Ana Mendoza (B ’17) Interns in Mexico City
Georgetown McDonough undergraduate students spent the summer abroad gaining valuable work experiences. Ana Mendoza (B ’17), from Venezuela, spent the summer interning in Mexico City for GEPP, a Mexican beverage company. GEPP is the result of a merger of all the Pepsi bottlers in Mexico and currently operates nationwide.
What was your role as an intern at GEPP ?
During my time at GEPP, I was a consulting analyst on a team that objectively analyzed and challenged the direction and the competence of the different core processes of the organization. The main objective of the team was to provide facts, insights, synergies to be captured, and actionable proposals that would enable success of the company in any context related to the Mexican economy and the industry.
Initially, I was part of a team that analyzed the Mexican economy and future scenarios based on data and the political context that could ultimately drive decisions within the industry. At the same time, we conducted interviews to provide a map of the key transversal operational processes, ongoing initiatives, and strategic movements for the purpose of challenging, identifying, and quantifying opportunities.
We interviewed selected GEPP employees in the areas of sales, warehouse, manufacturing, marketing, logistics, and fleet management. We also monitored the microprocesses and the flow and coordination of the fundamental pillars of the supply chain network. We developed internal and external benchmarks, proposed new key performance indicators, and created factual models by crossing data. We also developed stock keeping unit (SKU) proposals per distribution center that enabled us to provide a clear picture and quantify inefficiencies that needed to be addressed.
The team’s job was to challenge and verify that GEPP had the competencies that it needs today. Each day, the partners of the firm discussed the analysis and advances with the team. It was a very dynamic and collaborative process that also was extremely educational and challenging.
How was this internship different from previous ones?
I previously interned at a food and beverage consumer product company, and I also did a rotational internship program at a global financial services company. The internship at GEPP was different as I was assigned responsibilities that had direct impact on the business. In the consulting firm, I was constantly challenged and had to decide on-the-spot what concepts to apply, why, when to apply them, and how to communicate the outcome. Additionally, the team dynamics were key. If someone needed help with an analysis, we started to discuss it in the room, which allowed all of us to be on the same page. Also, everyone felt comfortable to challenge any given point with a reasonable argument with the top management of the consulting firm and you felt heard and saw actions being implemented and successive discussions based on that.
What has been the biggest business lesson from your internship at GEPP?
I learned the importance of speed, flexibility, and culture. GEPP is a challenger in a very competitive industry. Fast-paced decision making based on facts that arise from major investments in detailed information systems allows the company to be flexible and adapt to the uncertain, dynamic consumers and the local playing field. For GEPP, it is imperative to have an internal alignment of the people and systems, to spot and respond on time to opportunities. A consolidated view of brands in their different segments is better than an expanded brand portfolio.
Tell us what impressed you the most about Mexico City.
I loved Mexico City’s diversity, size, dynamic pace, culture, and history. To maximize my experience in this vibrant place, I joined a local running club called Juanson, which met early in the mornings to run either at the Chapultepec Park or on the main streets all the way to the Zócalo, which is the main square in central Mexico and was once the main center of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital. It was amazing as only runners were on the streets that early in the morning.
What advice do you have for classmates who would like to pursue a similar opportunity abroad?
If you want to have a global perspective you have to go and live in different geographies. You need to enjoy your time and the culture and be curious about the needs of the organization through the company and by speaking to locals. At your workplace, listen, learn new skills, and be an active player.
What classes are you looking forward to for your last academic year at Georgetown McDonough?
In addition to continuing to learn technical and analytical skills from my core curriculum at Georgetown McDonough, I am looking forward to the Investment Business Negotiations class, as I am sure the discussions and case analysis will give me useful tools to think and act in the future. I hope the Global Business Fellows program continues to give us access to events and speakers inside and outside the Georgetown campus, which will allow me to keep learning and developing a truly global perspective.