My co-op experience at Hershey Canada

Hershey products on shelves

For my entire life, I expected to follow the traditional path to becoming a lawyer. I’m not sure where the interest started, but I was always good at the preliminary skill set required to do that role. I applied to business programs for two reasons: 1) I wanted to become a lawyer, and 2) I wanted work experience so that law schools would see me as a well-rounded applicant in the future. And so, I landed in the TRSM Co-op program. 

Hershey sign at office

The most important thing about co-op is applying to jobs early and often. You’re in a competitive market; many people get their jobs through non-traditional methods such as networking. I’m now in my second of two internships at Hershey Canada. The first time around (Summer 2023), I applied on the co-op portal and interviewed, which was all very traditional. That’s where my journey with Hershey began, in Revenue Management.

Revenue management is all about growing the business’s revenue via pricing decisions made on the products sold to the end consumer. In a nutshell, this means that we work with our customers (Hershey is a manufacturer of chocolate, so our customers are retailers) to devise pricing strategies and promotions that are more likely to drive incremental revenue.

It’s important to keep in mind that your pricing decisions need to be informed by multiple factors. For one, you have to remember that the end consumer (a regular person out on their daily shopping) isn’t going to pay for other products if there are multiple offerings in the market. Confectionery is a perfectly competitive market, so you need to ensure you’re not disrupting the market by introducing incredibly low or high pricing on your products that are similar to other brands. 

Another thing to remember is that your pricing needs to be aligned to your full roster of products, too. There are also a lot of other considerations, from everyday pricing, to seasonal product offerings and promotions, and trade optimization strategies across our different banners. But it’s this kind of thought that I love with CPG.

Hershey's Fun Fair sign with person holding cup of ice cream

Beyond the scope of my role, Hershey was an incredible employer. I had the opportunity to visit our distribution plant and see the chocolate packaging done in-house. Hershey also has a lot of different committees, such as the Quality Through Engagement committee. It’s essentially an events planning committee, and I had the chance to help organize our summer fair, which included food, carnival activities and mini-golf. 

Despite all these experiences, the people are why I returned for a second term at Hershey. The company has a very work-hard-play-hard environment; your time is respected and nurtured. Your conversations start professionally, perhaps, but quickly turn over to personal. Many companies boast that they coach their employees, but Hershey executes that. And it’s for this reason that I’m returning to Hershey this summer as a Marketing intern, this time on the Chipits side of the business.