With parts of the Philippines still placed under quarantine, tech-savvy companies and organizations like Mondelez Philippines have successfully transitioned to a work-from-home setup and have retained a sense of continuity. This applies as well to its recruitment.
Even amidst the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the organization continues to hire people for critical roles, having recently welcomed aboard eleven new employees who are part of the Mondelez Philippines’ EDGE Stars program. Fresh graduates Carrell Calderon, Gia Supetran and Celine Co are starting their careers in the most unusual circumstance.
Having recently been accepted for company’s EDGE Stars, the trio were absorbed into the company during the lockdown. The EDGE Stars are graduate trainees who have the right stuff, the right leadership competencies and learning agility.
This is the 13th batch of Mondelez Philippines’ graduate trainees, having started its pioneering leadership development program in 2009. It has since welcomed 166 fresh graduates for the past 11 years and its alumni now comprise the managers and leaders of the company.
“The pandemic certainly introduced so much uncertainty to my future given that this is a once in a lifetime event, Calderon said. “Most companies started to freeze hire when the pandemic started and it struck me because I felt like all my efforts into job hunting would be for nothing.”
Calderon is a Management Engineering graduate from Ateneo De Manila University in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines in the midst of job hunting when the virus struck. Determined to find work, he spent his time discerning his future and taking up online courses.
“I do a lot of scouting before applying to any company and Mondelez Philippines was a standout,” Calderon shared. “I heard so many good things about the company’s culture and its long-standing graduate program.”
For Calderon, joining Mondelez Philippines as he was faced with the opportunity of working with global brands such as OREO and Cadbury Dairy Milk but his first day on the job went a little differently in a good way. He said, “While nothing beats going to the office and meeting everyone face-to-face, the HR team behind the virtual onboarding has done a terrific job in utilizing the technology to give us a warm welcome to the organization.”
Mondelez Philippines offers many opportunities and builds community partnerships as it searches for gems in the pool of great talents across the Philippines. It is strongly committed to developing future leaders from its early careers program a it aims to contribute to the Philippine economy even while on lockdown by offering great products and brands for consumers to enjoy at home, helping alleviate unemployment and providing exciting career opportunities for its people.
Supetran is an Industrial Management Engineering graduate from De La Salle University in Malate, Manila, Philippines who had previously joined the company’s iTaste: Lean Six Sigma competition during her senior year. She had just completed her time in college when the virus struck.
“Throughout the quarantine, my parents’ safety has always been a vital concern of mine,” Supetran recalled. “Because of this, the task of finding a job after graduating, has been my top priority. Knowing that there is a problem of unemployment in the world right now, I felt the competition to land a job was more challenging.”
Fortunately, Supetran’s experience during the iTaste competition acquainted her with the company and she was hired as one of the two EDGE Stars for Mondelez Philippines’ Supply Chain function. She said, “The virtual onboarding process is a different and remarkable experience.”
“It is truly a blessing that despite the quarantine, Mondelez Philippines still managed to open its doors to give opportunities for people, such as myself, to land a job in their company,” Supetran continued. “Onboarding virtually posed its own challenges but the company has been very understanding of our connectivity issues. Despite this, the schedule planned out by the HR team has been very smooth in transition and no delays occurred.”
Co is an Industrial Engineering graduate from University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City. Fresh from completing her studies, she was thrust into a world of uncertainty due to the pandemic.
“Attending job interviews virtually was something I worried about because I wasn’t used to talking to people through a screen and I was also worried that my internet connection might fail me,” Co recounted. “Luckily, I chose to put those fears aside and stumbled upon a great opportunity at Mondelez. I applied for the company, specifically the EDGE Stars Program because it provided the opportunity for fresh graduates like us to build our capabilities to become future leaders.”
“The selection process for the program wasn’t easy,” Co continued. “We had multiple interviews and a case study, but I was very blessed to have been selected for this program.”
Co’s professional career thus far has been mostly conducted online. She describes her virtual experience as fun and insightful.
“Coffee chats with senior leaders and past graduate trainees were some of the meetings I found useful from the onboarding process because I was able to hear their stories and gather great advice from them,” Co shared. “The onboarding experience was one-of-a-kind because we all had it virtually. It was a unique experience because we had to learn the culture, people, and ways of working of the Company through our screens.”
Eager to make a positive contribution, Co is grateful for the opportunity to work with a company that reflects her personal values. She said, “I am committing to do my best in everything I do to reach and bring joy to Filipino families whenever they snack, even during the pandemic.”