My internship with Boots – Gaia’s story so far

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Because from the first day I started to work here, my attitude changed, the environment I found every day coming into work was the most welcoming I’ve ever experienced and I wanted to be part of the team."

My name is Gaia, I’m 23 and I come from Italy.

If you’d asked me as little as three years ago, I would have never pictured me where I am today. I was studying psychology at the University of Torino, in Italy, because I wanted to be a Criminologist. However, I realised that the FBI isn’t as glamorous as the TV series, so I decided to change my career path.

After one year of MSc. in Marketing and Digital Media in Spain, I was thrilled when I got accepted for a summer internship here at Walgreens Boots Alliance. I’ve always loved makeup and I couldn’t believe that I was actually going to work in the beauty industry.

If there’s one thing I was sure of when I finished my Masters, it was that I would have never worked in B2B. I thought it was boring, repetitive, nothing like the Mad Men allure you get when you are working directly for the customers. Then I arrived here and I was placed in BCM for my internship. Boots Contract Manufacturing, I wasn’t sure it was for me, but nevertheless, I started the new job with a positive mind-set, at least I was still working with cosmetics!

 

 

I was lucky to start my internship in a very exciting time for BCM: The development of the Macro-trends for the following year. Every year the Marketing teams of BCM UK, France and Germany get together to analyse the current trends in the world, from politics, communication, innovation, health, beauty etc, and try to identify what are the macro trends that underlay them all. Those macro-trends will be the engine of innovation, and new products will be added to the portfolio in order to meet them.

 

It’s a challenging role, but it’s exciting to be at the very heart of the creation process, dealing with research and development, packaging, formulation and constant innovation.

 

So, what have I learnt during this journey?

Well first of all, I have learnt that B2B marketing is not as boring as I expected, and nothing like you picture it in Business School. At least not at the BCM. In fact, in some regards it is much more customer oriented than its counterpart. In B2B you have two clients to satisfy: the brand you’re doing business with and the final customer.

It’s a challenging role, but it’s exciting to be at the very heart of the creation process, dealing with research and development, packaging, formulation and constant innovation.

But what I learnt the most during these 10 weeks is who I am and what I want for my future.

I have always been an independent student and worker, I’ve always had issues with delegating because I am very much detail-oriented, and I tend to try to do everything on my own to be sure that it turns out exactly as I want it. I can be one of those obnoxious people who like to win and always strive to have the last word! However, what I found out during these 10 weeks is that I’m not actually like that at all. I think it was a defence mechanism.

Because from the first day I started to work here, my attitude changed, the environment I found every day coming into work was the most welcoming I’ve ever experienced and I wanted to be part of the team.

 

 

In Italy when you first start working in an office you have to call everyone by their last name. Here, people introduce themselves with nicknames, we have dinner dates and we all talk about our love for Game of Thrones. The word team expresses its true meaning, and you can feel that you’re all working together towards the same goal, it’s not something I’ve felt in the workplace before.

The company culture here at WBA is truly unique, and it made me realise that being in the right work environment, and surrounded by the right people, is such a crucial element for me to perform at my best. Belonging to a team quickly climbed the ladder and reached the top of my personal values.

I am still detail-oriented, I still like to strive for perfection, and yes, I still like to win.

But it’s so much nicer to celebrate all the successes together.

If you would like to discover more about our Internship opportunities, click here – www.boots.jobs/graduates-and-early-careers/internship/

Gaia Tonanzi Brand Management Intern