What's your job about?
Universal Robina Corporation (URC) is among the top FMCG companies in the Philippines, best known for mega-brands like Jack ‘n Jill, C2 Cool & Clean, Great Taste, etc.
I was a fresh graduate when I applied for the URC Management Trainee Program. In my first six months as a Marketing MT, I was deployed as a Customer Development Manager (CDM). My role involved growing my accounts, conducting regular trade visits, ensuring strategic planning, execution, and negotiation. Despite having a minimal background in the Sales field, I was entrusted to manage two key accounts. Other than helping me become more independent and agile, the rotation also challenged my leadership skills. For the most part, I felt accountable to step up and speak up; this is so I would better navigate my way through the ins and outs of a field outside my comfort zone.
After my Sales rotation, I moved to the Marketing department to manage 2 of the biggest Cookie Sandwich brands. Here, I assumed the role of a brand owner and learned the ropes of brand management – such as brand reviews (6Ps, JTBDs, etc.), demand forecasting, production prioritization, budget considerations, and capital expenditures, to name a few.
Ultimately, the program expanded my knowledge of the industry and trained me to holistically and strategically approach business issues and opportunities.
What's your background?
I graduated with honors from the Ateneo de Manila University, with a degree in B.S. Management Engineering. Before joining URC, I was active in select student organizations and participated in various case competitions. I was also a participant in the Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations (HPAIR) Asia summit, an avenue for people to converse about pressing economic, social, and political issues in the Asia-Pacific region.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
I think someone with a different background can still become a Marketing Management Trainee. Having some knowledge of Marketing is advantageous. But I also believe that a good Marketing MT is data and insights-driven, open to learning from mistakes and other people, rises to the challenge, and is comfortable with ambiguity.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
What's cool about my job is that even if I am just a fresh graduate with an entry-level position, I have been given the opportunity to present my findings and plans to the upper management committee.
Last year, I conducted my first ever Brand Review, and now, I am gearing up to execute my plans.
What are the limitations of your job?
The workload is heavy, and it requires a lot of grit, energy, and agility. As a brand marketer, my brands are my responsibilities – and this also entails the need to account for the people we serve. Although not encouraged, I do work overtime and sometimes on the weekends when I have to. But I see the efforts of our managers in reminding the team to take care of ourselves. We also have monthly catch-ups or game nights as a way to unwind from work and reflect on our personal lives.
3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...
The three pieces of advice I’d like to tell myself back when I was a student would be the following: