Kaitlyn Kicia: Women’s History Month Spotlight
In light of Women's History Month, we had the chance to speak with VT Alum Kaitlyn Kicia. Follow along to dive deeper and learn about her incredible career path!
March 28, 2023
What are your responsibilities as Senior Associate Brand Manager for Nestlé?
“In this role, I am exposed to many different functions. I manage a licensing portfolio that aims to target younger households, brainstorm brands for Coffee Mate to partner with, most recently partnering with Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts. I work with finance and sales to sell into big customers like Walmart in time for resets. I track pitches to public relations, develop social media plans, and I ultimately help get the product to consumers, all while utilizing the 4P’s of marketing. I manage the seasonal business too, working with brands like Natural Bliss, Starbucks, and Coffee Mate.”
What is your favorite part of working for Nestlé?
“My favorite part of working for Nestlé is the culture and people. It is enjoyable to collaborate with others and I am constantly learning. I know I’m in the right industry because I trust my coworkers and am not afraid to ask questions. There is a culture crew, where events occur once a month, including kickball, yoga classes and more! Networking is so important, make friends with your coworkers!”
Can you tell us a little bit more about your career within the data and CPG industry?
“While studying abroad, I obtained an internship with Nielsen. The clients I worked with were in CPG, such as Kroger and S. C. Johnson & Son. Nielsen gave us the time and foundation to learn the numbers behind campaigns. My role was client-service facing, and there were a lot of case studies. I worked with the S. C. Johnson Global Team to understand business analytics, such as understanding why a Glade product worked in Brazil and not in Thailand. I became an expert in the data, trained clients, and created strategies for marketers. After my time with the company, I wanted to make the brand decisions that carried onto the actual product.”
Tell us more about your experience working for The Kraft Heinz Company.
“After working for Nielsen, knowing I loved what brand managers did, I decided to join The Kraft Heinz Company. We did mashups such as Mayochup. I remember the campaign on Twitter, where if we got 100,000 reposts, Mayochup would be developed. We ended up getting more than 500,000 retweets, and launched it in 6 months. In terms of bbq sauces, the trend in the industry was that hot sauces were becoming more popular and taking space on the shelf. I worked on different shelves to keep share, while accelerating their hot bbq sauces. I was then promoted to Senior ABM and expanded Heinz Gravy.”
How do you deal with failure?
“The first step I take is to act and try to mitigate failures. If something big happens, I make it a little better, then take a step back to accept it. I also enjoy working out to process and reflect. I ask for feedback, as this will only help you grow and learn. Honesty and candidness, realizing that humans make mistakes, and staying true to yourself will help you bounce back.”
What is your greatest accomplishment in your career?
“My greatest accomplishment was strengthening Heinz Gravy brand positioning by leading communications and creative strategy. During Q4 it was extremely busy, but I was able to help produce a float in the Macys’ Thanksgiving Day parade. I also updated graphics that hadn’t been changed since the 80’s. I had a lot of fun with it, as we were able to drive awareness and brand love with families!”
Do you have any advice to offer to college students like us looking for full-time positions?
“Be personal, be yourself, don’t be afraid to show off your hobbies and interest for the company. Consider the full offer, the role, responsibilities, location, and culture to make sure they are a good fit for you. Know you have a voice and speak up for yourself. If it is your first job, remind yourself that you are qualified and bring something to the table.”
What is the best piece of advice you've received while transitioning from college into the workforce?
“This is a very big and exciting transition time, comparable to going to college. Find yourself, as this is when a lot of growth happens, develop hobbies, and keep your eyes wide open to take everything in. It is extremely important to make friends, have people on your side, and build your support systems.”