Earlier this month we invited four employees from global brands Uber, Coca-Cola, BMW and Johnson & Johnson to join us for a panel discussion on their work. If you’re wondering what working for a global brand entails, and how to begin, reading insights from our panel is a great place to start.
How to get a job working for a global brand:
- Persistence: if the job isn’t available, get in contact; if your skills don’t match, apply anyway; if HR hasn’t replied, send them an email. Companies with global brands tend to receive a lot of applications, so make it as easy for the HR department to notice you by chasing them on your application. Remember: you’re making their life easier so don’t feel like this is over-stepping the mark. If you get to interview stage, it’s also great if you can mention that you’ve followed up with HR because it shows real interest in the role and company.
- Practice: if you’re applying for an entry-level role where there’s an assessment centre then book on to one of our mock assessment centres where you can practice so the environment feels more natural and you know what aspects of behaviours are being looked for.
- Research: most companies will have a list of competencies which they use to measure the strengths of employees and company-fit of potential employees. Make sure you’re hitting all of the competencies in your CV (which should be adapted for each application) and make sure you can expand on each of those points in an interview so that you’re ticking their boxes. If you’re applying for an entry-level role then don’t be scared if your examples aren’t work-based. The company is unlikely to expect you to have masses of work experience so use student-based examples or those from extra-curricular activities if you need to.
What skills do you need?
- Soft skills are incredibly important. Getting stakeholder buy-in for your ideas will be part of your role regardless of which function you work in so it’s important to show that you can work with different personalities under pressure. If you’re working with external companies as well this will be important because you might need to call on them for last-minute favours. Humility goes a long way in a global brand.
- Technical skills may be needed for some roles (e.g. particular programs) so make you research these first; you might even be able to get specialist training while you’re studying at LSE.
Which brands should you apply for?
- In order for you to do a great job, it’s important to work for a brand that you believe in. It’s the passion for the brand that will give you the motivation to go above and beyond your job because the work you do will feel meaningful. Make sure you understand the purpose and ethos of the brand at both the research and application stage.
- Look at the work the brand is doing: is it tried and tested B2C? Is it heralding tech innovation? Is it a big company with a tight range of products? Are there multiple small launches a year? This will tell you about the work that’s required working for the brand, in particular whether success is based on the perfect execution of a difficult process or whether you’re building new processes from scratch. The type of creativity and innovation available will often be determined by this business model.
What are the opportunities of working for a global brand?
- One of the great things about working for a company which have global brands is that they will often heavily invest in their employees so there is more opportunity to work in different functions of the business. If you work in sales, for example, but you want to try your hand at marketing, this is much more likely in a company with global brands.
- Job security also tends to be high at global brands because companies tend to be already streamlined and there is opportunity for movement between brands and markets. If you’re looking to stay in a particular company for a longer period of time then working for a global brand will be in your favour.
- There’s an element of glamour of working for a global brand. Perks might include free products and services, training abroad, and social kudos. It’s easier to move around when you have well-known brand names on your CV.
Questions to ask in an interview:
- What is the culture like? Is it a workplace where people do their work efficiently and prioritise their outside-work life? Is it somewhere that you’ll be expected to socialise outside of work hours? What is important to you?
- What is the team environment? Are you going to be working in a team where colleagues are often away from their desks because they’re working from home or in meetings? If you’re autonomous this might be great but if learning from other people is critical for you then this team/company might not be the best fit. Make sure you understand the type of team you’re going to be working in.
- What is the opportunity for movement in the company? Do people tend to specialise in a particular function or move between functions? Are you expected to achieve certain things in order to progress, e.g. working on a big campaign/project before you’re promoted or working in multiple markets? This will give you an idea about what your career trajectory might look like.