This might be a funny way to start this off, but here goes… When I was first approached about joining PepsiCo Foods North America (PFNA), I politely declined. I had just been promoted to a new role at my old company, and I wasn’t ready to leave. So, they gently followed up. Would I just have a coffee meeting? Just meet someone for breakfast? They started a conversation and kept coming back.
That tells you a lot about PFNA’s belief in building the next generation of leaders. When they zero in on talent, they don’t walk away.
I joined PFNA as a Regional Sales Director in 2016, it was a big move for me and actually reminded me a bit of coming to this country.
I was just 17 years old in 1998, when I boarded a plane in my home country of Panama and flew to the U.S. to study chemical engineering. I didn’t know any one and I was sad to be leaving behind my family, my friends and my favorite dish of arroz con pollo — though I’ve never regretted it.
When I joined PFNA, I was no longer a nervous 17-year-old girl, but I was once again taking a bold step into a big new place. I knew it was the right move because through those coffee chats and meetings with senior leaders, I got a glimpse of the people and culture at PFNA.
The first thing I could see was how our frontline is the beating heart of our business, and that brings a humbleness throughout the organization. Every day, you are surrounded by high-caliber talent and, yet, there’s this feeling of family and friendly faces wherever you go.