Lina started her career in Colombia working in PR and marketing communications. After moving to the U.S. in 2009, she joined Mars Petcare as an account manager for the Caribbean and Central American region, and then became a project manager for seven international markets. When she was presented the opportunity to move into marketing to lead a large petcare acquisition, she took it. After a successful experience in a brand planning manager role, she’s now an associate brand manager for wet dog food specialty brands such as NUTRO®, ULTRATM, MAXTM.
What excites you about working for Mars?
Mars is a successful, family owned business that is internationally respected. I think the main reason Mars has achieved this reputation is because all associates live by our Five Principles: Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency, and Freedom. I also like that the company invests in the community and the development of their associates. On another note, being in the petcare segment, I love that I have the opportunity to create a better world for pets. Every day, I’m responsible for creating and implementing strategies for brands and products that will improve their lives. It’s an emotional segment to work in: Pets are part of the family!
How would you say Mars fosters collaboration?
At Mars, leadership lives throughout the organization. Your opinion counts, and big decisions are made at any level. When you have an idea, an experience to share, or you want to be part of a project for your own development, the inclusive culture at Mars allows you to pursue those passions. Our open offices allow us to approach anyone in any department and strike up a conversation.
How has Mars supported you as you’ve grown with your career?
Mars really values your uniqueness and what you bring into the company. When I joined, I started in supply and project management—something that I didn’t have a background in. But they saw my potential and I accepted the challenge. You own your career path here: I wanted to get back into marketing, so I intentionally aligned my development plan with my long-term career goals. My mentors and managers helped me find roles that were a good fit for me and ultimately helped me segway into brand management. At Mars, there are also different programs to help you grow, like the Associate Development Week: a week where you can participate in different trainings and conferences to develop skills that are important to you—even if they don’t necessarily align with your current role. The week is focused on professional and personal growth, and we’re encouraged to clear our schedules and participate.
What else inspires you to work hard every day?
I give my 100 percent every day and I’m committed to be intentional in all I do. For me, work is an opportunity to live my purpose and bring my best, to deliver consistent results, and to positively influence the people around me. These reasons inspire me also to be highly involved with the community. Outside work, I am a mentor, spiritual coach, and volunteer with different nonprofit organizations and the Hispanic community in middle Tennessee.
Mars makes a lot more than just chocolate. We’re a private, family owned business with six distinct segments—Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, and Symbioscience—that have helped us reach billions of consumers in nearly every corner of the globe and achieve nearly $35 billion in sales.
Our employees: As Mars associates, we are more than just employees. Each one of us is a stakeholder in our business, expected to contribute and take responsibility for our results.
Ways in: We offer internship, full-time roles and rotational programs. Areas include Supply Chain, Finance, Marketing, Sales, HR, Engineering, R&D, Veterinary Science, and more.
What makes us unique: Guided by our Five Principles: Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency, and Freedom, we want to grow in a way that we can feel proud of. We aim to create win-win situations for everyone we work with as we achieve that growth.