At 3M, we're all learning, discovering, exploring and innovating together. Here’s a deeper look at what it’s like to be in the Strategy and Marketing Development (SMD) program from someone who has experienced it firsthand.
Name: Brian Coleman
Current Title: Environmental Stewardship Manager
Education: Earned a Bachelor of Science degree in product design and manufacturing engineering from Grand Valley State University, and an MBA in strategy and general management from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business
Other Titles Held at 3M: Global Business Development Manager – Automotive Division; Global Marketing Manager – Industrial Adhesives and Tapes Division
Current Location: Maplewood, MN
At Ross, I was focused on consulting as a next career move but realized that I didn’t want the travel and lifestyle. SMD was a great move for me because it offered the consulting experience but in a diverse multi-industry company with a more defined long-term career path. I also quickly realized that 3M is great. All it took was one tour at 3M’s Innovation Center to realize that 3M is a technical company rooted in innovation and operational excellence, a perfect combination for an engineer wanting to be in marketing.
The first round was different from any other consulting interview. It had some of the same elements, like experience proof points and case examples, but it was more open-ended, personable and allowed for creativity. The second round was at 3M’s headquarters with an Innovation Center tour, which was incredible and created a “I have to work here” experience for me.
One project I worked on included leading and organizing the Board of Director’s presentations and working directly with the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Security Officer on 3M’s plans for portfolio management, increased commercialization and alignment around new strategic direction. I also organized the dissemination of the CEO’s corporate strategies through workshops with the Corporate Operating Committee to discuss implementation process and metrics, and created a new targeting and prioritization methodology for merger and acquisition opportunities that better aligned division and business group proposals with corporate direction.
You are a part of the company that you are consulting for. That means that you are more tied to the results of your work and can see if things are implemented. It’s much more fulfilling work in my opinion.
Reach out and talk to people both in the program currently and those who have previously been in the program.
Although the projects, experience and exposure were great, the most memorable part was the network of friends and mentors that I was able to build.