On Monday, May 18, I began my internship at Campbell Soup Company as a Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability intern. I woke up, ate breakfast, and got ready for the day. Then I went downstairs to my family room, where my laptop and monitor are set up for me to work.
My first day at work began with a Microsoft Teams meeting where I was introduced and welcomed by the Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability team. I had no idea what to expect, given that this is my first internship experience at a corporation, and I had only previously spoken to my direct supervisor. My meeting with the team was very pleasant and reassuring. The team consists of about 9 people, all of whom welcomed me with a warm smile and offered their help if I should need it.
Throughout the week, I had 30 minute 1/1 meetings with each person on the team furthering my excitement about working at Campbell Soup and clarifying the role of each individual. This helped me immensely as I attempted to navigate the organizational chart of the Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability team. I spent a good portion of my time understanding the function of the team members and their connections to other parts of the company. The Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability team was formerly a part of Supply Chain operations, but now resides with the Legal Team, which goes to show how this section of Campbell Soup touches many different aspects of the organization. A challenging part of this is the fact that in its 150 years of existence, Campbell Soup Company has acquired various other brands, which complicates my understanding of the organizational chart. I am still trying to figure out the big picture of how Campbell Soup Company operates and its many divisions and departments, but understanding my department is a good start.
My supervisor and I met on my first day of work on Microsoft Teams. It was then that she gave me an overview of my projects for the summer, and told me to get started on familiarizing myself with Campbell’s Corporate Responsibility Report. She then set up a check-in on Wednesday, May 20.
On Wednesday, I updated my supervisor on what I had been doing, and she further introduced my projects. I let her know that I work better with deadlines, which help me manage my time and hold myself accountable, especially with a remote internship. A half-hour after our meeting concluded, I received an email from my supervisor outlining some deadlines for my 12-week internship. She then set up weekly meetings with me to check-in.
It seems as though there are no standardized procedures for the team, and that the work is autonomous. The team members seem to work on their own and in groups on their projects, which vary. Each week, there is a “Weekly Huddle”, where the whole team meets to discuss their progress on projects and initiatives. I was able to attend a Weekly Huddle last week and really benefitted from seeing the team interact, especially regarding their interactions with the VP Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability.
Based on my interactions with my coworkers as well as the overall feeling I got from the Weekly Huddle, I believe that the team members have a great deal of respect for each other. I also believe they have a great deal of respect for their superior, the VP Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability. There is a lot of trust between team members as well, which is integral to the functioning of the team because they all hold a great deal of responsibility.
To enhance leader/follower relationships, along with my weekly meetings with my supervisor, I also have meetings set up with the VP Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability to check-in, and to help me any questions I might have about the organization or people I want to be connected with.
Overall, the leader/follower dynamic at Campbell Soup Company is strong, and I am excited to be a part of it. Although it is more difficult to do so virtually, I hope to create strong bonds with my team members and learn everything I can from them and this internship experience.