By Brooke Beatty
When I first stepped into Mars Wrigley Confectionery’s Global Innovation Center, I was not sure what to expect. The aroma of mint-flavored gum filled the air. There was a beautiful wintergarden filled with natural light and plants from around the world. And, of course, treats like M&M’s® and Skittles® candies were always in reach. After interviewing for a summer internship position, I knew landing the job would make for a sweet summer.
I accepted an intern position on the global corporate affairs team a few weeks later, and have spent the summer learning about the confectionery industry and communications. Today marks the last day of my internship — the past few months flew by! Here are three lessons I learned from my trip behind the candy aisle.
1. Mistakes Lead To Learning
I believe that trying new things and making mistakes is one the best ways to learn. The ability to take constructive criticism and a willingness to ask questions is the best way to grow. Before Mars Wrigley Confectionery, I had never worked on internal communications for associates or used a DSLR camera to capture content for social media. These are just two examples of new learning opportunities.
With the help of associates and my team, these unknown areas became familiar. It took practice writing in the company’s tone of voice and I eventually remembered to always charge the battery of the DSLR camera. I made mistakes along the way, but these mistakes led to valuable learning.
2. Reach Out and Network
When I first started working at Mars Wrigley Confectionery, the workplace culture and focus on associate engagement interested me. Over time, I came to realize that the open office environment encourages collaboration.
Interns are advised to reach out to other functions, like research and development, to understand the business. I got to attend “chew-outs” (focus groups for new gum and confections products), speak with associates from across the world, attend sustainability events, visit agency partners and more. This helped me understand the diverse opportunities available at Mars Wrigley Confectionery for recent grads.
3. Working on a Strong Team Keeps Things Fresh
The ability to lead dynamic projects and work with global leaders seemed too good to be true. But it wasn’t, it was part of my daily life as an intern. In fact, on my very first day, I was sitting in the wintergarden and met the president of Mars Wrigley Confectionery. He introduced himself and wished me best of luck with my internship. That was when I knew it would be a summer to remember.
From planning Take Your Dog to Work Day to writing stories for about local volunteer projects, my team trusted me to bring exciting projects to life.
I feel lucky to have spent my summer with people who truly took an interest in my development and future. My next step is senior year, but I know one thing to be certain — Mars Wrigley Confectionery is a great place for interns!