While many students would have not have hesitated to skip a test, Rachel Luckcuck turned down a paid-for flight to Cincinnati to attend a Procter & Gamble Leadership Forum conference to take an accounting test. The Georgia Institute of Technology, Scheller College of Business student imagined that she had lost all chances of interning with the company after that, but six months later, she received a phone call from a Georgia Tech recruiter for IT talent at P&G, personally asking her to apply to their summer IT internship program.
“I don’t remember the test but I got an 89 in the class and remember thinking I should have gone for the conference,” Luckcuck recalls. “At that time, I thought they would never invite me back after I told them that I needed to take the test, but I care a lot about my grades. I thought they’d think it was dumb.”
The conference she missed was a recruiting event held by the multinational consumer goods corporation for freshmen, where students are flown to their headquarters in Cincinnati to network and tour their space. She applied for it during her freshman year and completed the one-hour phone interview before taking an assessment that included an ethics section before earning her pass to the conference.
The company had already booked her flight when she learned about the test, and Luckcuck had to call the human resources department to tell her of her decision to take school seriously. Thankfully, her choice paid off, and this summer, she got a chance to intern with Procter & Gamble for 12 weeks along side 43 others who were selected.
OPENING THE DOOR INTO P&G
After applying to the forum during her freshman year, Luckcuck shared that she had to take a personality test and a reasoning test, which involved a lot of questions about matching shapes and patterns. Students refer to it as the “shapes test,” she says, and it’s “infamous for weeding out most of the 500,000 applications that P&G receives every year.”
When she received the call from P&G in her first week as a sophomore, she did not hesitate to apply for the information technology summer internship. While she did not have to retake the shapes test when submitting her resume, the interview process was lengthy and tough.
First came the phone interview with an IT executive on the Walmart team, whose house she later visited as an intern for a Fourth of July pool party. At the end of the conversation, the executive provided her with advice and feedback to improve her interviewing skills, something she says she didn’t expect and was extremely grateful for.
A few weeks later, she found out that she had made it to the next round, which required her to go to a testing facility to take a proctored version of the shapes test that included a logic and math section, similar to the SATs, she says. And a few weeks after that test, Luckcuck was invited to a Skype video interview with two staff members.
She receiver her verbal offer for an internship and the official letter offer the week after. The entire process, she says lasted from the start of August to December.
“I was at home for winter break when I learned that I was being offered an internship, and I was thrilled. My mom was even more excited for me,” Luckcuck says. “She has worked in sales at The Coca-Cola Company on the McDonald’s account for almost thirty years, so she knows a lot about business. When she told me that P&G is one of the best companies in the world to work for, I knew that this was a really special opportunity. I felt like all of my hard work in school had paid off”
AN INTENSE SUMMER
Over summer earlier this year, Luckcuck moved to Cincinnati where she didn’t know a single person and formed what she says are some of the best friendships she has had. She says that P&G did everything it could to help the interns have a great time with each other, holding networking events, called “lunch and learns,” and other events outside of work in places such as escape rooms. She says the interns soon became inseparable and began spending time together even in their free time.
At work, the interns were trusted to work hard and smart on projects, and Luckcuck was no exception. She worked on four projects over the course of 12 weeks, and had to balance various deadlines for the projects that sometimes overlapped in timeline. She attended meetings, interviewed employees about a database interface she redesigned, and even worked with the design team on a web design project.
Her biggest challenge came when she learned that the two projects that she thought she had ten weeks to complete were actually supposed to be completed in three weeks. So Luckcuck stayed late for several weeks, and ate lunches at her desk. But it all paid off. “I learned that my ideas and opinions were valid, and that P&G hired me for a reason — they genuinely wanted my work,” Luckcuck said.
One of the reasons she feels she was able to make the most of the internship opportunity was because of the Scheller College training of working hard at a problem till it’s figured out. And because she’s part of the school’s Denning Technology and Management program, where students across campus take classes and work on projects involving business and technology, together, she says she was able to use her coding and web design skills on a project she was placed on to redesign the homepage for an internal site.
“Without my understanding of brand and marketing that I’ve got from the T&M program, I wouldn’t have been able to do nearly as good of a job,” she says.
PLANNING HER FUTURE
Luckcuck has already received a return internship offer, and will be a Marketing Technologist Intern for P&G’s Skin and Personal Care brands team if she accepts. Brands the team deals with include Olay, Old Spice, and Secret. Taking on the internship would mean doing duties such as buying search terms for eCommerce, doing social media listening/analytics, and being involved in digital strategy and content creation.
In five years, she hopes to be at a company she loves, doing work that excites her. An MBA is also in the books for her after she has had a few years of work experience.
“The two things I loved about P&G were the products and the people.” Luckcuck says. “I love working for a company that makes Tide, Crest, Olay, and more — products that everyone uses and that make people’s lives easier. The people I worked with were people I would be friends with outside of work — they were all fun, smart, and nice, which is really important to me.”
For business students looking at planning a career like Luckcuck’s, she says it’s important not to be complacent and assume that a job is easy to get, much less one you’ll love. On top of not ignoring the emails from your school’s career services, and taking an active role in your career path, look for opportunities to try new things to find what’s love and what’s not.
“If I deleted every email from Scheller advisors, I would have never seen the P&G Leadership Forum that I applied to on a whim, and the P&G recruiter would have never called me, and then I would have never applied to P&G’s summer internship and I would have never had this awesome experience,” she says. “That is just one example of many amazing professional experiences that I’ve had because I pursued an opportunity.”