Assumption Based Forecasting Internship – Mars



Company Name / Department Mars
Contact Person Rowie van Dartel
Location Veghel (Netherlands)
Optional remote work 3 days remote 2 days on site (or more on site if favourable)
Travel expenses (own account or reimbursed by the company) No
Housing arranged by company No
Housing expenses (how much per month, own account or subsidized by the company) Own account
Internship compensation  500,00 Euro per month
Study program  
ESCF community Full member 
Start date September, 2024 (or earlier or later)


Company Description

Mars Wrigley: Where chocolate dreams come true! 🍫 We’re the magic behind iconic brands like M&M’S, Bounty, and Mars Bar. Imagine a place where creativity meets cocoa—where every bite sparks joy.

  1. Personal Responsibility: At Mars, we believe in owning our impact. From sustainable sourcing to reducing our carbon footprint, we take chocolate seriously. You’ll be part of a team that makes delicious treats while caring for our planet.
  2. Purpose: It’s not just about candy; it’s about making moments memorable. Whether it’s sharing M&M’S at a party or enjoying a Mars Bar during a study break, our purpose is to create happiness. Your work will matter!
  3. Positive Community Impact: We’re not just in the chocolate business; we’re in the people business. Our initiatives support communities worldwide. From cocoa farmers to local neighborhoods, we aim to leave a sweet legacy.
  4. Education: Mars is a learning playground. Explore new flavors, collaborate with experts, and grow your skills. Whether you’re an intern or a seasoned pro, there’s always something new to discover.
    Join us on this cosmic journey. Mars Wrigley: Where chocolate meets purpose! 🌎🚀😊

Project Description

Project description:

Let’s delve into a project that bridges the gap between business assumptions and forecasts.

Project Title: “From Assumptions to Strategic Insights: Forecasting Business Impact”


In this project, we’ll drive the business away from debating numbers to explore how assumptions drive decision-making and translate them into actionable forecasts. By understanding the underlying assumptions, we can make informed choices that shape the future of our business. This will change the way we think about numbers from “the way we share our plans and ambitons” to “an output of our business planning”

Project elements:

Assumption capturing:

  • Assumption as a starting point: Gather assumptions in the business instead of numbers. What do we believe about customer behavior, market dynamics, and external factors? How to document and store these assumptions in a continuous way.
  • Risk Assessment: Evaluate the impact of assumptions. Which are critical? Which are uncertain? Consider both internal and external risks.
  1. Quantitative Modeling:
  • Historical Analysis: Dive into historical data. Understand patterns, seasonality, and trends. Use statistical tools (time series analysis, regression) to extract insights.
  • Forecasting Techniques: Apply forecasting methods (moving averages, exponential smoothing, ARIMA) to predict future values. Balance complexity with interpretability.
  • Explainability to link back the outcome of the model to the assumptions and direct the attention to the critical assumptions that make or break the forecast.
  1. Scenario Planning:
  • Best-Case, Worst-Case, Realistic: Create scenarios based on assumptions to clarify impact of the assumptions and identify potential mitiagtions
  • Sensitivity Analysis: to reflect the uncertainty behind the assumptions even if they are true.
  1. Decision Framework:
  • Decision Trees: Construct decision trees. At each node, consider the impact of assumptions. Should we invest in promotions? Expand to portfolio? Drive marketing?
  • Monte Carlo Simulation: Simulate thousands of scenarios. Randomly sample assumptions and observe outcomes. It’s like playing out business chess moves.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Critical Thinking: Students will learn to dissect assumptions, challenge biases, and assess risk.
  • Strategic Decision-Making: Learn how a large business navigate uncertainty, weighing trade-offs, and making informed choices.
  • Communication: Presenting findings and uncertainties to stakeholders is crucial.

Extra Challenges:

  • Black Swan Scenarios: What if an unprecedented event occurs? How resilient are our assumptions?
  • Ethical Considerations: How do assumptions align with our values, strategy and societal impact?

Remember, this project isn’t just about numbers—it’s about shaping the destiny of our business. Let’s forecast wisely!

Goals of the project:

Create a forecast that is understandable and explainable to drive better business understanding and from that better decision making.


    Minimal a model that easily translates assumptions into forecast and forecast into assumptions. At best a way of working to use this in day to day operations and guide users to an assumption based discussion on the short and long term. 

    Essential student knowledge:

    Analytical thinking

    Supply chain understanding

    Statistical forecasting

    Engaging people


      More information:  


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