In just a few short weeks, I will be starting my full-time position with PepsiCo as a Sales Associate in the Philadelphia area. I am in a unique program including only ten college graduates nationwide. The program places us in a new position and a new city each year for five to six years, before we then take an executive role in the company. My time at Saint Joseph’s not only prepared me with the skills to get this job but also to succeed with PepsiCo and wherever else I may go in the future. In my sophomore year, I switched my major from Psychology to Food Marketing because although I loved Psychology, Food Marketing seemed to take the concepts that I loved and apply them to a business setting. Saint Joseph’s helped prepare me for life after college through lessons inside and outside the classroom that worked in tandem to provide a well-rounded education.
Inside of the classroom, I took a variety of classes examining all aspects of the food industry. I had courses analyzing commercials, print ads, social media and a wide variety of advertising. I learned brand and product development from a current executive at Campbell’s. I was able to do market research and discover business solutions for the milk industry, and then present those solutions to actual executives in that industry. However, the greatest thing about Saint Joseph’s is that I was not limited to only classes within my major.
Thanks to our General Education Program, I was able to keep Psychology as my minor and still have space in my schedule to take electives that I found interesting. Within my Psychology minor, I was able to work in a research lab running tests on subjects and researching disgust between genders. In my senior year, I took a Contemporary American Literature class where I not only read books but even got to speak with an author in class about her book we read. I credit much of my success to the wonderful experiences I have had in my classes at SJU.
Outside of the classroom, my work and internships gave me hands-on experience that helped me stand out when I began applying to full-time positions. My first internship was with Domino Foods, Inc., the makers of Domino and C&H sugar. I never felt like the “intern” but rather like an actual employee of the company with my own company iPhone, laptop and corporate card. I worked on a variety of projects from collaborating with our web agency to optimize the website, to planning, coordinating and staffing booth at a convention in Indianapolis. During my junior year at SJU, I worked for a local start-up out of Pennsylvania, managing all of their social media accounts and increasing brand awareness. Finally, I spent the summer before my senior year working as a Sales Associate for The Hershey Company, managing my own territory of over 40 stores. When it came to my full-time interviews, employers were consistently surprised and impressed with how much experience I already had under my belt. Employers even stated how impressed they were at how well-prepared Saint Joseph’s students are, which makes those employers return year after year.
I am extremely excited to start a new adventure with PepsiCo, and I am grateful for all of the experiences that my time on Hawk Hill allowed me.
Leo Delgadillo is a recent graduate who majored in Food Marketing and minored in Psychology. During his time at Saint Joseph’s, Leo was the General Manager for Radio 1851, a Tour Captain for the Hawk Host organization, a researcher in a Psychology Disgust Lab, and a participant in Weekly Service.