PepsiCo Corporate Tax Analyst and Lehman College alum Michael Saldana
Lehman College and PepsiCo, Inc., the global beverage and food corporation headquartered in Purchase, NY, announced a new, dynamic partnership on Monday, October 15 at a special afternoon event on the Lehman campus, which included a panel discussion and launch of the PepsiCo Leadership Speaker Series.
Plans for the PepsiCo / Lehman College partnership have been in the works for several months, following discussions between PepsiCo North America CEO Albert P. Carey and Lehman College President José Luis Cruz that focused on expanding career and learning opportunities for students, like many at Lehman, who are from largely underserved communities. This shared concern is a driving factor behind the collaboration, in fact: Carey, it should be noted, is a member of the Corporate Board of Advisors at UnidosUS, the nation’s largest Latino nonprofit advocacy organization, while Lehman College is in the midst of a bold initiative, 90x30, to widen access to its programs and increase degree and credential attainment.
Along with the PepsiCo Leadership Speaker Series, the partnership will offer Lehman students a number of different opportunities to interact with professionals who are actively shaping the business landscape. Students will make regular trips to the PepsiCo HQ in Purchase and work with company managers in creating marketing case studies for Lehman’s business courses.
Additionally, PepsiCo will be attending Lehman's career fair in March, and will also participate in a Career Advisory Board to provide feedback and suggestions for improving the business curriculum in Lehman’s Department of Economics and Business.
"It is essential that students embarking on professional careers in business, marketing, and management have a comprehensive understanding of the cutting-edge processes that bring sustained success," said Dr. Cruz. "In this new partnership, PepsiCo and Lehman College will be able to offer important, life-changing opportunities to students that will help them advance their careers and become the next generation of business leaders. I am very grateful to Al Carey and his team for their commitment to the future successes of our students, and eagerly look forward to our work together."
The annual speaker series, which will be held once in the fall and spring semesters, kicked off with a discussion titled "Career Leadership Lessons" that featured two high-level PepsiCo executives—Marissa Solis, general manager and vice president of Hispanic Marketing for North America Beverages; and Roberto Rios, senior vice president, brand marketing, PepsiCo Global Beverage Group, which was moderated Gustavo Cecilio, marketing director of PepsiCo's Affordable Snacks Global business. Dr. Pam Mills, interim dean of the School of Natural and Social Sciences, introduced the two keynote speakers.
Prior to the lecture, there was a panel discussion, again moderated by Cecilio, titled "Mid-Career Managers: From the Classroom to the Boardroom," which included three Lehman College alumni—Lisette Lamboy ('17), Andres Restrepo ('13), and Michael Saldana ('15)—and Carolina Quintana Bringas. Dr. Dene Hurley, chair of Lehman's Department of Economics and Business, introduced the panel.
Following the event, there was a lively reception custom-made for networking between the students and the invited speakers from PepsiCo.