What started as something innocent with a ‘Why not’-mentality turned into an unbelievable adventure with a great impact on my life: The PepsiCo Go Challenge. I never expected to experience this when I saw the eye-catching Go Challenge. Let’s be honest, winning your new job position, how cool is that to tell people?! It is also the most honest way to employ people as it is purely based on your skills and creativity. I was immediately attracted, and couldn’t wait to let my creativity go out of boundaries. Especially, as I am someone who is always seeking extraordinary challenges.
For me, it all started during my vacation in Singapore on a crazy hot day (don’t think other kind of days exist over there), when I saw the post about the challenge. Even though it was too hot to move, I had cravings for brownies and pralines all the time. This is how I came up with ‘the Browliné’: a delicious bar of small brownies, each and every one of them containing a smooth and surprisingly filling. As I had plenty of time, I couldn’t stop dreaming about the Browliné!
The further I got in the challenge, the more enthusiastic I became to deliver a perfect business plan all while getting the support of my mentor Els Ramelet. To be honest, I spent more time on this project than my master thesis, as I couldn’t stop coming up with new ideas. Luckily, both ended up perfectly.
The last round took place in London. After getting so far, I didn’t want to miss these finals. Eventually, I got the great news that I had the opportunity to present my business plan to several managers of PepsiCo. It is really crazy that my innocent participation ended up in flying to London with an airplane driven by propellers where 20’ish managers where waiting for the idea of the year. I was very excited and had high expectations which became fulfilled.
The 2 days in London couldn’t go wrong anymore, when I entered the PepsiCo building and saw thousands of packages of chips, a true paradise for a chips-lover like me. But from the first moment we entered, we were already challenged as we needed to do a 1-minute pitch in front of everyone. Microphone. BAM. Stand in front and just shine. After all, it wasn’t that bad. Next to the pitch, these two days were filled with learning workshops, inspiring speeches, interesting tours and.. free food and drinks to survive 😉.
I also met lovely people, each one of them with a unique story. During these stressful and exhausting days, we just kept on going and stayed enthusiastic by supporting each other. Without them this experience wouldn’t be that perfect.
The moment I went back to Belgium, I already missed it and I knew I wanted to win a spot for the graduate program. A stressful weekend started, waiting for that one call. After two days I saw the phone-call shining on my smartphone: An unknown number from France (Els Ramelet aka ‘the boss’ is calling). She told me the great news and just made my day, or can I even say, made my life. A smile came on my face and I was yelling of happiness, sorry not sorry neighbours.
Now I can’t wait to start the Digital Marketing Graduate Program in September! I am really looking forward to meet all these interesting people, get to know their ideas and vision, learn at a fast pace and start the experience of a lifetime. To be honest, I also can’t wait for the free chips at the office…..