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A total of 36 select students from 14 universities across the country journeyed into the heart of Nestlé as they participated in this year’s run of the MILE (Management Immersion for Leadership Excellence) program at the I’M Hotel in Makati on October 23 to 25. Eleven of the 36 came from outside Metro Manila, including Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, and Iloilo.

Now on its 9th year, the MILE program immersed the students in various activities that gave them a front-row view of the Nestlé business operations and an experience of the Company purpose and values in action. They learned the concept of Creating Shared Value as they visited the Lipa Integrated Coffee Center, witnessed manufacturing excellence as they toured the Factory in Tanauan, and experienced customer and consumer relations as well as the dynamics in the trade as they were immersed in different Sales channels and brand activations. The brands that participated in the activation were NESCAFÉ, BEAR BRAND, KIT KAT, NESTLÉ Breakfast Cereals, and RTD (CHUCKIE and BEAR BRAND Yogu).

On the program’s last day, the students were divided into six groups, each of which was assigned a brand to work on. The challenge was to come up with a product or service innovation/renovation that would address a pain-point of consumers. They used a journey-mapping process to identify the pain-points.

Throughout this three-day journey, the MILEes were guided closely by 12 coaches from different Business Units, namely Kirby Neri, Meg Panopio, Martin Mediana, Lyra Sotto, Mike Uyham, Atty. Aileen Pablo, Jubs Pabellano, Mig Molina, Julie Garcia, Ger Villanueva, JC Baltazar, and Andrean Candeloza. These mentors provided the students with information and insights that deepened their understanding of the Company, and coached them closely as they worked on their respective business cases.

Crystalizing their combined learnings from all their activities, the students came up with fresh innovative ideas for their respective business case assignments, impressing no less than Chairman and CEO Jacques Reber and other members of the Nestlé in the Market Committee (NiMCom) who attended the third day of the program to listen to the business case presentations. With Jacques were HR Director Mitzie Antonio, MCI Director Paolo Mercado, Business Unit Manager for LAB Willy de Ocampo, and Business Executive Officer for DHNS George Badaro. The audience included CPW Country Business head Tina Samaco, Innovation & Renovation Manager Judy Ascalon, and HRBP for Grocery Sales Johann Ang. These three were the judges who rated each of the presentations and had the difficult task of selecting the best ones.

The top three business presentations were: Team MILE-O with its presentation on MILO MVP (led by Coach Mig and Coach Ger) at 1st place; Team sMILE with its presentation on Tibay Padala for BEAR BRAND (led by Coach Martin and Coach Lyra) at 2nd place; Team Nesteawala with its presentation on Tea Blends for NESTEA (led by Coach Julie and Coach Jubs) at 3rd place.

All three winning groups received various Nestlé products. Each member of Team MILE-O group also received with a Dolce Gusto machine, sponsored by 3CBU, for winning the best presentation award.

This year’s MILE was organized the by Talent and Acquisition and Development (TAD) team led by Malayne Dy, with full support of the whole CORE team (Hannah de Lumen, Michael Bonus, Joanna Hornilla, Elayne Layson, Noelle Arcinue, Lara Vizarra, John Ignacio, Kip Aguirre, and the MILE intern Peter Padre).

“We received great feedback from both the coaches and the students who participated in the program. The students appreciated having coaches to guide them throughout their MILE journey. They also enjoyed the CSV activity, as it gave them a clearer understanding of the Company’s values,” said Malayne. “The whole TAD team and MILE Core Team would like to thank everyone who took part in the event, especially to the passionate and dedicated coaches.”

MILE Program is the Company’s premier recruitment strategy for pooling of CMTs (Corporate Management Trainees) and for enhancing employer branding.