Skip to main content

A smoking job!

In 2005 I was hired as a Team Marketing Developer intern for British American Tobacco Colombia. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this company BAT is the tobacco company of Lucky Strike and Kool, among others brands. For me, as a recent Marketing and Advertising graduated, it was a life time opportunity. Finally, after many jobs on restaurants and sales, I had an open door to a multinational corporation who invests millions of pesos (well dollars really) in marketing and advertising world wide.

My job was "simple": me and two others interns (Andres and Mauricio) will be in charge of expand the product placement and brand visibility, while helping sales rep to increase sales, in specific city areas. The job was lost of PR and cross sales with bars and restaurants owners. In other words something like "If you buy our products from our sale rep, that new cooler you need it will be on us (with our brand everywhere, though), you win, we win, everyone win!".

The hours where long. We needed to be at the office everyday at 6:30 am to catch up with sales rep, and out late night for catch up with the bars and restaurants owners. In addition during sampling tour season we where coordinating the models and the team going from bar to bar giving away cigarets. There was not a better way to establish a real relationship with our clients that understanding how their business works, customer looks like and what where they smoking.

Our boss was focus on results, not on micromanagement his interns group, so we where loving it. Yes we worked hard, but we have the freedom of management our own schedule (a side of the early meetings) and to be out and around meeting people and going to places that either we like o we will never be there under other circumstances. I'm pretty sure that back then Mauricio, Andres and I where rocking the ball out of the stadium, but the internship ended a year after, and each one of us went to other places and ventures. I even ended out in a Kibbutz in Israel, but that a story for another time.

When I go to interviews sometimes people still ask me how it was to work for a tobacco company morally speaking, and it always makes me smile because: I was not suggesting nor forcing people to smoke, but if you were a smoker well smoke one of my brands!. I have to admit that I never have more fun working than the fun I have there, and morally speaking everything was, and is, OK.


Popular posts from this blog

What we started a drunken night out

I met Justin in Medellin in May 2007, while he was traveling around Colombia before moving to D.C to attend school. He visited Bogotá and the coffee country before arriving in Medellin, where he stayed at a hostel where one of my best friends, and occasional I, used to work. While I waited for my friend to finish her shift before going out, I saw him first and everything about him grabbed my attention. I remember asking my friend who he was but she was in a bad mood and wanted only to go out and dance the day off. I was glad when I saw him again at the bar I was dancing with friends. Yes, he was good looking and a good dancer but there was something else that made my eyes glued onto him. It was kind of embarrassing— it’s not the Latina seductive style to stare— but I couldn’t stop. Anyway, I’m not really a shy person so, in the end, it didn’t matter that much. Eventually, we found ourselves dancing with each other, pretended to talk and kissed.

We run into each other again the next nig…

In the Land of Freedom

Since the arrival of the first European immigrants to North American the country known today as: The United States of America started to be built on immigrant blood.From mass immigration though Ellis Island, New York, in the early 1900’s to crossing the border walking the deserts of Texas or Arizona today, the idea of America as the land of freedom, where the sky is the limit, has attracted and continues attracting immigrants around the globe. For many years, in order to control the unstoppable immigration; which has apparently transformed into a problem, thought the years different immigration polices and strategies has been used being Secure Communities being one of the most recent.Although Secure Communities has effectively deported dangerous criminals, the program should not be enforced nationwide as a federal law because it breaks apart American families while reducing the cooperation between illegal immigrant communities and local police.After the attacks on September 11th the D…

The first of many

When I was 14 years old I was ready to start to work. According to the Colombian law I was not allow to work with out my parents permission. My dad was against that idea, so I have to wait while felling jealous of my brother Agustin, whom just 2 years older than me, was working at my dad's uncle electric store during the holidays, making money.
As soon I turned 18 I stared the job search. After sending a couple of resumes with the blank spaces where my experience should go, I got finally hired at a restaurant. I was thrill, the time of make my own money and grow independent have finally come!. The restaurant, "La Parrilla de Martin", was an Argentinean style stake house just a couple of blocks away from my house and in the same bus route from my college. I set out my schedule: I will work 3 lunches and 2 nights, for a total of 5 shifts a week. 5 shifts a week and full time school didn't sounded that hard for the 18 year old me, but in reality it was impossible.