Each summer, students from the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics gain important real-world professional skills through internships. In each installment of this series, you’ll hear firsthand about how one Lerner student secured their internship, what their experience as an intern was like and what comes next!
Q: How did you find out about this internship?
DiFabrizio: I went to the fall career fair at UD in September, and spoke with the PepsiCo. recruiter about the sales management intern position. The way the position was described matched my interests: driving sales growth, sales techniques and, of course, Pepsi products!
Q: What is the most exciting task that you have undertaken in your role?
DiFabrizio: The project that I was working on throughout the summer was to drive volume growth in the Dollar Segment. To do this, I had to sell incremental displays into dollar stores and make sure the stores were packed out and merchandised correctly. I enjoyed selling in the displays because the results were more profound and the stores’ volumes would continue to increase.
Q: What did you learn through this internship that you don’t think you would have learned anywhere else?
DiFabrizio: Throughout the summer, I learned the ins and outs of not only sales but also the logistics that work behind the scenes of getting Pepsi on the shelves to consumers. I was able to shadow frontline employees for the first three weeks of my internship and gained a better perspective on how all the roles piece together to form a symbiotic machine.
Q: What is an example of a time you were able to apply something you learned at the Lerner College to your role?
DiFabrizio: I applied a lot of topics that I learned from my consumer behavior class such as merchandising the products to look appealing and where to position products to catch the consumer’s attention. I also noticed all of the efficient shortcuts PepsiCo. makes in order to facilitate the logistics process which was taught in my BUAD306 operations class.
Q: What has been the most fun part of your internship?
DiFabrizio: The most fun part of my internship was when I met PepsiCo.’s CEO, Ramon Laguarta, and CTO, Sergio Ezama, in the Purchase Headquarters Office. I am very grateful that I had this opportunity to share my internship experience with them. It is not often that a CEO is willing to meet with interns and I appreciated that they were receptive to what we had to say. It goes to show how innovative PepsiCo. is and how seriously they take feedback.
Q: How do you think this internship will help you with your professional goals?
DiFabrizio: I believe that my internship has provided me with a solid foundation of sales and logistics knowledge and experience that I can carry into a future marketing role.
Q: What are your plans or next steps once this internship is over?
DiFabrizio: Once my internship is over I am hoping to stay with PepsiCo. and secure a job in their rotational program next year. Otherwise, I would love to work In a marketing role and become a brand manager in the future.