Tuesday, February 02, 2021
The opportunity to be creative in her role is one of the reasons scientist Caitlin was attracted to Mondelēz International. She also appreciates the flexibility it offers, with the chance to progress her career into different areas of interest and possibly even different locations. Read about her current job and her aspirations…
What Do You Do in Your Working Day?
I work in product development in the North America Chocolate category for brands such as Toblerone and Green & Black. My time is split between project management, collaboration with cross-functional partners, meetings with suppliers and technical hands-on product development, either in the lab or the plant.
I have recently moved into this role from one in the Gum & Candy department, where I worked on brands such as Trident, Halls and Bubblicious! There I launched my first product, Halls Honey Ginger, in February 2019.
My second launch was a brand-new product for us, a Trident mint, which is probably the coolest project I've worked on since I've been here. We launched this as a ‘test and learn’ in the market for six months, while gathering data. Then we'll decide whether we want to tweak it or go to a full product launch later this year.
This product was completely developed in a year. Because it was very fast paced, it helped me to get to know a lot of my cross-functional colleagues and all of our processes. It’s really exciting to get it out there because it's something new for Trident.
How Did You Get Here? What Does Your Career Path Look Like?
I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Culinary Science. Part of the degree involved learning culinary techniques and we were exposed to many different types of cuisine. It was fun in college –we would work in the kitchens for five hours and produce something like a multi-course meal, so as a college student I ate pretty well!
I also completed my MBA in Food Marketing last year at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia.
Before coming to Mondelēz, I worked for a North American company on bulk chocolate product development, creating the chocolate that customers wanted for their applications.
I chose to move to Mondelēz International because I wanted to be a bit closer to the consumer and I believed in their strong brands. I also appreciated the global reach of the company. We have such a huge network that you have the opportunity to move around and build your career anywhere in the world.
What Makes Mondelēz International a Great Place to Work?
The company values creativity and everyone has a voice. We have something called the Swedish Fish Tank, which is a play on the US TV show Shark Tank (like Dragons’ Den in the UK), where people pitch their ideas to investors. This allows us to innovate and bring ideas to our R&D leaders, who decide whether to take the ideas forward.
The flexible work week really fits for me. I can work from home on Fridays, which is great because it's a bit more relaxed and I can be very productive. During the summer we have half day Fridays in the US, so it’s some extra time to go outside and enjoy the nice weather.
I also enjoy working with diverse colleagues. It's great to collaborate with people from all over the world because they bring a different perspective. That's how you create exciting new products.
Where Are You Headed Next? What Are Your Career Aspirations?
I'm working towards being a manager. I'd like to have a team – I love being around people that bring different aspects and perspectives to the table. I want to continue in product development and I'm fundamentally interested in science, but I am also interested in innovation and marketing. I can see myself at some point dabbling in marketing in a cross-functional position where I can use my creativity.
I’d also like to move around. It would be nice to go to other countries and gain more experience, get another outlook on things and see different regions. One of my passions is travelling, so my husband and I travel as much as we can.
What's Your Favorite Mondelēz International Product?
Sour Patch Kids! The SPK team brought the brand to life with new exciting flavors and formats. It has a strong identity, with huge potential for more growth.