Partnership Profile: PepsiCo, Parkhurst Dining Services, and Duquesne

Gabriella Harris holding Pepsi ProductsThrough a partnership with Parkhurst Dining Services, PepsiCo, and Duquesne University, Gabriella "Gigi" Harris, A'22, acquired a taste of a future career in marketing in her role as a PepsiCo Brand Ambassador during the 2020-21 school year.

An Integrated Marketing Major from Chester Springs, Pa., Harris played an integral role in the on-campus dining program working under the direction of Ariana Cort, Parkhurst Dining Services Marketing Manager. Utilizing digital marketing strategies from the classroom, she created a semester-long brand awareness campaign for new and existing PepsiCo products offered on campus.

"Gigi has positively impacted PepsiCo and Duquesne Dining and in turn, has developed a diverse skillset in foodservice marketing," said Cort. "The fruitful collaboration among all parties has allowed Gigi to work creatively within the digital realm and to engage with the campus community via many different channels."

Working as a brand ambassador, Harris has developed her own confidence and creativity, as well as a network of professional mentors.

"Pitching my ideas to the team and seeing them come to life has given me a huge feeling of pride," said Harris. "I feel so much more prepared and confident knowing that I have had first-hand experience with such a great team of people to work with."

While the program allows for the brand ambassador to obtain valuable work experience, the partnership has also provided an opportunity for PepsiCo to learn more about a specific demographic and effective engagement strategies for future promotions.

"Our goal in College and University at PepsiCo is to create experiences for the students and have them engage with our brands during those experiences," said Brad Schmitt, Senior Sales Manager at PepsiCo. "Having Duquesne students guiding us to create and execute those experiences is invaluable. It helps us to reach the students where they engage with our brands the most."

This program has produced desirable outcomes for all parties involved, and will be extended through the 2021-22 school year.

Duquesne welcomes the opportunity to develop a mutually beneficial relationship with your organization. For more information on Corporate Partnerships with Duquesne University, contact Terese Hines.