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News & Blogs: 5 Questions

5 Questions with Lisa Mulyk

Tuesday, March 6, 2012  
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Vice president, client services
Harris Interactive

"The biggest concern students have is simply landing a job.”

Lisa Mulyk, co-chair of the NEW New York Metro college outreach committee, has two decades of consumer package goods industry experience. A graduate of Syracuse University, she started her career at Kellogg Company, serving in numerous sales capacities. Later, at PepsiCo, she served as national account sales leader and category management team lead., before moving to a marketing services role as senior director business development at Catalina Marketing. At Harris Interactive, Mulyk acts as a market research consultant across the consumer products and retail and restaurant industries. She has been actively involved in NEW for five years.

Why is college outreach a crucial part of the Network's mission?

College outreach helps us stay connected to future employees and attract the best and the brightest to our industry. It also gives us the opportunity to collectively "give back” to the next generation of leaders in the form of mentorship, education and support.

What kind of reception do NEW members get from young women on campus?

There is a positive buzz and energy around all of our events. Students who attend come prepared to listen and ask great questions of our members. The schools have really embraced our programs and express enormous gratitude to our members.

What are recent graduates' primary concerns about starting a career in the cpg/retail industry?

The biggest concern students have is simply landing a job. They know the economic environment is very tough and are looking for guidance on how they can stand out in a crowd of candidates. They are all eager to work and love our industry because it’s so tangible.They have experience with our brands and retailers on a daily basis.

Tell us about the event at Seton Hall University.

We had a fabulous turn out at Seton Hall. Over 140 students came dressed for success and ready to talk. We kicked off the event by introducing NEW and our mission and then shared some "unsolicited advice” about how to get your foot in the door and manage a career as you progress. We also shared different areas of discipline in the retail/cpg industry. Later, NEW members and students broke out into individual groups by company name and students moved from table to table. Each participating NEW member brought examples of our own career paths as an introduction, then answered their questions. Overall, I think it was our best yet in terms of engagement and attendance.

What are cpg/retail companies doing to attract and retain young talent?

Many companies use internships as a way to introduce young talent to their business. Often, they will hire their interns as full-time employees upon graduation. Mentoring programs also score high marks with young grads, as well as opportunities for them to learn new skills and move up within an organization.

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