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Center for Brand Leadership

Kelley Advantage

The Center for Brand Leadership is a close-knit group of top MBA students, faculty, alumni, and corporate partners who share a wealth of industry knowledge and contacts.

Prepared for a New Role

Christine Caputo MBA’13

Associate Manager, Procter & Gamble

Christine Caputo

“Networking is so important when you’re researching a new role, because everyone’s journey is different.”

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In her former role in human resources at Medtronic, Christine Caputo helped the company discover how to retain its best employees. In her new associate manager position in consumer and market knowledge at Procter & Gamble, she’ll be helping the company better understand its consumers. The move from human resources to consumer marketing feels natural to Caputo.

“At Medtronic, I used predictive modeling techniques to predict employee turnover that are similar to those used to predict customer churn,” she says. “I worked with focus groups. In fact, it was one of my colleagues there who told me that consumer insights would be a good fit for me.”

Mastering a new field

Caputo knew that to make a successful transition, she needed to find an MBA program offering the education and experience needed to master a new field. She also discovered that Kelley had an Academy in place to help her make the transition—the Consumer Marketing Academy.

“I am a member of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management,” she says, “And I heard over and over again that Kelley has a reputation among recruiters at the Consortium orientation program for having the best-prepared students. That was important to me, because I knew I was going into a function with fewer opportunities than, say, brand management.”

Through the Consortium, she began her internship search before classes even started. “Networking is so important when you’re researching a new role, because everyone’s journey is different,” Caputo says. “It helps you figure out what’s best for you—what classes to take and what experiences you should have before you get to your internship.”

Positioned for a new role

By the time she arrived at General Mills, Kelley had prepared her for her new role.

“General Mills is known for having very challenging internships and a high-performance culture,” she says. Though many interns work on one or two primary projects during a summer, she was assigned five, including an in-store intercept, an in-home ethnography study, and a mobile study that performed virtual shop-alongs via a mobile app.

When it came time to consider her first full-time position after Kelley, she focused on Procter & Gamble, a pioneer in the field of consumer insights. During her first year, she networked extensively with Kelley alumni there and was excited by what she heard.

“The more I learned about the company, the more I knew it was where I wanted to be,” she says. She is grateful that her summer internship gave her valuable, real-world experience and positioned her well to interview with P&G.

Helping others

With her career plans in place, she helped advise first-year MBAs in their career search as a peer coach.

“Because we just went through the same experiences a year earlier, we have real experience and connections that are relevant—‘This classmate interviewed for the same position you’re targeting’ or ‘Here’s what it’s like to interview with this company, ’” she says.

In a career transition, insider knowledge is key. “You need to really understand what the job is, so you know what to expect during your internship and career,” Caputo says. “Understand the position, the company and its values, and, above all, talk to people who know it well to determine if it aligns with your style, talents, and interests.”

Published June 26, 2013