Why my placement is Priceless! Shafiq Mohamed

Philip Morris International is the world’s leading international tobacco company, with a diverse workforce of over 80,000 people who hail from every corner of the globe. Six of the world’s top international 15 brands, spanning more than 180 markets, are ours, including Marlboro, the world’s number one. We operate 48 production facilities in 32 different countries. Our products are the choice of 150 million consumers worldwide, and for those who choose to continue to smoke, we will continue to offer them the best quality products. But that’s not where our vision for smokers ends. We’re dedicated to doing something very dramatic – replacing cigarettes with the smoke-free products that we’re developing and selling.

Role: Marketing Executive – Reduced Risk Products (RRP).

Skills gained:

Great skills that I gained as a marketing intern which is crucial for someone who is looking to go into that specific field:

  • Analysing competitor marketing and sales materials both on and offline
  • Researching current marketing trends in order to plan future marketing campaigns
  • Coordinating various marketing methods including direct mail, print ads, and social media and developing new methods of marketing.
  • Building brand awareness for the vivid product portfolio via a consumer engagement initiative which took place across a number of high-profile music festivals. These festivals included; V festival, Park life festival & Kendal Calling Festival. Job responsibilities included: device sales, data collection, and 3rd party agency staff management.
  • Part of the team who helped launch MESH. Actively took part in educating the user on the product whilst simultaneously collating data.
  • Managing the social media platforms for content creation and consumer interaction.

Why do you consider your placement experience as being priceless?

Think outside the box! As a marketing student, I always heard this phrase but did not really know to apply it until I joined PMI. In an environment where you are restricted by various laws and regulations that change every now and then can be very frustrating. However, it can also help you to learn how to adapt very quickly and exercise your mind to think outside the box! Working at PMI has helped me gain priceless experience as I lead the launch of our latest brand and was hands on throughout the process. I actively took part in educating the user on the product whilst simultaneously collating data for market research purposes. It was a very rewarding experience too as I helped people who have been trying to quit smoking cigarettes for most their life to switch to a safer alternative.

If that wasn’t rewarding enough I got the chance to help build brand awareness for our Vivid product portfolio via a consumer engagement initiative which took place across a number of high-profile music festivals. I got the chance to party as a VIP at V festival, Park life festival & Kendal Calling Festival and work at the same time too!

Whilst being on my placement I managed to network with a lot of different individuals. This ranged from the Legal department working in the Head office in London all the way to our procurement department in Krakow, Poland. This helped me be aware of how the company works on a larger scale and understand the business’s operations.

A quick message for students looking for a placement:

 There is no perfect moment waiting around the corner for you because the perfect moment only comes to those who actually go out there and create it.

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