Emily Barry is a rising MBA2 and just completed her summer internship on the brand management team at Mars. Emily is Co-President of Stern’s Graduate Marketing Association, VP of Communications for Stern Student Government, and VP of International Treks for the Arts, Culture, and Cuisine Club. She is specializing in marketing and strategy.
NYU Stern’s “Summer Internship Series” sheds light into Sternies’ internship experiences. Posts are written by rising MBA2s who are currently working at their summer internship.
It’s hard to believe how quickly the summer has flown by; I just wrapped up a great internship on the brand management team at Mars. Being a total career switcher (my previous role was in residential real estate sales here in NYC), I admit that I was somewhat apprehensive about my foray into marketing, but I’m happy to report that my time at Mars was an incredible learning experience from start to finish.
I was very excited about the possibility of working at Mars ever since they first came to campus last fall; they have such an incredible portfolio of brands, and the tight-knit community really appealed to me. I had a great time getting to know several Mars associates throughout the recruitment process, and I was so excited to be invited to join the team for the summer. My internship began in early June with an email welcoming me to the Twix team; I remember being thrilled by the prospect of working on one of my favorite bars, and couldn’t wait to see what projects I’d be tackling over the next few months. We had a quick orientation, and then we were off!
My first project involved working with Mars’s advertising agency to redesign the Twix.com website; the site was a bit outdated and confusing, so the goal was the streamline the platform to ensure an easy and consistent user experience. I researched what best-in-class CPG websites look and function like, and briefed the agency on how Twix’s site should be revised. Over the next few weeks, the agency and I went back and forth on design drafts, eventually aligning with the broader Twix team on a site that should be up and running in the next few weeks.
My second project was a competitive analysis of Butterfinger’s recent reformulation and relaunch of their original bar. The filled bar team at Mars wanted to know why Butterfinger decided to relaunch the bar, what steps they took to execute the launch, and what the results were. To answer those questions, I analyzed Nielsen data on Butterfinger’s performance pre- and post-relaunch, and synthesized those learnings into a presentation for the filled bar team.
My capstone strategic project, which took up the majority of the summer, was developing a growth strategy for Twix & Snickers future consumption products (the large bags of fun-size candy that you buy in-aisle, as opposed to the standard bars at the front of the store). I met with Mars associates, analyzed Nielsen data, and worked with various cross-functional partners (packaging, consumer insights, R&D, social media, etc.), to come up with a few key recommendations for growing FC sales, and presented my findings to the Mars marketing leadership team at the end of the summer.
What stood out to me throughout the entire process was how engaged everyone was with the work I was doing; it was very clear to me that I was looking at real, substantive business issues as opposed to just doing busy work. The community of associates was so helpful, and incredibly generous with their time and insights. I am so thankful to have had such a great internship experience, and am excited to see how everything I’ve learned ties into my second year of school. To any MBA1s reading this who may have questions about Mars, brand management, or anything at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out — I look forward to meeting many of you in just a few weeks!