The time has come: after all your hard work, you’re soon closing the chapter of being a student and officially stepping into the world of work. As you’ve probably heard, a good way to make the transition as smooth as possible is by gaining some work experience through an internship.
In this article, we’ll be discussing internships at the world’s largest food and beverage company, Nestlé: from what they have to offer to what the application process is like, and how to boost your chances of getting selected. So, let’s see what this Swiss multinational’s internships entail!
Nestlé is one of the most widely recognizable company names in the world. It has been around since the 1860s, when it began as a condensed milk company operating out of Switzerland. Over the next century and a half, it’s come to grow into a $285 billion conglomerate, acquiring famous brands such as San Pellegrino, Gerber and Maggi.
As such, joining Nestlé means joining a company with long-standing expertise and a powerful workforce of 275,000 people, which will look excellent on your résumé and allow you to earn hands-on experience alongside the industry’s leaders. In addition, all internships are paid and built on tailored professional development programs for interns.
It’s not by accident that Nestlé has been named an outstanding employer by Fortune and Great Place to Work!
As a multinational with corporate offices in dozens of locations around the globe, Nestlé provides opportunities to students and graduates in a vast range of fields: from marketing internships to data science, supply chain and procurement to finance, and sales to HR positions — the list goes on.
Nestlé’s internship programs vary in length, typically lasting from one to six months. Opportunities include part-time and full-time positions and are either offered onsite or follow a hybrid model. The company also offers “Nesternships”, which are semi-virtual programs that act as an add-on to Nestlé’s paid internships. They allow students to enhance their skills further by working on real-life projects from any location.
Nestlé’s internships provide students and graduates with mentoring, hands-on training, tailored learning programs and monetary compensation, even in countries where remuneration for interns isn’t mandated by law.
Luckily, you don’t have to live in any specific part of the world to enjoy a valuable opportunity like this one. Outside of the United States and Switzerland, where the company is headquartered, onsite and hybrid internships are available in practically all regions of the world. This includes countries like:
According to Glassdoor data, interns at Nestlé’s US-based offices earn an estimated $57,000 a year. Interns in Washington, DC seem to have the highest salaries of all, with annual earnings in the range of $66,000 to $76,000.
This is very encouraging given that more than 40% of all US internships are unpaid. Research by the National Association of Colleges and Employers has shown that unpaid interns go on to receive fewer job offers than paid interns do, and that even then it’s at lower starting salaries.
Thankfully, NACE’s assistant director of research, Joshua Kahn, has said that there’s a “big push on Capitol Hill to end unpaid internships for staffers in legislative offices”, and that can potentially start moving things in the right direction for all interns.
As internships are offered in different departments across various locations, the requirements vary for each position. Once you’ve searched for an internship in your area through Nestlé’s online career page, you can find out if you’re qualified by carefully reading the job description. All of the criteria will be outlined on there, like whether you need to be currently enrolled in a degree or not, what language(s) you must be fluent in, and which skills are a must — these can range from soft skills, like communication, to technical skills, like programming languages.
In addition to looking on their career page, you can register with the Nestlé Talent Community and pick the job alerts that are right for you, so you’re always in the loop when new opportunities arise.
One thing to bear in mind is that, across all areas of expertise, Nestlé seeks out candidates who are innovative, collaborative and respectful — and who (obviously) share a passion for food and drink.
Unlike some companies with unclear or messy hiring procedures (which you can safely regard as a red flag), Nestlé’s hiring process is structured and straightforward. Here’s what it looks like:
Step 1: Register on Nestlé’s job platform
Once you’ve found an internship you want to apply for, hit the “Apply now” button on the job listing page. This will give you the option to fill in your details manually or start the registration process using your LinkedIn profile, which can save you some time.
Step 2: Complete the online application form
Once you’ve created an account, the website will ask you to upload your résumé. Besides informing you of the accepted file types, a pop-up message also asks you to refrain from including photos and sensitive information in your document.
The rest of the page has mandatory fields to be filled out, too, like contact information for references.
Step 3: Attend an initial interview
If your application form passes the initial screening, Nestlé’s recruitment team will contact you to arrange a chat. This is to help the recruiter learn more about you and give you additional information about the role.
The first interview is done either virtually or in person.
Step 4: Complete a test
Many roles at Nestlé require candidates to pass assessments. These can be designed to test your numeric or logical reasoning or indicate your natural strengths and learning preferences. In any case, the purpose and duration of the assessment will be explained to you beforehand.
Step 5: Ace your final interview
This is the last step before getting hired as an intern! In this final interview, you’ll get to meet different stakeholders and, in some cases, the rest of the team you’d be working alongside.
If you make it this far, take it as a compliment!
Now that you know what the application process looks like, you can start looking for positions that interest you. Before you apply for an internship, though, take a mental note of the tips below!
1. Read the job description thoroughly
Applying for a position without carefully reading the description is like trying to bake a cake without reading the recipe. Sure, you could probably get some sort of result, but why risk throwing the whole thing out when there’s a way not to?
The job description will tell you everything: what the job’s day-to-day entails, what the recruiters are looking for, when the application deadline is and what file format your résumé should have.
2. Tailor your résumé to the position
It doesn’t matter how much work experience you have: if you don’t tailor your résumé to the job listing, your chances of getting hired will diminish.
This is because, whether it’s a human scanning your résumé or an applicant tracking system, they (or it) will be looking out for keywords. This will tell that you were professional enough to read their requirements and that your skill set is relevant to the position. So, if you see words and phrases such as “strong written communication” in the description, incorporate them in your document.
3. Practice answering interview questions
Familiarizing yourself with common interview questions is a great way to prepare for your meeting with the hiring manager. Conveniently, Nestlé has dedicated a page to interview questions you can expect, including “What do you know about the company?” and “What are your weaknesses?”.
If you find the idea of job interviews a little intimidating, ask a friend to help you practice answering questions!
4. Learn more about the company
The more you know about Nestlé, the better you can present yourself as a suitable candidate. Familiarize yourself with their values, read into their history and learn about their mission. This will help you demonstrate your interest in the job, show that you’re serious about applying and ask meaningful questions in the interview.
5. Give yourself a pep talk
If you’re a student or recent graduate, you may not have a lot of experience applying to jobs. That doesn’t mean you don’t have things to offer, however! A lack of experience doesn’t mean a lack of passion or ideas.
So, consider what you have to offer the team you join at Nestlé. This can be a confidence booster, and confidence can have a positive impact on your job search. And, if it’s hard for you to notice your great qualities, ask a professor for a neutral perspective.
An impactful application letter accompanying your résumé can significantly increase your chances of being selected. Here’s a sample letter that can help you get started with writing yours:
Dear Mr Wilson,
My name is Elliot Johnson and I am a second-year marketing student at Ohio University. I am writing to express my interest in the Marketing Intern position that’s recently opened up at your Solon, OH office.
Over the last year and a half, I have been attending lectures and workshops on marketing management and strategy, sales technology, and consumer behavior, which has allowed me to develop my analytical thinking, collaboration skills, as well as advanced MS Office skills.
For the past six months, I have been putting those skills to the test, providing social media management services to a few small, local brands, which has been extremely enjoyable and rewarding.
Having grown up with your products (with KitKat, Hot Pockets and Nescafé being staples in my kitchen) and admiring the company’s forward-looking approach, it would be an invaluable experience for me to work alongside your team.
I appreciate your time and consideration, and look forward to hearing from you.
Wishing you a wonderful day,
No matter your area of interest, an internship at the world’s most diversified food and beverage company won’t go unnoticed on your résumé. With a bit of luck, it can even lead to a full-time job offer! And who knows? Thanks to the global mobility Nestlé’s employees can enjoy, you might even find yourself relocating for work in a few years’ time.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First, you’ve got to apply for your internship! Here's what you need to remember:
- Nestlé offers paid internships in various locations, from the Americas to Oceania and all the regions in between.
- Applying for an internship at Nestlé is straightforward: you start by signing up on their online career page.
- As with any job application, ensure you carefully read the job description, tailor your résumé to the listing and research the company.
- Successful applicants will typically go through two rounds of interviews, with the first one being more relaxed than the second.
Have you interviewed for an internship before? Let us know your experience in the comments section below!
Originally published on November 9, 2014.