In the last three decades 416 talented young professionals and over 200 international companies have benefited from their association with the Prince Albert Fund. Find out how the Fund has contributed to their personal career development and international business expansion, as they share with us their experiences below.Subscribe to our newsletter
Jessica Blondeel took on the role of product manager for the Strategic Business Unit Chocolate of Puratos Corporation USA. She was charged with developing the product and brand strategies and providing the necessary support to the commercial and technical teams.
As a product manager, Jessica was responsible for the management and marketing of the Puratos product range. Her job covered the relaunch of a chocolate brand (Chocolanté), the definition of a clear strategy for a coating range (Carat) and the rise of the market share of chocolate in patisserie. “Being a product manager is not just about working in marketing. It’s about closely working with R&D, operations and supply chain. You have to understand the flow of the raw material from the cocoa countries, know the products from a technical and hands-on point of view as well as understand what is possible in terms of production capacity.”
Besides having to familiarise herself with a new product range, Jessica got to know 80 salespeople and understand the market structure, which is heavily focused on supermarkets and industrial accounts. She was tasked with multiple projects. “Multitasking is not an option, it’s a requirement, it helps you understand that you can do more than you think.”
Jessica came along very well in a new environment for her (moving from IT to food industry). she faced the challenges of: understanding the business and building up a local implementation plan. Working in the U.S.A. also allowed her to gain visibility with top management, the Group Executive Committee and even with the company’s owner. Jessica feels that this job and the move to the U.S.A. really enabled her to grow as a professional.
Puratos is an international group with a full range of innovative products, raw materials and application expertise in the bakery, patisserie and chocolate sectors. Its products and services are available in more than 100 countries around the world.
“Jessica was able to bring together teams located in different places geographically. She was also able, with HQ support, to bring to life a chocolate strategy which had been lacking in the past.”