Courtney Brindle spent her summer interning with PepsiCo in the Frito-Lay Supply Chain division. She ended up having an opportunity to learn more about the tie between corporate strategy and social responsibility through her involvement with Food for Good. Find out more about Courtney’s experience at PepsiCo and what she learned during her internship.
Title: Supply Chain Intern
What steps did you take to secure your internship?
I spoke with people I knew who worked there to get a feel for the company and the process. I then met recruiters at the Career Expo and talked with them for a while. I left my resume with them after the conversation, they called me in for an interview, and the rest is history.
What were the responsibilities for this role?
Although Frito-Lay Supply Chain hired me, I worked mostly with a social business group that is part of PepsiCo called Food for Good. As part of this team, I had many responsibilities including routing trucks, keeping track of data, building models, designing processes and researching, and recommending directions for the group. I did work a few weeks in FLNA Supply Chain, and there I did mostly data analysis to find streamlining opportunities to increase efficiency.
Describe the culture within the organization.
The people at PepsiCo are truly one of its best assets. Everyone is not only very competent, but also friendly and helpful. Family is very important at PepsiCo, as is work-life balance. But at the end of the day, everyone knows that if something needs to be done at work, your team will stay until it is finished. That’s how they stay at the top!
What was most surprising or unexpected during your experience?
I was surprised at the ease with which I could interact with senior leadership. They were open to one-on-ones and I heard from many of them throughout the summer.
What advice would you offer your peers in the Honors Program about getting the most out of an internship?
If you ever feel “bored,” find something you can do of value. Ask your manager or your team for a project – the more you take on, the more you learn. Also take the time to talk to the other interns and people in the company.
How did you find your classes in the Business Honors Program to be applicable during your internship?
The BHP has been useful because the students and professors in each class have challenged me. The students in BHP make you think both quickly and outside the box, and the discussion in classes has made public speaking become second nature. I didn’t know just how much BHP pushed me until this summer. I was able to handle important work, take on a large amount of responsibility, gain trust, and give presentations to executives with confidence.
How did PepsiCo ensure you got the most out of your internship experience?
I was lucky in that I was able to see different aspects of a business. I was able to see a small, start-up kind of business with Food for Good, and everything that went along with that. I was also able to sit in on meetings, work with real data and drive real results for the larger organization of Frito-Lay.
What are the most valuable lessons you gained from this internship?
I have learned that two of the main keys to happiness in a career are the value you feel you add to the organization and the people with which you work.