When Al Carey, CEO of PepsiCo Americas Beverages (until recently president of FritoLay North America), talks about leadership, people put down their potato chips and listen. In a presentation at the University of San Diego this week, he said that the difference between a great company and “okay-companies” is leadership and investing in people. He talked about “inspiring greatness in others” and “removing obstacles” to people getting their jobs done.
Then, Al sat down for lunch with undergraduate and MBA students at the School of Business (SBA), and listened to their stories of what his leadership has done for them. Two years ago, Al gave his support to the new SBA Student Internship Fund that both inspires others and removes obstacles. The grants available through the Fund enable students to pursue unpaid internships at companies and organizations that will further their career goals.
As Jose Higuera put it, “The SBA Summer Internship Fund didn’t only allow me to participate in a summer internship, it opened up the world to me.”
Stephanie is looking to transition from her past role as an elephant trainer to a career in zoo management. She interned with the Associate Curator of the San Diego Zoo last summer and gained hands-on experience of the curator role. Michael is pursuing a Sustainable Enterprises concentration in his MBA. His internship was with the president and CEO of Malama Composites, a green technology company in San Diego. Rebeca, who interned with the Mexico Tourism Board, plans to work as a consultant developing bi-national marketing strategies for the travel industry on both sides of the U.S. – Mexico border.
Kelsey, an undergraduate marketing major, interned with Porsche Cars of North America. She worked on annual marketing plans, event planning and advertising campaigns. Lauren, who is majoring in international business, worked at the U.S. Department of State, Foreign Service Institute in Washington, D.C.
Jose, a dual marketing/international business major, worked for M. Moser Associates in Hong Kong assisting with global marketing initiatives. He says, “the Internship Fund gave me the tools to pave my own international career path, and I will always be thankful for that.”
And next time I munch down a bag of potato chips or my childhood favorite, Fritos corn chips, I’ll be thinking about all that Al is doing for our students, and I’ll be thankful too.