Carla Mendoza_a graduate engineer at Mars

Mars gives you an opportunity to interact with senior leaders early on in your careers, says Carla. It’s one of the things she enjoys most about working for the company

Name: Carla Mendoza

Age: 24

Job Title: Technical Lead (Engineering Development Programme)

Company: Mars, Slough

Education: MEng Chemical Engineering, University of Bath


Why did you choose a career in food?

 It is a fast-paced industry, constantly changing to meet consumer needs

I loved the idea of working on something that has so much visibility in the market and being able to influence how it’s made from day one. It is a fast-paced industry, constantly changing to meet consumer needs as well as maintaining a highly efficient and reliable factory, which means we’re constantly working on new, innovative ideas while ensuring we don’t stop production.

Why did you decide to join Mars specifically?

Mars is a very fun and diverse company that offers loads of opportunities within the business, no matter where you start. You are encouraged to focus on your personal development from day one and you’re given a lot of support to achieve your goals. It’s a company that stays true to its five principles in everything they do, which shines through in things like our ‘Sustainable in a Generation’ plan or our Mars Marketing Code.

Read more: 10 graduates and apprentices share their tips for how to land your dream food job

Tell us about the application process for your job. What was that like?

I applied through the website after hearing about the graduate scheme at a campus event. I had to fill in a standard application form and do some online tests, then continued onto a technical and competency-based interview on site. After that, I was invited to an assessment day where we had a group exercise, a few case studies and a final interview. We also had the chance to go on a tour of the factory.

What’s a typical day like for you?

My biggest challenge is to manage my time between problems that need immediate attention and other longer-term projects

I go into the factory every morning, walk down to the Revels and Minstrels lines and check what the current issues are. I then escalate my line’s issues to the shift technicians and work out my priorities for the day. My biggest challenge is to manage my time between problems that need immediate attention and other longer term projects that can really add value to the lines. Day-to-day I attend factory meetings, work on installations, investigate and manage breakdowns and also manage preventative maintenance days for these lines. Every day is different and you never know what new challenge or opportunity is around the corner.

Read more: Sarah MacLellan on how to make it in the male-dominated world of whisky distilling

What is the best part of working in the food industry and at Mars in particular?

Mars has a very “try this” mentality and really throws you into big projects and gives you the opportunity to make a difference. The projects are fast-paced, fun and exciting. I also like that I get to interact with senior leaders on a daily basis – learning from my seniors is inspiring, informative and something which is really important to me.

What’s the biggest misconception about working in the food industry?

People aren’t aware of the variety of roles available in the food industry – from manufacturing to marketing and procurement to sales, there is an exciting job out there for everyone.

Interested in finding out more about food & drink careers? Check out The Grocer Jobs for the latest vacancies