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I Changed Career Paths Without Going Back to School — Today, I’m In My Most Satisfying Role Yet | Fairygodboss
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Career Pathing
I Changed Career Paths Without Going Back to School — Today, I’m In My Most Satisfying Role Yet
Photo courtesy of Rosemarie lannucci
Fairygodboss
Fairygodboss
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The past decade of Rosemarie “Ro” lannucci’s career has brought a lot of change, taking her from the ad agency world to various beverage brand management roles at PepsiCo to her current eCommerce marketing leadership position. Of course, it’s no surprise that a lot can happen in 10 years. What’s unique about lannucci’s career path, however, is the amount of growth she’s experienced without switching employers. Since joining PepsiCo in 2010, Ro has seen firsthand how fulfilling it can be to work for a company that empowers you to craft your own path.

 

PepsiCo Is Hiring! Browse Opportunities.

 

“I’ve been very lucky at PepsiCo, in that I’ve had the opportunity to get a breadth of experiences within the same company,” she said. “I’ve always sought out opportunities that build on my prior roles but push me into the unknown and expand my expertise. I need to be learning and stretching to keep me satisfied with work, and PepsiCo has made that possible.”

Her work today as the company’s eCommerce Brand Marketing Head is certainly keeping her in a state of continual learning. She says this role has excited her the most, not only because of the amount of growth and innovation she gets to personally help drive, but because of the mentorship opportunities it affords.

Recently, lannucci shared with Fairygodboss the advice she always gives job seekers, how she stays nimble in an evolving workplace and what women should know about career growth at PepsiCo.

How long have you been with PepsiCo, and what were you doing previously?   

Crazy to say it, but I am approaching my 10-year anniversary in May 2020 — not exactly sure how the time has gone by that fast?! Prior to PepsiCo, I worked at advertising agencies where my team was responsible for building and developing media strategies and client plans. I knew I wanted to leave the advertising agency world and join a company where instead of being just one part of a brand’s output, I’d be part of the team leading strategic thinking and identifying growth opportunities for the brand. I was torn on how to get there, though. Did I need to go back to graduate school? Or was there a way a company would hire me without an MBA?

After talking to the team at PepsiCo, I realized I could leverage my media expertise to join their growing media team as an in-house expert. Over time, I moved from a specialist role into more general marketing roles and have been able to get experience working on brand management, marketing campaign development, and eCommerce.    

What are your priorities at work? What about this role most excites you?

 I am part of PepsiCo’s eCommerce organization, where I head up our brand marketing team. My team works across each of PepsiCo’s brands – from chips and oatmeal to carbonated soft drinks, juices, and sports drinks – with employees in New York City, Plano, Texas, and Chicago. We partner with our brand and customer teams to accelerate the growth and gainshare of eCommerce.  

Of all the roles I’ve held at PepsiCo, this one excites me the most, as we are able to drive significant growth and become smarter every day. We’re leveraging new technologies that allow us to analyze data and optimize performance in real time. We’ve created incredible new capabilities in-house that are leading our industry, and we’ve built deep digital partnerships with our retailers that are unlocking amazing new opportunities for our business.

A lot of people believe that developing your career means changing companies frequently. What has enabled you to develop and advance your career while staying with the same company?

Doing work I’m proud of has helped. I’ve been very lucky at PepsiCo, in that I’ve had the opportunity to get a breadth of experiences at the same company. I’ve launched new-to-the-world beverage innovations; developed award-winning creative campaigns; created integrated media plans for the Super Bowl, Grammys and VMAs; and the last few years, I’ve helped build up our eCommerce function.    

I need to be learning and stretching to keep me satisfied with work, and PepsiCo makes that possible. Just when you think you’ve reached your plateau and gotten comfortable in your role, something changes, whether it's a new rotation or assignment, a new leadership team, or working on a project that didn’t exist a year prior. That constant change is what’s helped me grow and ultimately kept me here all these years. 

What’s your No. 1 tip for job seekers?   

No one knows the right next step for your career path better than you do. I took roles others discouraged me from taking and turned down rotations that others had pushed me to consider. Only you know the right next step for yourself. Trust your gut and try not to overthink each step. Make sure you’re seeking out experiences that you are always learning from as well as building on previous experiences that’ll keep you at the forefront of your industry.

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