PepsiCo shakes up digital graduate recruitment with 'Go Trendsetter' challenge

PepsiCo shakes up marketing graduate recruitment with Trendsetter challenge

PepsiCo is shaking up the way it recruits graduates for its digital and insights teams, launching an online competition that could help people bag a position at the FMCG giant.

Pinned around the concept that a big part food and drinks business is identifying the next big thing – be it goji berries or the paleo diet – the brand's 'Go Trendsetter' challenge will look to find the "next generation of international trendsetters".

The digital graduate scheme is a one-year scheme based in France, Spain or the UK working across e-commerce, brand marketing and social media. Meanwhile, the insights programme lasts three years and is based in the UK.

The graduates who can turn the best ideas into a business plan showing how they would market their idea and engage consumers will be in with a chance of joining PepsiCo's graduate initiative for digital and insights after completing a four-step process.

The initial stage is open now, and invites applicants to identify a trend and submit a proposal on how to market it internationally. EU applicants looking to land a role with the Doritios, Gatorade and Pepsi owner can submit their idea via a dedicated site.

The move from PepsiCo comes as brands and marketing agencies are increasingly rejigging, or altogether ditching, the idea of a traditional graduate scheme.

Last year, Ernst and Young announced it would be removing degree classification from its entry criteria saying there was "no evidence" to suggest that university achievement correlates with success. Meanwhile, Spotify's senior director of international marketing Nikki Lambert said in April 2016 said education could either be a stepping stone or a road block for those entering the industry.

Toward the end of last year CHI & Partners launched an entry-level scheme aimed at non-graduate talent from all backgrounds.

Commenting on PepsiCo's challenge, Becky Taylor, senior director digital for the brand in Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa said: "We want to give some of the brightest, creative and entrepreneurial young minds out there the chance to put their ideas on the map and work with our team of experts to learn quickly about how to grow a brand as they are starting out on their career."

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