Maria Karachaeva, a third-year student of the programmeManagement in the profile Marketing, for summerinternshipchose ITALY GROUP, where she tried her handas a brandmanager. In the interview she toldabout how she hadgotinto the company, whichchallenges she hadfaced, and how she hadmanaged to combine her love for marketing and gastronomy.
MARIA, AT THE END OF THE SECOND YEAR YOU CHOSE MARKETING AS EDUCATIONAL PROFILE. WHY?
I really love to count and analyze, however, I am not interested in doing it constantly — inspiration is over. Therefore, in work and training I like to combine this activity with creative tasks and communication with people. Marketing profile combines all of the above.
HOW IS THE CHOICE OF THE PROFILE RELATED TO YOUR SUMMER INTERNSHIP AT THE COMPANY ITALY GROUP?
I want to develop my career in the field of Marketing, therefore I chose internship in this direction. At the moment I mostly interested in brand management: it is interesting to be up to a brand concept, when you generate creative ideas and think of collaborations with companies from different industries.
For a long time I follow the restaurant holding company Italy Group, and I see how they form a brand agenda: for them, social responsibility is important. I got to this company, firstly, to get practice in Marketing and brand management and, secondly, to get to know what is a concept of sustainable development considered to be in the terms of restaurant business.
HOW WAS THE SELECTION FOR THE INTERNSHIP CONDUCTED?
Italy Group — a corporate partner of GSOM SPbU. So far the company did not have designed internship programmes; now, it is planned to launch them by analogy with how it is done by L'Oréal and Lenta.
I wrote a cover letter and drew up CV, but I did not contact the company directly. However, connections of GSOM did the trick, and I received a phone call. I was able to convince a representative of the company to handle the interview, that then I passed successfully. I just really wanted to work here and I did everything in order to get here.
WHICH CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE?
I got an internship during pandemic and I was worried that would I be really useful at such moment. However, everything turned out to be the other way around: Italy Group actively demonstrates a power of its brand, organizes social events, works with delivery and restaurants like Dark Kitchen. There are many tasks.
I analyzed delivery of local competitors, reviewed price and variety of their dishes for seven restaurants of the restaurant group Italy Group. I took part in two projects. As part of the first one— «In search of taste» — I together with chefs went to Luga to eco-ferm that supplies tomatoes for the restaurants. There we filmed promotional videos for social media. And second — a charity project in supporting independent theatres — I designed it and I was given a chance to try to realize it independently. And so, on October 10, together with the theatrical venue «Skorokhod» we performed a play, organized the buffet from the chefs of Italy Group and afterparty, and all proceeds will go to in supporting the independent theatre companies.
WHICH COMPETENCIES ACQUIRED AT GSOM HELPED YOU TO TAP FASTER INTO WORKFLOW?
During filming in Luga, I managed a process of creation of video content, helped with prop and decided on other issues as a representative of Italy Group. I think primarily I was helped by a sense of appreciation in a team. Probably, it is a part of corporate culture, because just a few weeks later I felt connected to the team and even worked closely with a brand director. Of course, it is needed to note those soft skills, which were developed for two years at the Graduate School of Management: it is indeed important to be able to communicate correctly, express your thoughts to an employer and other stakeholders, and not to be afraid to get acquainted with new people. Experience in organizing GSOM Family Day Global and Management Career Week also taught me how to work in a team, think about a value of a project.
In analysis of competitors, knowledge on Statistics and Microeconomics was helpful for me, understanding of how they are linked, — all this, of course, thanks to GSOM
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AT THE END OF THE SECOND YEAR YOU WROTE TERM PAPER ABOUT PLASTIC WARES. WERE THIS KNOWLEDGE APPLICABLE IN PRACTICE?
Yes. During the internship, I was included in a working group to form strategies for sustainable development of the restaurant holding company. One of the tasks was a transition to ecologic disposable ware in delivery services. At the working meeting
where I was invited to observe the process I told that by the end of the second year I have written a term paper «Establishment of wholesale Internet-shop for the sale of ecologic disposable ware». Therefore, I have already known the difference in materials and trends on the market. This information was taken into work, and just a few days later we found a supplier, conducted negotiations with him and agreed for the supply.
WHAT IS IMPORTANT FOR STUDENT TO KNOW BEFORE INTERNSHIP IN COMPANY?
First, as for me, it is important to be passionate about a company and industry, in which you want to try out hand, understand a value of a company for yourself and consumer.
Second, I payed attention on corporate culture. I reviewed pages of HR directors of the company in Facebook and noticed an interesting thing: once a month they conduct trainings for employees, where simultaneously managers, heads, cooks and barmen get together and discuss what was interesting in each department, generate new ideas. By this I understood that it will be most likely to integrate faster into the company with such positive atmosphere.
It is also important to understand that you will learn something new at this place; that there will be people who will want to teach you, work with you or just supervise. The brand director told me that he wants that in my CV was not a line «Was in Italy Group», but there should be written particular projects and tasks, which I solved, for which I was responsible and which brought a value of the brand.