When most MBAs think of Burger King, they probably think of late-night study sessions before deadlines. Or early morning lectures after a few too many the night before.
And the company needs no introductions; Burger King is one of the most recognizable brands on the globe, a giant of the fast-food industry with around 13,000 restaurants in 97 different countries. Chances are, there is a franchise within walking distance of your schools' campus.
But there’s much more to the company than a Whopper (as tasty as they may be). There is a raft of job opportunities for MBAs hoping to ride the management fast-track.
Burger King EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) are looking for their next crop of management to start work in July. Emerging markets are a hot topic at the moment and are firmly on the business school agenda.
The 2014 Management Trainee Program could be the perfect opportunity for talented MBAs to rotate their way through the company’s various departments, and up the corporate ladder.
The programme will include three months’ placement at a corporate position in Madrid, Munich, London or Zug, as well as a move towards permanent, full-time positions after a period of six months.
What’s more, having an MBA can be “very valuable” and many people in key positions at Burger King EMBA have b-school degrees from top schools around the world, says Theo Camurca, Director of People for Europe, Middle East & Africa at the company. Although an MBA is not a requirement.
Areas of business on the programme include marketing, finance, supply chain management, business development and production and retail innovation. The company thrives on an entrepreneurial spirit and those with strong analytical capabilities will be desired.
For those that also like a challenge (do any MBAs not?), it may be an ideal opportunity; candidates on the programme will have to compete with each other and create a final project, the top-three of which will “be awarded”.
Burger King EMEA strives to reward top performers and those that perform well will be promoted to new challenges, says Theo.
In this interview, he tells MBAs what backgrounds are preferred, what skills you need to get hired and what opportunities lay ahead once the programme is completed.
What is your role at the company and how long have you been there?
My role at Burger King Europe is Director of People for Europe, Middle East & Africa. I’ve been in this position since November of last year. Previously, I was with America Latina Logistica, a former 3G Capital company in Brazil.
How would you describe the working culture at Burger King EMEA?
I would describe the culture as meritocratic; the top performers are rewarded and moreover, promoted to new challenges. There are lots of opportunities to shine while working in such a fast-moving industry, and it’s a challenging and inspiring environment.
We look for people who take ownership of their work, dream big, show lots of passion and energy, and have strong execution abilities. We value people that are:
Ambitious and self-starters; those who have an entrepreneurial spirit; that are hard working and results-oriented; have analytical capabilities; the skills to simplify and solve complex problems; who are big dreamers and go-getters.
We believe that dreaming big takes the same amount of energy as dreaming small, so go for it!
An MBA isn't a requirement for the 2014 EMEA Management Trainee Programme - would you say it could be an advantage?
Having a MBA degree can be very valuable and we have several people in key positions in the organization with MBA degrees from top schools in Europe, the U.S and around the globe.
But a MBA degree is not required for the BURGER KING Management Trainee Programme for EMEA.
What background experience would an ideal candidate possess?
For this programme, we’re looking for people who are ambitious, hardworking, results-oriented, people that dream big and have the analytical capabilities to simplify and solve complex problems.
What opportunities can an MBA candidate expect at the end of the trainee programme?
Every trainee will have the opportunity to face big challenges and take ownership of important projects in various parts of the company.
The performance and abilities of the candidates will determine the speed of their growth in the organization, the assignments and projects they work on, and the new challenges they will face.
Which functions could MBAs be placed into during and after the programme?
The candidates will work in different parts of the business, including Marketing, Supply Chain, Finance, Business Development, Marketing Intelligence, Product & Retail Innovation and Financial Planning & Analysis.
Which countries within the EMEA region would MBAs have the opportunity to work in?
Trainees in the programme will have opportunities here in the UK, but also in Spain, Germany and Switzerland.
The final projects will be evaluated and the top 3 will "be awarded" - what will these projects involve?
The trainee projects will be related to real-world challenges and opportunities faced by our business today.
The trainees will be evaluated by the EMEA Leadership Team (vice presidents in different parts of the business as well as the president of EMEA) in the following criteria: usage of methodology, economic impact and ease of implementation.
Do you have any tips for the recruitment process?
The most important one is, be yourself; do not try to be something that you are not, for example, ‘selling’ characteristics that you don’t have. Be natural, enthusiastic and give it your best. We appreciate working with genuine and authentic people.
Finally, and most importantly, do not wear a tie for your interview! It is not needed here! Good luck to all of the applicants, I look forward to meeting you!
To find out more about the Burger King EMEA programme, visit: http://www.bktraineeprogram.com/program/