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Home is where the heart is

Luiz Franciss, DMSB’17, had to travel some distance to his summer internship with the Kraft Heinz Company. But it wasn’t to Heinz’ headquarters in Pittsburgh or to the home of Kraft Foods in Northfield, Illinois.

It was a place much more familiar to the Northeastern business student, who is concentrating in marketing and entrepreneurship: his home country of Brazil.

Heinz and Kraft Foods merged in July after the companies were bought by 3G Capital, a global investment firm based in New York City, with an office in Rio de Janeiro. The new Kraft Heinz Company’s first days in existence coincided with Franciss’ internship abroad.

“There was a lot of work to do,” Franciss said. “As an intern, I had projects that were my own and I could make my own decisions.”

Franciss made the most of his two months, working on two projects aimed at making a lasting impact on the company’s business practices. He started by doing market research for a tool the company would use to determine product prices in different parts of Brazil based on factors such as volume, distribution, and competitors’ prices.

But he said he is most proud of his second project, for which he helped develop a customer sales center, a one-stop-shop for customers looking to reach the company’s sales department. The center also focused on reestablishing connections with former customers who hadn’t bought Heinz products recently.

Contributing to projects that made a lasting impact at the company despite only working there for two months, he added, was very fulfilling.

“I can say I helped create the customer sales center and it is going to be there for years now,” he said. “It was something they really needed but didn’t have.”

Among the reasons Franciss pursued the internship, including learning about the business and becoming a better professional, was the chance to establish business relationships at a major company in his home country, something he can’t do as easily while going to college in the U.S.

“It was a success for me because at the end of the internship they said I had opened some doors for when I graduate, and that was my ultimate goal,” he said.

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