Investing in Nielsen As Nielsen Invests In Me

Jaclyn is the Program Manager for the Financial Leadership Program (FLP), based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Jaclyn joined Nielsen’s Financial Leadership Program in 2010. After completing the program, she explored opportunities within our Corporate Audit staff and the Nielsen Security team, before coming full circle and leading the program that launched her career.

Each year, during the months of September and October, college campuses are buzzing with corporate recruiters and eager students alike. This is the busiest time in my current role. I spend a lot of time traveling from one campus to another trying to find Nielsen’s next class of leaders for the Financial Leadership Program. It’s my favorite time of the year because I get to share my love of this company, and all the opportunities we have to offer, with hundreds of college students eager to get started in the working world.

When I reflect on our go-to campus messaging, “Invest in You,” I realize that I am a walking advertisement for this message. Nielsen has invested in me and my career growth since day one.

The Chance for Career Growth: Throughout my career at Nielsen, I’ve taken a somewhat unconventional path. I first joined Nielsen in 2010 through the Financial Leadership Program and moved into a role on the Corporate Audit staff after completing the program.  During my time on the Corporate Audit staff, I had the opportunity to explore a bit of the company’s IT side by working with Nielsen’s Security team. Although I didn’t speak the tech language, I enjoyed the process orientation and learning about the systems that fueled Nielsen. I was asked to join their team as an Information Security Specialist after my two year commitment with the Corporate Audit Staff, and accepted the opportunity. It was hard at first because it was out of my finance comfort zone and away from the Finance family that I had come to know, but I was able to learn and grow my skillset.

Then in 2015, the opportunity to come back and lead Nielsen’s Financial Leadership Program, the very program that launched my career, swung my way. At first, I was hesitant to apply. I didn’t feel like I had “done my time” with the Security team. After speaking with several internal and external mentors, I decided to make the jump, and I’m so glad I did. I am now responsible for developing over 40 young associates from around the world into Nielsen’s future finance leaders.

The Opportunity to Make a Difference: As a Program Manager for the Financial Leadership program, I get to be the main point of contact for all of our associates as they complete the two-year rotational program. Sometimes it’s tough because the is program isn’t easy. Some associates start out as stars, while others have a slower rise to the top. However, I am reminded of my impact when a graduating associate comes to me and simply says, “Thank you.” It’s incredible.

However, the program’s success relies on more than just my daily efforts. We have an incredible Finance leadership team and group of rotation managers that fully support this investment. They help me make the program possible.

The Ability to Bring Myself to the Workplace: I am a passionate person. If I find a topic or cause that I am moved by, I put everything behind it. My work, therefore, is and has always been personal. When recruiting, I’m often asked, “Why did you choose Nielsen?” and my answer has always been, “the people.”  I’ve had the opportunity to live and work in five of our main U.S. offices, as well as visit several of our international offices. I always find people with the same passion and drive no matter where I go. Our people are thrilled to share their culture, their time and their expertise whenever the opportunity arises. It’s our freedom to be ourselves that enables our differences to bring us together.

I’ve been afforded many opportunities and some risks, which I have taken and grown from—though perhaps not in the traditional sense I may have intended when I first joined the company.  Instead I’ve flexed and jumped off the straight and narrow path. I’ve taken leaps of faith, and sometimes stumbled, but I’ve also learned a lot along the way. I’ve found mentors, who have stuck by me, encouraged me, challenged me and, at times, saved me. And while I’m not sure what’s next, I continue to put my trust and my investment in the company that continues invests heavily in me.