Janina Kuehnle, Sales Representative at Diageo
Why did you choose to apply to a graduate role at Diageo?
Working at Diageo was always a big dream of mine as I am very passionate about our world class brands and the art of cocktail making. In addition, it is important to me that work is fast-paced, fun and exciting. That means great brands, great people, the freedom to make your own decisions and to celebrate life every day, everywhere.
What do you wish you knew when you were applying to Diageo?
To be honest, there is nothing unexpected. One point to consider for the grad scheme is that the expectations towards the grads can be quite high - meaning you get a lot of responsibilities, and even though you get a great amount of support from everybody it is you that is accountable. If you are up for a challenge, then the scheme is perfect for you and a great learning opportunity!
Tell us about your experience so far as a graduate with Diageo? – what kind of support is offered, what is the culture like, etc.
I have several buddies that are always there for me: I have my immediate buddy in the team to train me for the job itself and I also got connected to another KAM from a different market to exchange expertise. Apart from that, I feel like everybody is very open & helpful in general and you can always reach out.
Even though we are a big corporate with several hierarchies, the leadership team takes great interest in us and offers any kind of support needed. On a sidenote: it should come natural to you to be proactive and reach out to other people as networking is important at Diageo and can take you a long way.
Tell us about your current graduate role with Diageo? What’s the most exciting thing about it?
I am a Key Account Manager for the Dutch Retail market and I really love that I have full responsibility over my customers. Already from the first day on, I was working on important tasks and having contact our clients. There is always somebody to support you, but you are encouraged to come up with your own ideas and to take your own decisions. For me, this is very important as I believe that’s the best way to learn!
What skills/knowledge did you learn at university that you are now implementing in role?
For me, the most valuable learnings were time management, organization skills, teamwork and how to communicate with others. A job can be very busy, so its important to be able to prioritise without forgetting about the rest and staying ahead of your to-do list.
Many times, you are dependant on other people’s input or have to work on projects together with colleagues. This requires great communication skills and being used to working together with others as a team.
Share your top 3 tips for someone looking to secure a graduate role.
The number one advise is: Just be yourself because at Diageo character is everything! During the interviews, they really want to get to know you and see your personality shine through. Another important point is sharing your passion. I feel like every single one of my colleagues is very passionate about what they do and that’s what distinguishes us. Lastly, think about why you would want to at Diageo, why you would be a great fit and how you could contribute in order to make a positive impact.
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