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Reckitt Australia

  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Rifka Samsudeen

Get involved in absolutely everything that you can on campus – becoming a bit of a yes-person infinitely benefitted my journey through uni.

What's your job about?

The National Account Executive role at Reckitt is an excellent pathway to understand how Reckitt play within the FMCG world. You gain exposure to all sides of the business and get to work closely along the cross-functional teams so that from the creation of the product to its delivery to customers, you’re involved in the process. I work closely with our National Account Managers looking at the Woolworths business.

The day-to-day involves a fair amount of data analysis and report building. This can range from reporting daily sales performances to more in-depth category deep-dives. It means you can truly understand customer decisions and what drives their purchasing behaviours. Outside that, you get to be involved in creating amazing in-store activations which involve meetings with our Brand teams as well as any external stakeholders to bring our vision to life. We’re given a great level of autonomy and responsibility over smaller accounts which mean you get to engage with Woolworths buyers and have the opportunity to really raise your profile within the industry.

What's your background?

I was born in Sri Lanka but have been travelling the world since I was 6! My dad’s job meant that we moved around a lot as kids, living across Southern Africa and the Middle East. It means that despite my appearance, I speak with quite an American accent due to all the International Schools I’ve attended. Moving to Sydney was our final move where I attended High School. Leaving High School was an extremely fun time as I got the chance to attend my dream university - USYD. It was made all the more exciting as I also commenced a Cadetship at EY straight after leaving high school. This meant that for the first couple years of uni, I was working full time and studying part-time. My workload never stopped me from being a part of student culture and being involved in a fair few student societies. 

Towards the end of my degree I also had the amazing opportunity to study abroad at the Copenhagen Business School (CBS) and travel around Europe and Northern Africa for 8-9 months. All these experiences best equipped me to start an internship with Reckitt at the end of 2019. I loved the work environment and culture so I sought opportunities to stay on after the internship to gain more exposure to the workings of the business. I returned to the business multiple times for projects along my final year of uni and have officially commenced in my graduate role at the beginning of 2021. 

Could someone with a different background do your job?

100%! The job is quite versatile, and a varied background would be of benefit. I personally am not from a management/marketing background, but I feel that my experiences and differing background offer a unique perspective. I would say that it is crucial that you be quite attentive and detail oriented as you will work across many categories and projects with varying timelines. All other skills are taught on the job so you never feel ill-equipped. 

What's the coolest thing about your job?

The coolest part of being the National Account Executie is definitely getting to trial products before their launch. Think all the newest fragrances and innovation that comes to life through Reckitt. Afterall, you have to know the product to be able to sell it! I also love that across the year we have different activations for our brands that I get to help organise and communicate to shoppers. Whether it is designing gifts to go with purchases or deploying a large purpose-led campaign, it shows the extra mile that we go to for the customers. 

What are the limitations of your job?

I would say the pace of our work can sometimes become stressful. Everything at Reckitt moves so quickly as we pride ourselves on our speed to market. However, this also means that the working environment has to keep up that pace which can be quite daunting. Reckitt is also very performance led so if you’re a bit of a perfectionist, like myself, you sometimes have to let go of taking care of the little things to focus on the larger targets we’re attempting to achieve. 

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  • Firstly, get involved in absolutely everything that you can on campus – becoming a bit of a yes-person infinitely benefitted my journey through uni.
  • Secondly, don’t hesitate to speak up and speak out – you’ll need to become your own champion when you work so take time to recognise your efforts and successes.
  • Lastly, know when you’ve reached your limits – you’re allowed to take breaks and enjoy being young!