From a small university to the giants of marketing

Procter & Gamble Headquarters, Cincinnati, USA (credits: J. Stephen Conn; license: Creative Commons)
Procter & Gamble Headquarters, Cincinnati, USA (credits: J. Stephen Conn; license: Creative Commons)

Institutional Communication Service

24 April 2017

Laura Magon, USI Master in Marketing graduate, now Brand Manager at P&G, Cincinnati.


I first walked through the door of Procter & Gamble in Geneva, daunted by its size, nine years ago. I was in a city that I had never visited before, just a half hour after getting off the plane that I flew with from Lugano. I was in town for an interview, it was the month of March 2008.

Twenty-four hours later I received a phone call, I was hired, starting in November, hardly a month after my thesis dissertation at USI. Nine years later, here I am writing these words, thinking about my career path. A curriculum during with I eventually learned what “marketing” meant, in a global company that produces products that are a part of everyday life for billions of people all over the world.

It all started with a professional roles rotation program, scheduled about every two years within the group, which gave me the opportunity to apply the theory learned at the university in different business areas: from the development of marketing plans for female care products, to the European advertising and promotion plan for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Thanks to these experiences, I was given the chance to go to the US for a ‘corporate’ position in the central communications division of the company. Working at the "headquarters" allowed me to discover a new dimension of the reality of the conglomerate, and – though six years have gone by – every day I learn new things.

I believe that an experience abroad of this type reveals its preciousness not only culturally – I often compare myself with colleagues around the world – but also on a personal level. Leaving family and friends and moving to the Midwest in the US was in fact quite difficult, but also amazing.

Every day I take pride in taking part in this fascinating adventure, and at various levels, I rediscover the role of USI in my career path. During the Bachelor and especially during the Master in Marketing I learned the value of diversity, which brings students from different backgrounds (not only geographic, but also cultural) to work together.

Studying in Switzerland opened my eyes and gave me the motivation to go for international careers. Having studied at a university that focuses on its students allowed me to interact with faculty that I consider more than just being professors. My teachers are in fact true experts, capable of accompanying me during my studies and seeing in me a future brand manager, rather than just a current student.

And also, to study in a Faculty that allows students to apply theory to genuine real-life business situations (with the so-called Field Projects) gave me the opportunity to acquire certain skills that came in very useful in my career path at P&G, such as the ability to work in groups, to solve complex problems and to develop strategies – all of which are required nowadays to enter the business world.