This summer I had the opportunity to intern with Abbott Nutrition in Columbus on the Pediatric Specialty family of brands. It was an incredible experience that allowed me to leverage my existing sales skills (from my previous career) while learning more about brand management at a major multinational corporation.
Here’s the lowdown on my internship:
Abbott is made up of four divisions: Diagnostics, Medical Devices, Nutrition, and Branded Pharmaceuticals. This summer I interned with Abbott Nutrition whose brand portfolio includes: Similac, PediaSure, Pedialyte, Ensure, Glucerna, EAS and ZonePerfect, and a variety of specialty institutional brands. Abbott is a unique company in the CPG world – it is a blend of a traditional CPG firm and a healthcare company. So there are a number of distinct health care oriented opportunities that are available at Abbott that you won’t find at most CPG companies.
This summer I worked on the Pediatric Specialty family of brands (a group of brands predominantly sold in hospitals and to patients receiving home care). I got the opportunity to work with a fantastic team of people who simultaneously allowed me to take total ownership of my project but offered support throughout the entire process if I needed help. I also got exposure to two separate Abbott business units! The Pediatric Specialty brands (Elecare, Pediasure Peptide, and Pediasure Institutional) were initially part of the Pediatric business unit, but halfway through the summer we switched business units and joined the Therapeutic Nutrition (Adult) division. This allowed me to get exposure to a wide variety of marketers and cross functionals as well as Director level exposure on two separate business units.
Abbott divides their projects into 3 buckets: Analytic, Strategic, and Creative. Some interns will work on separate projects for each of these categories, but I had the opportunity to work on one large project that covered all three buckets. As I mentioned before, I worked on the Pediatric Specialty brands and I had the opportunity to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy to address a specific market need. I identified the size of the total market opportunity, created a strategic plan for Abbott’s Pediatric Specialty sales force to capitalize on the opportunity (this included account segmentation, a sales force incentive and activation plan, and projected timing), and finally developed a package of creative materials to help our sales force drive initiation.
Abbott was a fantastic opportunity for me, and I absolutely loved its fun and fast paced culture. I learned more in the last three months than I thought possible and after such a positive experience I can’t wait to start my full time brand management career.