How does your internship experience with us compare to previous internships you've had?
This has certainly been different. I know that a lot of internships are more focused on assisting with existing projects or working through hypothetical problems. The Marketing Internship at Purina is real hands-on problem solving for business issues that need to be solved. I think that is pretty special because you know that the work that you do is actually helping the company you work for — it is very fulfilling.
What are the most important components or qualities of a company that will impact your decision to accept a full-time offer?
It's important for me to be able to stand behind the company I work for and truly believe that they are making the lives of people (or pets) better every day. Nestlé Purina is a perfect example of that kind of work environment. The people here are passionate about their work and about pets.
What is your favorite part about working with us?
Dogs at work are certainly a huge bonus and brighten my day when one stops by my desk. However, career-wise, my favorite part of working here has been the independence I was given with my project this summer. I was encouraged by my manager to think differently and creatively about the problem in front of me and that encouragement allowed me to learn about all facets of the company and meet amazing people within their field.
What advice would you pass down to future interns?
Take your time to learn the business. The first few weeks of my internship experience were overwhelming because of the size and complexity of the company. My manager challenged me to take time to learn the business and understand all that goes into our products. Once I got an understanding of that, the internship experience became a lot clearer.
Outside of work, I'd encourage the interns to explore St. Louis as much as possible. This city is incredibly diverse with really interesting pockets dispersed all over. Some of those pockets you have to actively seek out, but when you do, you'll be happy you found them. The easiest way to find fun things to do is just ask an employee – people here love the city and are happy to share their favorite restaurants or activity spots!
Update: David is now a Marketing Associate at Nestlé Purina.