You might have Colgate-Palmolive to thank for a few things in your life: your pearly white smile; your fresh-out-of-the-shower scent; or even your happy, healthy pet. The company’s huge slate of brands are responsible for a bevy of beloved personal, pet, and home care products—many of which are on the tip of your tongue—perhaps literally—at all times.
But something you might not know about the company is that their internship program gives hundreds of college students the opportunity to explore working life in a culture-focused, mission-driven industry giant.
With the help of four alumni of the company’s elite internship program, we took a look inside Colgate-Palmolive’s program to see what it’s like to become a part of their team.
You’ll Be Doing Real Work, Right Away
One common thread between all of the former interns we spoke to: Interns at the company aren’t treated like second-class contributors.
“I learned very quickly that I would not be paper-filing and going on coffee runs for my supervisors,” Dominic, who interned on the Customer Development team, tells us. “Rather, I was working directly with my bosses on their ongoing projects and adding whatever value I could provide right away.”
Given the company’s global presence and purposeful mission, this meant a lot of responsibility taken on very quickly (which Dominic described as “a little bit like drinking from the fire hose” in the beginning), but as a Colgate-Palmolive intern, you’re never doing it alone.
“The program is very well polished,” Josiah, a Summer ‘19 intern on the Corporate Communications team, explains. “They have a lot of experience training interns for real-world responsibilities.”
Josiah’s projects included looking into different apps and platforms for expanding the company’s social media presence and strategy. This required research, synthesis, and data analysis, and when he finally completed his work, it was taken seriously by his team.
Another intern, Laura, worked on the Global Talent Acquisition team, helping to both recruit and engage diverse talent through a variety of events, initiatives, and projects. She worked on social media campaigns that helped show people what it’s really like to work at Colgate-Palmolive.
“It was really cool seeing the work I put in publicized on Colgate’s pages. We were able to reach people all around the world with the stories we shared,” Laura says.
The stories they published didn’t just help others; Laura’s horizons were broadened, too.
“I realized that I was working on things that would make an impact on so many people,” Laura explains. “Because Colgate-Palmolive is a global company, we were able to work with people around the world to get their insights and create the best products.”
It’s Not Just Working—It’s Working To Make The World Better
Matthew is a former intern at Hill’s, a national leader in pet nutrition and a Colgate-Palmolive brand, and he was looking for more than just a job during his internship search. That’s why he was pleasantly surprised when he started looking at the company.
“Everyone has heard of Colgate if you purchase toothpaste, but what you don’t realize is how large the company is and its impact,” Matthew says. “After doing research about the organization, it looked like Colgate-Palmolive had strong core values and seemed to do the right thing, even if it cost the company money.”
He is, of course, referring to the company’s innovative products, exhaustively designed to improve the health of the people and pets who use them—while still keeping an eye on the global community they’re a part of.
“The company is always trying to do good for either the environment, employee safety, or the customers. Because of this, you can be proud of the products that get produced with the Colgate name on it,” Dominic says.
And it wasn’t just the innovative products that stood out to the interns, it was the company’s commitment to philanthropy and volunteering, too. Whether Colgate-Palmolive team members are educating millions about the health benefits of personal care and oral health, donating time and resources to a variety of health- and eco-centric causes, or advocating for sustainable products, everyone at the company is both witness to and part of the company’s efforts to better the world around them.
It’s An Opportunity To Start Your Career
Having real responsibility means having a real opportunity to become an essential part of the team—and secure a full-time job for yourself.
Dominic, for example, started as an intern on his team and became a full-time Customer Management Analyst after graduation. And even though Josiah and Laura are still early in their college experiences, they definitely got a great sense of where their careers could go from here.
“With the help of my manager and mentor I took on numerous projects that helped me grow,” Laura says. “I’ve taken the passion I’ve gained for diversity and inclusion back with me to school. I’m challenging my peers to consider inclusion in different organizations and how to create more productive environments.”
Whether it’s perspective, technical skills, or just knowing how a real job works—what you gain from an internship at Colgate-Palmolive will help you chart your course in life. And that’s something worth smiling about.
Want to secure your own spot in the internship program? Check out open opportunities at Colgate-Palmolive on WayUp!