PepsiCo Case Competiton From left to right: PepsiCo executives Katherine Meade, Kaleb Stephens, Gretchen Talley and Susan Reuscher, along with Mark Herrmann, Krannert's director of corporate and foundation relations, provide feedback to student presenters in Prof. Amy David’s Supply Chain, Information, and Analytics course. (Photo by Eric Nelson)

Case in Point

Supply chain course for undergrads culminates with PepsiCo business project

Case studies are a staple at most business schools, and Krannert is no exception. They have been an integral part of the curriculum since the school’s founding.

Faculty member Amy David, clinical assistant professor of management, has taken case learning to the next level by creating an entire course — Introduction to Supply Chain, Information, and Analytics (MGMT 261) — that gives undergrads early exposure to different areas of supply chain management, management information systems and quantitative methods level through a semester-long partnership with PepsiCo.

“Student teams planned the production and distribution of a promotional product in one of PepsiCo’s product lines for six fiscal months, making decisions about forecasting, facility locations and capacity, production and inventory levels, and use of outsourced production,” David says.

PepsiCo mentors and Krannert alumni Katherine Meade (BS ’13) and Kaleb Stephens (BS ’14) provided the student teams with guidance and advice throughout the semester, which culminated with final group presentations to PepsiCo executives in December.

According to David, “Feedback from the inaugural use of this case was extremely positive, with students reporting, ‘The fact that I got to work on an actual business case was an amazing experience,’ and ‘I thought the PepsiCo project was by far the most interesting and useful assignment I have done in my college career.’ In addition, PepsiCo sought out four students post-project to discuss internship opportunities.”

Now called the PepsiCo Undergraduate Development Program, it will once again be central to David’s fall 2017 offering of the course. So too will be the involvement of Meade, a national production planner for PepsiCo, and Stephens, who works as national customization leader for the company’s Gatorade product line.

Krannert Magazine caught up with the duo following the student presentations to discuss their viewpoints from both an alumni and a corporate perspective.

How did you begin to develop the idea of PepsiCo’s Undergraduate Development Program?

Kaleb Stephens: Katherine and I are both proud Krannert alumni and very active in campus recruiting and student development. Last spring we challenged ourselves to come up with an innovative means to connect PepsiCo with some of Krannert’s top undergraduate students. Our goal was to create a unique program designed to help students understand the growing field of supply chain, while simultaneously exposing them to the vast opportunities PepsiCo has to offer.

During the summer of 2016, Katherine and I started networking with several Krannert leaders, inquiring on ways to start a program in one of Krannert’s undergraduate supply chain classes. We soon connected with Amy David, who volunteered her course as the platform for our program.  The three of us got to work and started designing the framework of what would result in the creation of the Undergraduate Development Program. This was PepsiCo’s first attempt at a developmental program of this nature and made possible through the leadership and expertise of Professor David, as well as the incredible support of Krannert.

Katherine Meade: I began a supply chain internship with PepsiCo through our Campus Hire Program the summer prior to graduating from Krannert. Upon attending many career fairs, I found myself not feeling confident in my ability to articulate what I actually wanted to do for a full-time supply chain role pending graduation in fall 2013. Soon after beginning full-time with PepsiCo, I leveraged my alum status to begin recruiting/interviewing Purdue students for the same program I started in. In speaking with nervous students at the School of Management Employers Forum (SMEF), I found that I was not alone in the feeling of being timid to describe my supply chain ambitions to young professionals on campus.

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