HAMPTON, Va. (November 24, 2020) – On Friday, November 6, 2020, the William R. Harvey Leadership Institute (WRHLI) held its last Virtual Meet the Leaders Lecture Series of the semester welcoming Hampton University Alum who serve as leaders for PepsiCo and Frito Lay. This was the first time the WHRLI held their Meet the Leaders Lecture Series as a virtual panel discussion.
“The William R. Harvey Leadership Institute Meet the Leaders Lecture Series is a great opportunity for students to learn from individuals who are successful in the professional world. Students are able to pick the brains of Hampton University alumni who embody success, and from other individuals who are making a difference in their field,” said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey.
Due to COVID-19, the Meet the Leaders Lecture Series had to occur virtually via Zoom Meetings. Hampton University Alum and PepsiCo/Frito Lay representatives Juwan Jones, Keirsten Hoyle, Daniel Gourdin, Brandon Miller and Tommy Adams spoke to the Leaders of the WRHLI.
During the panel discussion, many topics were discussed, offering advice about beginning a professional career following the undergraduate experience and the panelists shared experiences from their tenure at Hampton University.
Would you like to offer any advice to current students about getting the most out of their Hampton experience?
“The four or five years you spend in undergraduate will be the best time of your life. If I could go back, I would. You want to take away as much as you can as a student and personally from your college experience. Also, take the time to extend yourself outside of your core responsibilities as a student. As you progress throughout the corporate world, they do look at your work, but they also look to see how far you have extended yourself outside of what you do on a day to day basis,” said Zone Sales Director for Frito Lay, Daniel Gourdin.
"The biggest thing I would suggest while at Hampton is not getting caught up in just one clique. Diversify yourself with who you’re hanging out with and who you’re getting to know. Everyone has a different walk of life as far as where they come from and as you transition into the real world, you’re going to be dealing with a wide range of folks. In the Gatorade family, it’s about teamwork and being able to collaborate cross-functionally. One thing I benefitted from at Hampton is instead of hanging out with one group, get to know others outside of your main circle,” said Head of Sport Specialty for Gatorade Sporting Goods, Tommy Adams.
“One thing I learned from Hampton is hard work. The work ethic I learned has stuck with me today. All of the hard work that goes into the curriculum at Hampton and all of the details have shaped and molded me into the leader I am today. It may be hard to understand the challenges you face during undergraduate, but it pays off and will be an asset to your professional career,” said Sales Associate for PepsiCo, Keirsten Hoyle.
The WRHLI Meet the Leaders Series is an opportunity for the WRHLI Leadership Fellows to interact and engage in critical analysis and thinking with guest speakers.
“The Hampton University alumni provided the Leadership Fellows with indelible memories, truths, and wisdom that began at Our Home By the Sea and stayed with them during their journey as members of corporate America. This was our first time ever conducting a panel dialogue for the Meet The Leaders Lecture Series and it was an amazing experience for all in attendance. What I value the most about our Lecture Series is the Fireside Chat that occurs after the formal program. This is an opportunity for the Leadership Fellows to have the 'real grown folk' conversation with our guest(s). All five of the panel members stayed an extra hour and answered additional questions and shared in greater breadth and depth detail of their vignettes. Additionally, each alumni has agreed to serve as a mentor for the Leadership Institute and this a vision of mine to have a corporate sponsor such as PepsiCo and Frito-Lay to sponsor and partner with the William R. Harvey Leadership Institute for years to come,” said Dr. Jarris Louis Taylor, Jr., Director of the William R. Harvey Leadership Institute.