Hailing from Toronto, Justin graduated from the Smith School of Business in 2015 with a focus in Marketing and Strategy. After spending one year marketing luxury-cars with Mercedes-Benz, he decided his life was missing some sweetness and made the switch to marketing KIT KAT at Nestlé. Joining as the new Marketing Associate on KIT KAT in early July, he’s not new to marketing but fresh on the fast-paced CPG scene. Outside of work, Justin is really into basketball (ball is life), traveling, philosophy, live-theatre, and lives by the motto that (almost) everything is worth trying once.
My Day-to-Day Routine and Role
My day starts off with some Vector and a shake, where I like to catch up on sports, social media, and the latest marketing buzz from LinkedIn and various news apps. Graduating in 2015 and having started with Nestlé recently, I made the decision to live at home and save money in the suburbs. While it’s been a trade-off between my wallet and social life, the super convenient 20 minute drive into our North York office has definitely been a free win for me.
When I get to the office, I like to take 15 minutes to chat with my neighbours, answer any pressing emails, and review my schedule for the day. Once I am settled, my day kicks into high gear, as I start knocking off items on my task list. As the Marketing Associate on a mega-brand like KIT KAT, at any given time my tasks for the day could range from tracking the brand health, collaborating with cross-function teams on a project, or managing the marketing budget. Success for me happens when I can effectively tell data-driven stories about the brand, contribute creatively and strategically to projects such as KIT KAT’s sponsorship of the NFL, and flawlessly execute on the brand plan.
Life Around The Office
Nestlé Canada has an open-concept office, where each division sits in designated neighbourhoods. This makes it really easy to collaborate, and to really get to know everyone around you from intern all the way to President. As you walk around, all of our floors have free coffee stations courtesy of our very own Nescafé. On the top floor, you will find the Nestlé cafeteria where you can get hot lunch and breakfast daily for subsidized prices.
One of my favourite things about working for Nestlé are the flexibilities provided. Dress code is business casual (jeans included!), up to 4 flex hours can be moved around during the week, and the option to work from home is available when you need it. You really get to build the work environment that’s conducive to you delivering the best results.
Nestlé also has plenty of awesome opportunities to get outside of the office. Despite having just joined the team at the beginning of summer, I’ve already been part of a Toronto-wide Amazing Race with Young at Nestlé, and dabbled in axe-throwing with my Confectionery team.
A Typical Meeting
When the occasion calls for more formal meeting settings, face-to-face or virtual meetings can easily be set-up in one of the many break-out rooms on each floor. Much like in school, meetings at work are essential but can easily fill up your calendar. As a marketer, you will not only be in lots of meetings, you’ll likely be the one leading them! In order to succeed, it’s key to clearly set the purpose of the meeting, the expected outcomes, and next steps. Being a leader in CPG, Nestlé offers plenty of robust processes and technologies that help you coordinate the most efficient and impactful meetings.
Words of Advice
Marketing at a CPG is a challenging, but very rewarding and fun path to be on. If you are creative, analytical, and you strive to learn something new every day, this may be the job for you. Personally, I get the most satisfaction from seeing a strategy come to life, and being able to celebrate that win with your teammates.
Getting into CPG marketing nowadays takes a lot of persistence. You need to leverage your alumni network, be active on LinkedIn, participate in other career events your school offers, and reach out to as many people as you can in the industry. Every person you connect with will build your knowledge, and it only takes one to get your foot in the door at your dream job. When you get the interview, come in prepared with your strongest stories and good research on the company. Let your personality shine through, and the rest will work itself out.
If you are looking to start your journey as a marketer, I strongly encourage you to check out the Nestlé job postings here. As the #1 food company world-wide, you get to work on some of the most iconic brands, and in a global company that values innovation and results. At Nestlé you’ll get best in-class business training, and the opportunities for you to develop and advance are endless. It’s a big company that at the end of the day really feels like a tight-knit family, and we hope to have you as our newest member.