Hometown: Mason, OH
Office Location: Cincinnati, OH
University: University of Cincinnati
Major: Business Analytics, Marketing
Start Date: June 2021
Starting Role: Consulting Development Program
Describe your role.
My role is working with our CPG partners to maximize the value of their investment of our self-serve analytics platform, 84.51° Stratum. I get to strategically partner with these CPGs to influence and advise the business decisions they make at Kroger and help them execute and deliver projects that they are working on.
What was your experience like in the Development Program?
The Development Program was great – even when it was adapted to be completed in a virtual environment. The robust training it offered set me up to succeed and have a deeper understanding of all parts of the 84.51° business. I have especially noticed the benefit of the Development Program when working with new hires to my team that didn’t get the opportunity to be in the Development Program and the steeper learning curve that exists. Additionally, the hands-on experience working on real projects in different areas of the business was valuable.
How do you believe the 84.51° Development Program compares to other comparable programs?
The 84.51° Development Program is much shorter than other programs that I am aware of. Instead of rotating positions over the course of up to two years, you are finished with the 84.51° Development Program in about 6 months. I think what sets the 84.51° Development Program apart is that there is a “Day 1” mentality after completing it. Even during, and immediately after graduating the program, you can add value to a team. It is reassuring knowing that the work you are doing throughout the Program, and after, is impacting the business.
How do you believe the Development Program equipped you for success at 84.51°?
The Development Program prepared me to succeed in my current role, and future roles that I will have within 84.51°. I have seen this come to life in being able to mentor a new class of the Development Program and new hires that join my team.
What did you learn from the Development Program that you have transferred into your current role?
Much of the Kroger knowledge and technical training around our data assets have been extremely helpful in my current role. I continue to leverage the training that I received each day in my current role to build my skillset.
Is there anything you wish you had known about the Development Program prior to enrolling?
Nothing that I can think of! The Development Program is extremely well put together and there was no point in which I was questioning what my responsibilities were and what value I was adding to the company.
What has been the most memorable experience or favorite project you’ve worked on?
One of my favorite projects that I worked on during the Program was evaluating a new item launch of a frozen breakfast item for a large CPG company. I got the opportunity to meet with the client while in the program and present my recommendations to the HQ team. It was a huge value add experience to my development in that I was able to get exposure to what working with clients was like – something that I ultimately started doing when being placed into my first full-time role.
Did you go through the internship program at 84.51° prior to graduating? If so, what was that experience like?
I did not intern at 84.51° prior to joining. I interned previously at two different companies: one in the retail industry and a consumer-packaged-goods company. Initially I thought I would be at a disadvantage not interning at 84.51°, but I quickly recognized that everyone in the Program starts at the same level and I was able to flex skills and things that I had learned from other companies.
What advice would you give students who are interested in working in the consulting industry?
As cliché as it sounds, I would recommend to anyone interested in consulting to network as much as they can – and stay in touch with those connections that you build. You never know how those connections can be valuable. I also think it is important to find a mentor that is experienced in the industry and can coach you through career planning, everyday tough decisions, and general guidance.
What’s your favorite part about working at 84.51°? Do you have a favorite benefit or perk that is offered?
My favorite part about this company is the people I work with! It is nice to be surrounded by bright individuals that challenge your thinking, but also in an environment where your contributions are valued. The significant vacation time is a nice perk, too!
What do you like to do in your free time outside of work hours?
I am on the hunt to find the best taco in Cincinnati and will always welcome taco recommendations. I also like to hike! I recently returned from a trip where I summited Mount Kilimanjaro – the highest freestanding mountain in the world and the tallest mountain in Africa.