There’s a good chance that Ingredion products are in your home right now. That’s because Ingredion Incorporated is a leading global ingredient solutions company that makes the ingredients for everyday products from foods and beverages to paper and pharmaceuticals. Behind the magic of Ingredion’s wide-ranging portfolio of ingredients is a team of employees who perfect every crunch and texture of the foods you love.
To learn more about what goes on behind the scenes at this global company, we spoke with four early-career employees in Ingredion’s three-year Global Talent for Operations Program (GTO) about their experience.
Steve Were first heard about the GTO program when a recruiter reached out to him on LinkedIn.
Shortly after graduating from the University of Missouri with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering Steve joined the Ingredion team as a process engineer. He was excited for the opportunity to grow with the company and get a strong foundation in operations early in his career through the GTO program at Ingredion. Now, ten months into the three-year program, Steve shared what he has learned and accomplished thus far.
Early on in the program he and his cohorts from various Ingredion offices within North America received a week of training at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, the program’s educational partner institution, where they learned about the Ingredion business and higher education topics such as supply chain and operations management from university professors and Ingredion leaders. “It was nice to be in a classroom setting and meet my cohorts. Especially since I stopped in-person college two months before graduation due to the pandemic,” shared Steve.
One thing that Steve enjoys about working at Ingredion is the ability to make global connections. In addition to his day to day work as a process engineer, Steve has been able to work on stretch projects with colleagues in Australia, Thailand, Japan, and Indonesia. He explained that despite the time differences, he finds it rewarding to speak with people across the globe and learn about their experience working at Ingredion in various countries.
For students interested in joining GTO, Steve says, “If you want to move up, and have high career aspirations this is the program for you. Not only does it build a strong foundation for how we operate as a global company, but you are also built up personally.”
After completing an internship in 2017 at Ingredion, Anna Stanley decided to join the team full-time.
Anna graduated from Purdue University in 2018 with B.S. in Chemical Engineering and currently works as a process engineer at Ingredion’s brand new, state of the art plant-based protein facility in South Sioux City, NE. In her time at Ingredion, Anna has had the opportunity to work on a variety of certifications for personal development and has received an abundance of safety training which is a vital part of the company’s culture.
Anna explained that a main requirement of the GTO program was that participants rotate every 12 months to take on different responsibilities in the company and to broaden their network, which led to her recent move to Nebraska. “They needed people to be on the ground starting up the Nebraska plant and getting products made, so I moved in mid-February,” shared Anna.
What she likes so far about her new role is that she has been able to write standard operating procedures for the processes in the facility, which is rare, because this task is typically only done at the start of a new plant. While writing these procedures Anna must also continually adjust to changes in the plant, “I like how every day is different, I feel good about the work we do and I’m very engaged.”
Anna’s advice for students interested in the program is to be curious and not to be afraid to ask questions throughout the interview process.
Roberto Lee Eng Cisneros studied chemical engineering at the University of Guadalajara before joining Ingredion.
Roberto explained that in the engineering track at his university, Ingredion was everyone’s dream company. He always envisioned that it would be where he would work when he was mid-career but was excited when he received a full-time offer after graduation.
Two and a half years later, Roberto is working in Ingredion’s corporate office in Guadalajara, Mexico where he is the supply planner for all three of Ingredion’s Mexico plants. He’s also responsible for the international logistics of imports and exports.
He explained that as part of the GTO program, he goes to Madison, Wisconsin every six months, and can learn from and network with cohorts based all over North America. As part of the GTO program, Roberto has also been able to participate in an international mentorship program and enjoys having the opportunity to practice his English at a business level with his Canadian mentor. “The best part of the program is learning new things and new ways of doing things from planners in different countries,” shared Roberto.
Roberto’s advice for students is to always network because collaboration is so important in business. He also advises that students consider what their value add is to Ingredion when going through the interview process.
Fiona Muegge first got her start at Ingredion as an intern three years ago. After graduating from Michigan State University with B.S. in Food Industry Management she chose to join the team full-time.
Today Fiona works in customer support with Ingredion’s sweetener ingredients team, and in July she’ll be rotating to her second role within the logistics planning team. In her day-to-day, Fiona handles a variety of Ingredion customer accounts, making her the customer’s primary point of contact for questions. She explained that each customer support team is broken up by ingredients in groups such as industrial, sweetener, ingredient solutions, and more.
Something that excites Fiona about working at the company is that Ingredion products are in a lot of key items people use and need daily. “Especially during the pandemic people needed our products. One thing you wouldn’t consider is that they use our sugars in IV bags which have been important for patients. It feels good to know our products are creating things the world needs.”
One thing that Fiona enjoys about her experience at Ingredion is the culture, “We have a good balance of experienced and early-career talent. Even working remotely people have been keeping up because we have a very collaborative environment.”
Her most memorable experiences in the GTO have been the trips to the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She enjoys learning from the professors who work in the Center for Professional and Executive Development at the University of Wisconsin and different executives from Ingredion. She highly recommends this program for students because it is a great learning opportunity.
In 2021, Ingredion plans to globalize the rotational program, expanding its footprint to South America and EMEA. If you’re interested in learning more about Ingredion Incorporated and its early-career opportunities click here.