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Monday, August 18, 2014

Since winning the Undergraduate of The Year Award for Commercial Excellence 2014 Miklos tell us what he's been up to...

Since winning the Undergraduate of The Year Award for Commercial Excellence on the 25th of April, I have mostly worked on finishing my placement at Morgan Stanley and my third year at university, while staying in touch with Nestle and Raleigh to finalise the details of my trip to Borneo and the start date of my summer internship. I’ll be going to Borneo during the summer of 2015, while my internship was to commence on the 23rd of June 2014. I took a week’s holiday after my placement, while I became more and more excited as the date approached …



… Finally, on the 23rd of June, I began my internship at Nestle in York. I have moved down from Edinburgh the weekend before into a local university’s accommodation, to ensure I have some time to explore the area, find local shops and a gym to go to. All the marketing, sales, supply chain, manufacturing, finance and HR interns were up in York for the first two days, as we had our initial training on Monday/Tuesday. I was assigned to marketing within the confectioneries area, which is headquartered in York – there are two of us here and another four down in Gatwick.

The first day was mostly about getting to know each other as well as the company, icebreakers, and a friendly competition among pre-organised teams. It was also the time I found out what exact project I’ll be working on: I was assigned to work within the seasonal team to find new ways to personalise and premiumise Quality Street. I’m really happy with my project as I do not only love the product, but it’s also a complex and interesting one to sink my teeth into.

On the second day, everyone had training specific to their area. For example, all the marketing interns had a long session with senior marketers in the firm, after which we were given the results to the insights personality test that we had to complete before our first day. I found out that I’m mostly red, with quite a bit of blue and yellow as well. We also had a two-page description of our personality, which was incredibly accurate considering it was based on 25 multiple choice questions we completed. We also did some activities in our groups, the takeaway from which was that every team needs a personality from each type in order to operate most efficiently, and that we should always strive to be aware other people’s preferences as they might be very different from ours.
On the Wednesday of week one, I met the people I’ll be working with, who were just in the middle of their Easter 2015 product presentation, so I already got to witness the seasonal team in action. On Thursday I had the opportunity to visit the After Eight and Quality Street factory in Halifax, which was amazing, as I finally got to see in person how chocolate is produced after having watched numerous episodes of ‘How It’s Made’! I spent Friday with gaining some ground on my project, which will over the ten weeks include doing market research to evaluate competition, coming up with ideas to personalise and premiumise seasonal sales of Quality Street, as well as working together with creative agencies, suppliers, finance, and sales to assess the costs of delivering the project and finding the correct price for the personalised product.

The next Monday I was asked if I wanted to go to our packaging supplier in Newcastle, to which of course I said yes! It was a very informative day, where I managed to get some insight on premium packaging that’s relevant to my project. I also took a picture (right) of the team visiting the factory, consisting of the Nescafe team from Gatwick and part of the Quality Street team from York – we looked great!

The rest of the week I’ll be working on finishing up the initial market research of my project and metting with different people from various areas of the company to get a wide range of ideas on for options to deliver my project.

So far my placement has been great, I was lucky to be able to visit two factories within two weeks. The atmosphere and culture are great at Nestle, so I’m up for a busy but great summer!

Think this could be you for 2015? Apply to the awards here: undergraduateoftheyear.com