Tell us about your career path so far at Nestlé Purina.
I started at Purina working in Checkmark—Purina's in-house creative agency. I was part of the Marketing Public Relations team for approximately 6 years. After that, I moved over to the Community Affairs team, which is part of the Corporate Public Relations team, and I've been here for 2+ years.
What made you decide to join Purina? What did you do prior?
Before joining Purina, I worked for a very small creative/PR agency in their Public Relations department. I was excited at the prospect of working for a well-known organization, with industry leading brands. Plus, I was eager for the career development and networking opportunities I would be afforded working for one of the most prominent companies in St. Louis.
What are your primary responsibilities in your current role?
We handle Purina's nonprofit relationships and funding decisions, engaging and motivating our associates to give back, and we run point on numerous events in our HQ market of St. Louis.
What unique skills make someone successful in the position?
The ability to communicate across various teams and groups, internally and externally, and make decisions in a timely fashion. There are many moving pieces in our department and we have to make sure the right people have visibility in order to make decisions that will impact countless pets and people.
What are some of the projects you are currently working on that support Project Opportunity?
We support several youth leadership/employment projects—two of the more prominent initiatives include STL Youth Jobs, which helps find employment opportunities for youth in the City of St. Louis who haven't had the opportunity to enter the workforce, and the other is FOCUS St. Louis - Youth Leadership St. Louis, which is a leadership program that recruits high-performing youth from across the metro area and helps them develop critical thinking skills while exposing them to various businesses across the City.
Why are these projects important to St. Louis? Why are they important to Purina?
These projects help provide opportunities to the youth of the City that wouldn't be present otherwise. Many of the youth who participate in STL Youth Jobs just need a chance to get on-the-job experience, but don't know where to start or how to get a job. So the experience and mentorship this program provides goes a long way into helping these youth set a solid foundation for their future career paths. And for Purina, it's in our DNA to give back to those who are less fortunate than we are, especially doing what we can to ensure the success of the next generation of St. Louisans.
What advice would you tell someone considering applying for a role at Nestlé Purina?
I get approached all the time about applying for positions at Purina and my advice is always the same—if you're interested, apply and do it ASAP. Many positions receive a surplus of applications quickly, so make sure you throw your hat in the ring if you see something that catches your eye. It really is a great company to work for and the secret is out. But don't get discouraged if you don't get the job the first time around— I've applied for several internal positions throughout my tenure at Purina and didn't get them. I kept growing my skills so I was prepared for my next role. Our website also features advice from recruiters and additional resources about our hiring process to help you succeed.
Outside of work, what are you passionate about?
I'm passionate about St. Louis, which is why I'm involved on several boards that are focused on helping the less fortunate in my hometown, or on progressing and highlighting the positives that this City has to offer.