As one of the largest consumer products companies on the planet, Colgate-Palmolive boasts over 12 internationally recognized brands, 34,000-plus employees, and — yes — an elite internship program that offers plenty of career development, mentorship, and skill-building opportunities.
Don’t believe us? We spoke to three former Colgate-Palmolive interns-turned-full-time hires to get the lowdown on how their internship experience set them up for success and advance their careers.
The Col-Pal Internship Put Learning And Real-World Experience Hand-In-Hand
Let’s start with Woodrow, who went from Customer Development Intern to Retail Marketing Specialist in under five years. “I was working on projects that were going to be used to inform actual business decisions,” he told WayUp. One of Woodrow’s primary responsibilities was digging into data and analytics to evaluate manual toothbrush performance. His findings were vital as it pertained to coming up with a new marketing strategy — and it’s something he’s extremely grateful for, “to allow an intern to manage and overlook that was a pretty big deal,” he said.
One reason Woodrow found the Colgate-Palmolive program to be incredibly eye-opening was because he was able to apply the key marketing concepts he’d learned in college into the workplace. “In class, you’re learning the concepts, but they may not always stick because you’re not seeing real-world examples,” he said. However, as a Colgate-Palmolive intern, Woodrow was able to grasp a better understanding of both sales and marketing principles. Upon returning to campus for senior year, Woodrow said he “felt so much more present” in his classes based on the opportunities he was afforded as an intern.
Shernelle, who started at the company as a Product Development Intern, agreed. “I learned so much about what it’s like to be in this industry and how to make products,” she said. Seven years later, Shernelle is now a Research and Development Technician. While Shernelle received ample training as an intern, she found that the program’s emphasis on hands-on experience was even more valuable — as was the opportunity to interact with managers, scientists, fellow interns, and other like-minded individuals.
Colgate-Palmolive Encourages Interns to Network with Senior Leaders
“I just remember feeling at home,” Woodrow said. “Everyone made an effort to get to know us, to support us, to offer themselves as a resource.” He also noted Colgate-Palmolive’s open-door policy, which allowed him to network with senior executives. “Early in your career, you want to feel that you have a sense of community and that people are invested in your success. Colgate facilitated that very well, I felt that from day one.”
In fact, one of Woodrow’s favorite memories as a Colgate-Palmolive intern was when one of the senior leaders walked over to the interns and personally invited them to join in on a lunch outing. At the restaurant, the executive went out of his way to ask the interns about their career aspirations and their lives outside of work. “It really made me feel like part of the Colgate family,” he said.
Woodrow wasn’t the only intern to have a positive experience at Colgate-Palmolive. Just take it from Sumbul, a former Quality Assurance Intern and current Project Engineer. “The first thing I realized about Colgate was that they do an amazing job of linking you up with the right people,” she told WayUp. “What differentiated Colgate as a company was that it’s a huge company, but you still get recognition for what you’re doing. You know that you’re adding value and that your projects mattered.”
As an intern on the Product Development team, Shernelle agreed whole-heartedly. “Colgate is full of people who care,” she said, before continuing: “Everyone cares about your growth and wellbeing, and they’re always trying to help you.”
Careers Are Created (And Skyrocketed) At Colgate-Palmolive
Woodrow’s, Sumbul’s, and Shernelle’s stories aren’t all that rare — at least not at Colgate-Palmolive. Their internship program is a place where careers in marketing, engineering, HR, and beyond all begin — and continue to grow.
Sumbul reinforced how grateful she was that Colgate-Palmolive trusted and empowered her to lead her own projects.” At the same time, she received ample support from her manager through frequent check-ins. “My manager did regular check-ins with me. She wanted me to try projects on my own, but if I needed her, she’d be there for me,” she said.
And the beautiful thing is, when you grow at Colgate-Palmolive, you help others do so, too.“We love passing the torch here. I’ve been involved with the hiring process and mentoring for our incoming associates. I’m also a mentor for the internship program now,” Sumbul said.
Intrigued? Check out open opportunities at Colgate-Palmolive on WayUp!