Courtesy of Kraft Heinz

Erin Fitzgerald '18 left, Hayden Kornblut right

October 25, 2019

Cornell Alumna, Kraft Heinz Head of University Relations Discuss Career Opportunities

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Recruiting for internships and full-time jobs can be difficult. Given the variety of job positions available, it is not always easy to find the ones that may fit your skillset.

However, recruiting is a two-way street. Seeking to gain a company perspective on recruiting, The Sun talked to Hayden Kornblut, head of Kraft Heinz university relations, and Erin Fitzgerald ’18, category marketing analyst to learn about their experiences and advice.

“Students have the opportunity to really jump in and make an impact into our business rather quickly,” Kornblut said. “We take students whether they are a business major or liberal arts major or a STEM major, and we can put them in a lot of different areas”

For undergraduates, Kraft Heinz offers a summer internship program as well as a full-time rotational trainee program for new graduates. While some firms offer internships for sophomore or freshman candidates, Kornblut talked about Kraft Heinz’s decision to focus on juniors.

“We do that because we want to bring in students who have started in their major coursework. After they spend the summer with us and get hands-on experience, our hope is for us to be able to provide them with an offer to come back right after they graduate the following year,” he said.

Although Kraft Heinz is still in the process of recruiting, Kornblut said that from Cornell, the company has so far had over 350 applicants for its undergraduate programs and over 100 applicants for its MBA programs.

For the full-time trainee program, an important part of the experience is making people try different job functions as a way of getting out of their comfort zone.

“It does two things. One, it gives you a more well-rounded view of the organization and how we operate. The second thing it does is that it gives you another opportunity to let you see a different side of the business that you may not have necessarily seen otherwise,” Kornblut said.

Erin Fitzgerald ’18, who joined Kraft Heinz in June 2018 as a part of the corporate management trainee program, mentioned how the rotational aspect of her program led her to pursue a field different than she was originally intending.

“I thought finance would be the route I would want to go, but after learning more about category marketing function, I really found that it was a great line to be and use my strong quantitative skills and layer in that more strategic side for making fast business decisions,” she said.

In her current role as a category marketing analyst, Fitzgerald is responsible for running the demand forecasting for Kraft Heinz’s powdered beverage portfolio — which includes Crystal Light, MiO and Kool-Aid — as well as working on the launch of new products.

Career Tips

Reflecting back on her time in college, Fitzgerald encouraged students to be more open-minded about their career choices.

“At Cornell, especially in AEM, there is such a big emphasis on making your career on Wall Street or in consulting, and outside of that it seems that there are not a lot of options,” she said. “If I could look back, I would tell myself to not be pressured into doing that just because everyone else is doing it and that there are really great opportunities outside of that as well.”

She also talked about the importance of building a network early-on in the workplace.

“Setting up time with people and trying to make connections with the people you are working with is something that can be overlooked,” Fitzgerald said. “The more connections you can make with people, even if you only have worked with them briefly, can lead to a really valuable resource for you in the future.”

Recruiting Tips

Kraft Heinz, like numerous other companies that hire from Cornell, utilizes HireVue as a part of their recruiting process for undergraduates. For some students, the concept of doing a pre-recorded video interview can be an awkward experience.

“The way to go into these HireVues is to treat them like a real interview. We treat it like a real interview, those are real interview questions we would ask,” he said. “Sometimes we see students reading notes, which we understand that students want to be prepared, but you wouldn’t do that if you were sitting across from me in a real interview.”

According to Kornblut, a common mistake students make when writing their resume is simply explaining their day-to-day when describing a job or activity. “What I am personally looking for on a resume is: tell me the biggest things that you are proudest of. What is it that sets you apart?”

Kornblut said that students shouldn’t be afraid to use student organizations or extracurricular activities as a part of their resume.

“Sometimes students think that employers don’t want to see that. But if you are taking on a position and you are accountable for something, that is something that we definitely key in on,” he said.