Meet Rafael—Senior Project Manager, Program Management Office
First and foremost – do you prefer Mac or PC?
PC, but I am an iPhone/iPad person when it comes to phones and tablets!
What has been your career path leading up to working at Nestlé?
In 2004, I joined a company collaborating with Nestlé, and after three years, I knew that is where I wanted to build my career. In late 2007, there was an opportunity to join Nestlé as a Project Manager and I applied for it. Nestlé saw my potential and invested in me. The career of a Project Manager is always exciting; every project is different and you have the opportunity to interact with different people and areas of the company. Over the years, Nestlé has provided me the opportunity to manage different projects, each with a different level of complexity.
What initially attracted you to work at Nestlé?
The company values and purpose. I instantly connected to it.
What do you enjoy most about working for the company? And/or in your department?
The diversity. Nestlé is a Swiss company, yes, but at the same time, it is all other nationalities, filled with great professionals from all around the world. It is a pleasure to be part of this multi-cultural environment.
How would you describe the Nestlé culture in 3 words?
Respectful, engaging, and reliable.
You're talking to a stranger on the street – How would you best describe your day-to-day job?
I lead a project team to deliver on an agreed-upon scope according to plan, budget, time, and quality, while integrating the various pieces of the project and communicating with our stakeholders to remain in alignment. My day-to-day involves interacting with various people in the organization, including my project team, stakeholders, and project sponsors. My ultimate goal is to ensure the result of my project adds value to the organization by attaining to the business case and company needs.
In your opinion, why should an IT professional work at Nestlé instead of someplace else?
Nestlé is a great place to work, no doubt! We are also the largest food company in the world, which means our IT team is sizable in its complexity. We collaborate with the best IT companies to provide top-tier infrastructure and systems. We have the opportunity to work on both small and large-scale initiatives, with cutting-edge technology and even influence the company roadmap to meet the technology needs of a large company such as Nestlé.
Working in an enjoyable environment is so important – can you share a little bit about the office location and space where you work?
Our office on Broadway in downtown St. Louis is close to many restaurants and hotels. We have parking just across the street; very convenient. Depending on which floor you are and what side of the building, you will be privileged to have an amazing view of the Arch, the old courthouse, Busch Stadium, or the Mississippi River. Our floors have been renovated to be modern and with an open concept feel, encouraging collaboration among employees. We have enough meeting spaces for private or larger-group discussions, including technology to connect audio and video with other Nestlé locations. Every floor has a kitchen and lunch area, which makes it handy for heating up homemade food and eating together with your colleagues. And, we have Nestlé coffee (Nescafé and Nespresso) – an important element of my day!
Are you from St. Louis originally?
I am not from St. Louis. I am Brazilian, born in the countryside of Sao Paulo state.
Tell us about your transition to St. Louis. What do you enjoy most outside of work?
Our transition was very smooth. The St. Louis area is very welcoming and it is easy to adjust. Here we have great schools, colleges, shops, museums, parks, events, and attractions all year round. My family and I love to participate in various events happening around town, each season of the year brings something exciting to do.
What advice would you share with someone considering moving here?
I could share more reasons I think it is amazing and why I like it here, but we are all different and that is the beauty of it. Nevertheless, St. Louis is worth a try – experience it yourself and make your own opinion, I don't think you'll regret it.
What advice would you share with someone considering an IT job at Nestlé?
Go for it! Nestlé encourages and provides you tools to continually develop as a professional, and you have the chance to be part of a globalized IT department.
The amplitude of the work we do goes beyond technology itself; we connect our businesses internally and externally with our customers and consumers. We are part of something bigger. We aim to be best-in-class IT partners for our own company; never anything less than that.