strengths. You need to sell yourself, be reasonably self-confident.
Annamarie Neméth, 24 yrs
Annamarie studied synthesis and production of pharmaceuticals at the Institute of Chemical Technology in Prague. In 2012, while still a student, she started an internship in production at Procter & Gamble, and stayed working as a Process Engineer for full-time. In her free time, Annamarie enjoys playing the violin.
Ondřej Pánek, 32 yrs
Ondřej studied environmental technology at the Institute of Chemical Technology in Prague. In 2006, he joined Procter & Gamble for a student internship. At the moment, Ondřej works in the Company as a project managers’ team leader in charge of Central and Eastern Europe. As a Project Manager, Ondřej was responsible for management of key projects in Dry Laundry Detergent making and packing across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.