Michaela’s experience as a Global Graduate
My name is Michaela and I joined BAT as a Global Graduate back in September 2016. I won’t dwell too much on what happened during the program, except to say that it was a really exciting (and challenging) time where I got exposed to some great projects and some great people. I’d rather focus on what happened afterwards.
After the program, I was fortunate enough to end up where I started – in the snus team, this time as a Brand Executive. This meant that I didn’t have to start from the beginning and learn the ropes but could quickly get up and running. I was tasked with working for one of our fastest growing snus brands in our biggest snus market, Sweden, taking on a lot of responsibility from the start. It felt like a pretty big task at the time, despite having some experience from the role previously. I would lie if I said I didn’t put in some long hours at the office over the next few months, but it was really exciting to see the brand grow and establish a footprint in the market, and to feel like what we are doing was making a difference. My favorite thing was to go to the sales conferences we put on a few times a year and talk to the sales organization and feel the excitement.
And the hard work paid off. In July last year I was lucky enough to be promoted to Brand Manager in the same team and the same brand. The Graduate Program helped prepare me for this (at least almost – some things you have to learn the hard way) and for me it felt like it really provided me with a best foundation I could have asked for to get a fast-paced career in BAT.
My advice to anyone out there looking for their first job, make sure you go for a company that has a plan for you. Of course, a big part of the decision comes down to what you will get to do – Graduate programs are popular and for good reason, because you get to experience so much. However, equally important is what’s going to happen when you are done. I knew when I was done there was a role waiting for me, and it made me enjoy the program even more. It meant that I didn’t have to worry about the future and could just focus showing the company what I could do 😊