Posted On: July 15, 2019
By Annie Donnell
Students explored Nestlé Purina on July 10 and were warmly welcomed to the recently opened Purina Institute. Lizzie Parker, Group Director of the Purina Institute, spoke to students about cat and dog food nutrition. Students were astonished to find out over 500 scientists work in Purina’s Nutrition department. Her presentation discussed the importance of creating a consistent diet for animals and what goes into the process for creating the food that helps our pets live healthy and prosperous lives. She shared with students that studies show keeping dogs slim increases their life span by two years.
Steve Degnan, Chief Human Resources Officer at Nestlé Purina PetCare North America and Starkloff Board Chairman, gave a presentation. He explained, “You have unlimited potential at this time in your life. You can do anything.” He emphasized how jobs are constantly changing. Students gained the importance of setting goals and to never stop learning.
Next, students toured the exhibit in the Purina Institute to learn more about the science and molecular structure that goes behind the Purina products seen on store shelves. This exhibit provided a glimpse into what scientists do at Purina through interactive screens and a wall where scientists shared their job stories in two-minute video clips.
Next, students attended the Incredible Dog Show at Purina. A few students had the opportunity to throw frisbees to one of the dogs in the show.
To conclude the morning, Annette Morris, Director and Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Gender Balance at Nestlé Purina PetCare Company North America, talked about what the Diversity and Inclusion department does. Students learned about Purina’s values and focus on workforce diversity – both in the community and in the marketplace. Purina has a welcoming culture that wants everyone to feel valued. Purina Ambassadors participate in new initiatives, connect with the community, and promote the inclusive environment at work.
Dave Bone, Talent Acquisition Manager at Nestlé Purina North America, shared tips to find jobs. He shared that Indeed.com is a great resource to help when searching for jobs in your field of interest. Once you narrow those down, ask yourself questions such as, “What companies are you interested in? What are my geographic interests? What type of position is in my best interest?” After answering these questions, he suggested visiting websites of targeted companies to find job postings.
In the afternoon, students experienced how cat litter is made, the testing process for cat litter, and the sensory lab. Students were fascinated with the four-step process for how to make cat litter, and all the different types of cat litter manufactured at the facility.
To wrap up the day, students had a networking reception with their parents and employees from various departments at Nestlé Purina.