Kate, PCM Standard Chocolate Bitesize Portfolio, Bournville
I started my career in retail after leaving school, working for a High Street clothing store until I was 22. My first office job was in a construction company, doing admin and later working in customer liaison, progressing through various roles within the industry.
At Mondelēz International I've worked in a couple of roles since joining the business. I worked as a Demand Analyst and in other Demand roles before becoming a Product Change Manager for the Standard Chocolate Bitesize Portfolio about 18 months ago.
What's your role as a PCM?
I'm responsible for project managing business change initiatives for products, packaging, ingredients and productivity projects. It's the most interesting role I've been in so far has provided me with real insight into the supply chain.
I've also worked on new product developments (NPD) - mainly within the bite-size portfolio, the first of which was launched in September last year Picnic Bites. I worked on the Oreo Bites project which was launched this year with the global team and I delivered locally in the UK&I.
I never come into work in the morning knowing what's going to happen. PCMs can have 20 or 30 projects going on at any one time, which means you must be able to keep on top of things. It can be a challenge at the beginning trying to manage all these projects but you soon get to grips with it. When things are going smoothly, it's the greatest feeling in the world.
How has the company helped you develop?
There is a 12-module training programme that all new PCMs can do. It's very interactive, centred on the company's Idea to Market (I2M) process framework. We also have Mondelēz International University (MIU), which is open to all employees, gives opportunities to learn all year round, with lots of online courses and webinars, so you can select what you want to do.
My confidence has grown hugely since working here. This is a company that wants to help you grow as a person and will support you to develop yourself as much as you want.
What makes an ideal Product Change Manager?
The ideal PCM is somebody who can think logically and who can keep lots of plates spinning at once. It's somebody who can build good relationships with other key stakeholders. The more effort you put in to build a relationship, the more effective your project teams are.
You must be willing to hold your hands up when you don't have the answers and be able to ask that critical question. You must be able to communicate clearly to other business stakeholders at all levels and explain what's happening within your project, clearly and concisely.
Specialist knowledge is not a prerequisite. I had the opportunity to do some project work before, but it wasn't formal training - you can pick up the technical skills as you go along. And you learn so much just doing the job.
Ultimately, I see the PCM as the person who takes the I2M process framework and determines where it is relevant in any given project. It's not just about following procedures and processes; it's finding the right way to make sure we can deliver our projects on time, within scope and cost.
How would you describe the culture at Mondelēz International?
It's a learning culture and a fun environment to work in.
I've been surprised and impressed by the huge amount of hard work and dedication that is involved in delivering an idea to the market, but the best thing about the job is the fantastic team of people I work with. Although it's a very corporate company, day to day it is very relaxed - the dress code tends to be smart casual and I don't feel pressure to look a certain way.
PCM is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who wants to learn more about how large organisations work, especially in the FMCG sector.
What is the office like?
Bournville is in south Birmingham, about three miles outside the city centre, and it has a really good train link to all the other networks., It's a light and airy, open plan office space with cosy corners to work in or catch up with people, and flexible meeting areas. It has a relaxed feel with modern facilities.