Jessica Mason
Jessica Mason

Jessica Mason - Engineering Development Program

What do you do at Mars and what were you doing before?

Before Mars I studied Chemical Engineering at the University of Cambridge. In my summer breaks, I was an intern at MMI Engineering working in Safety Engineering. This experience reconfirmed that I wanted to start my career in engineering. I applied to Mars and attended a two-day assessment centre where I was able to see the Melton Mowbray factory and meet graduates currently on the EDP scheme. It was really exciting to see everyday products being made right in front of me. Luckily, I was offered a place on the graduate scheme at Mars which I started in September 2016. I’ve now finished my first eight-month rotation learning to become a Project Engineer in the Birstall factory where Mars Petcare makes Pedigree Dentastix and other dog treats.

What does a typical day look like to you?

To be honest there is no such thing as a typical day at Mars! But usually I’ll be in the factory at least once, whether that’s getting stuck in overseeing the installation of a big piece of equipment, or learning more about the process lines. In the office I may be writing up specifications, comparing costs and speaking to stakeholders, operators and contractors about different projects.

What’s the best thing about working at Mars?

Can I say dogs in the office? I love animals so that and being next to a nature reserve ranks pretty highly. But I’d have to say the professional freedom is the best thing. I love having broad project briefs without specified structures for completing tasks. This gives me a great deal of responsibility that allows me to develop and grow. The people are also great and there is a real team atmosphere. The relationships with people and the goals we collaborate towards together all make us belong to something bigger than just a company.

People stay at Mars for a while – why do you think this is?

There are many reasons why people stay at Mars for so long but, as a woman, I can say that certainly the number of strong female role models across the business is a determining factor. There are many inspirational women both within my own team but also in senior roles that make it clear Mars is an environment where women can succeed.

What do people say when you say you work at Mars?  

That it’s pretty cool and exciting working for a chocolate company and they are surprised when I explain that Mars also have a Petcare segment! Mostly they are envious of the responsibility I’m given and the opportunities to challenge myself. (They also wish they could work in a dog friendly office!).

My favourite Mars brand is?

Pedigree Rodeo because it’s my dog Milo’s favourite treat and my first ever project was working on the Rodeo line.

What Mars product would you be and why?

M&Ms – they seem to have lots of fun in the adverts which reminds me of being part of the engineering team. I’d probably be yellow because I like to have a laugh!

What is your personal Mars motto?

Love the challenge and embrace the opportunities!