This blog is written by Jackie, our campus ambassador from University of New Hampshire.
Bob Murphy is Global Sales Director for Duracell, which is owned by P&G, a leading Fortune 500 company and multinational manufacturer. He is currently traveling world wide in his respectable position and took the time to share his expertise with Intern Queen readers!
Q. How did you start out and get to where you are today? In your career path were internships even an option?
A. Internships are more of a focus to get started today than they were years ago. I started right out of school w/ a great training company, Johnson & Johnson. With lots of hard work, a great training program, and excellent managers that took the time to develop me in my different roles, I worked my way up multiple organizations.
Q. You have been asked to participate in informational interviews, how valuable do you believe these are for today’s youth?
A. Interviewing experience is invaluable for those starting out a career as well as those considering a career change. Informational interviews help both parties understand each other better, which should help lead to a better potential match on both sides.
Q. What do you wish you could tell your twenty year old self today relative to your career?
A. I’ll share some advice that was given to me along the way… Your career is not ‘a sprint’, it’s ‘a marathon’. It’s not just about advancing up the ladder. It is more important to gain the right experiences, often at the same job level, to build the proper career foundation that will lead to a successful future.
Q. I know you stress the importance of being location flexible, why is this?
A. Today’s business world is more competitive than ever….both domestically and internationally. As shared above, it’s all about getting the right experiences to help you grow and develop. To enable this, you must be flexible, particularly early in your career, to go to where the right opportunities are.
Q. Mentors are valuable in today’s work force, how do you suggest finding one?
A. Finding the right mentor can be a challenge. We’ve had some formal mentoring programs over the years where mentors were assigned to each other…this did not seem to work well. So, I would seek out individuals that you respect in the organization, that are outside of your immediate work area, that are open to providing coaching and feedback.
Q. P&G is a huge well known and respected company when they bought Gillette (your previous employer) how did you adjust to the merger?
A. Bringing the cultures of two different companies together is very difficult. For me, P&G supported me and gave me a great opportunity to succeed. First, you must fit in, then prove yourself to others thru your contribution to the business and results.
Q. What skills do you think are most beneficial for interns to possess?
A. Learning curve – how quickly, effectively one can adapt and learn the new organization, responsibilities, etc.
Being open to coaching – great organizations have strong training programs and great managers to develop individuals…one must be open to feedback to improve – both strengths and development areas.
Q. At an end note, what was the most useful advice you yourself received or are willing to enlighten students seeking internships with?
A. At this point in your career, I would advise students to seek opportunities and organizations that will invest in training them and developing them for the future. Starting out your career, there is so much to learn to develop and grow. You will want to be with the right company that can provide the proper environment for personal and professional growth.