Recruiter Q&A: Todd Huerta, PepsiCo

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Todd Huerta, PepsiCo
Todd Huerta, TCU MBA ’05, is finance director and chief of staff in financial planning and analysis at PepsiCo, a global food and beverage company with beloved brands such as Quaker Oats, Frito-Lay and Tropicana in its portfolio. Huerta also co-leads PepsiCo Super Day for Finance and is currently the lead recruiter for Finance at TCU. He recently shared some details about his role, as well as insight into the PepsiCo recruitment process and tips for MBAs interested in applying.

Why do you think PepsiCo is a popular employer with MBAs?

PepsiCo is a popular employer with MBA’s for a number of reasons:

1) The CPG realm we operate in is an ever-changing industry that consistently challenges us every day.
2) We have a career path that allows employees to move to different roles within PepsiCo globally in a highly cross-functional environment. 
3) Our culture is very open and collaborative.

 

Provide a brief overview of PepsiCo's MBA recruitment process.

We recruit for both internships and full-time positions. Typically, our activities start early, with first-year MBAs. We hold info sessions, coffee chats and other networking events with these first-years so we can establish a good relationship with candidates who have an interest in PepsiCo. We interview on-campus for internships and make offers immediately. We bring all candidates to whom we’ve extended an offer back to our office for a visit, where we educate them more on our business, meet with senior leadership and get them acclimated to our collaborative environment. Full-time recruiting is similar except we have first-round interviews on campus and then host another round of interviews during our PepsiCo Super Day at our office.

What are some of the common career paths your MBA hires take?

We have a number of different groups within the Finance organization. Our rotation structure allows employees to experience a number of different aspects within a function, e.g., Finance, Marketing, or to even potentially change functions (go from Finance to Marketing). We want our employees to experience as many of these areas as possible so they can get a better understanding of the business and be more well rounded. The more knowledgeable you are about the business, the better insight you can provide. That’s one of the benefits of working at PepsiCo. Your interests shape your career path.

What are some of the top skills and characteristics considered in PepsiCo’s hiring decisions?

There are a number of different characteristics we look for in candidates. These include, but are not limited to: passion for working at PepsiCo, critical thinking, analytical skills, ability to influence, leadership, collaboration and great communication skills.

How can MBA candidates differentiate themselves?

MBA candidates can differentiate themselves by demonstrating passion, critical thinking, analytical skills, leadership attributes a collaborative nature and optimum communication abilities. Candidates should ask questions and have a desire to learn as much about the company as possible. They should demonstrate a hunger for learning more and providing their opinions on some of the challenges companies face today.

What strengths do you see in the Neeley MBAs you have hired?

I am a Neeley MBA graduate, and we’ve a hired several Neeley MBAs in the past few years. Our Neeley hires have been able to effectively demonstrate a number of the differentiating qualities I spoke about. The students come in with a robust skill set from their core learnings. One of the key differentiators is the entrepreneurial spirit the Neeley MBA program instills. The students' ability to take on new challenges and provide great insights are some of the key reasons why they’ve been successful here at PepsiCo.

What advice would you give prospective MBA students who are interested in a career at a company such as PepsiCo. 

My advice would be to ask as many questions as possible. Demonstrate a passion for wanting to work at PepsiCo. The students are all highly intelligent. What differentiates students from others is their communication skills and strong ability to influence. Additionally, they should want to learn all aspects of the business and form opinions so they can provide recommendations on how to help PepsiCo continue to succeed in the future.

Are you looking to make a career change? Learn more about the Neeley School of Business or apply now

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