Peo­ple

Meet Samella: Career graduate and circus performer Engineer 1, Global Ingredient Technology, based in Curitiba, Brazil

Chemical engineer Samella is literally a high flier. Not only did she win a role in product innovation after completing a two-year internship, but in her spare time, she’s also an aerial acrobat, performing in a circus at weekends.

What’s special about Mondelēz International?

I always wanted to work in a food company. I have a friend working here and liked what I heard about the values.

The people here really impressed me. I was an intern just a month ago and when I was trying to find a job, I talked with different people in different categories. Here they are very respectful and really listen to you, which is nice. It's good to work where there's a possibility to talk with anyone and know that they will listen.

Tell us about your internship

My internship was in research development, quality and innovation (RDQI) and I’ve just graduated. I'm happy to say that I am now an engineer in the same team I was in before, with responsibility for innovation in powdered beverages.

In the tech center, we have a big program of training for interns. They really try to develop your mindset and your work because when you come here, you're at the start of your journey so you don't know a lot. I think different teams have different perspectives on training. But my team is really focused on developing people; my supervisor has always focused on that.

As well as technical training in the office and access to the huge range of online training materials in the Mondelēz International University (MIU), we also do shadowing. You stay with a person who has another job in another category for a day to understand what they do, which is important for cross-functional knowledge. You can see the way other people in other roles affect your job. For example, I'm in innovation, so we need to interact with people from quality.

What does your work involve?

I work a lot in the laboratory but also in the administration offices. We're trying to find different concepts of products. We work with what we have in the market now, trying to understand what the consumer wants and to develop something in the portfolio that meets their needs.

Today I'm in the global ingredient technology platform team, so I have lots of communication with India, Bahrain, Mexico, Argentina etc. – which is very exciting! We work with different technologies for natural flavours; for example, fibres and protein. We’ll try to put fibre in a powdered beverage product to see if it will be technically good for it and to overcome technical problems with mixology.

It's good because I can see what I learnt in my studies and apply it in my job. My work is at the very beginning of the process, so we don't tend to work with production. We work on development and discovery, and then we pass this knowledge on to the next team.

What are your long-term goals?

I love my job so I'm in my perfect role right now! But eventually I would like to work in another country – to see another culture and work with people from other backgrounds. I'm really trying to focus on developing the key things that I will need to be able to work abroad. I need to do more training. I'd like to go to Europe - perhaps to England or Poland where we have tech centers.

And what do you do for fun?

In my spare time I'm an artist in a circus and I perform at weekends, doing aerial acrobatics, using skills I've practiced for 12 years. I don't go to the gym, but I train three times a week. It's really good fun, though I suppose it is a bit dangerous. Like my day job in chemical engineering, everything is about training, so you start out at a low level and work your way up.

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