Pepsi and ESSENCE Announce Return of “She Got Now” Internship Program to Provide Pivotal Career and Entrepreneurship Opportunities for HBCU Women

Multi-campus recruitment tour featuring DJ Envy to honor homecoming traditions at Hampton and Howard Universities along with the highly anticipated Florida Classic in Orlando to drive applicants to its career empowerment program

PepsiCo Beverages North America (PBNA) and ESSENCE, the leading and only 100% Black-owned media, technology and commerce company at scale dedicated to Black women and communities, announced the return of “She Got Now” – a multi-tiered program that celebrates, supports and honors young Black women attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the country. The collaboration once again brings together two brands with shared goals to support HBCU students on their journey to success via career opportunities and shine a spotlight on the remarkable culture of HBCUs.

Starting today, HBCU female students can apply to the annual Allen McKellar Jr. Internship Program, named in honor of one of the first Black professionals to enter the corporate workforce through a position at PepsiCo. As part of the internship, 12 stellar young women from the country’s top HBCUs will be selected to work at PBNA South Division, with potential to lead to full-time job opportunities following the internship. Students can visit for more information.

“We are honored to partner with ESSENCE again for the ‘She Got Now’ program as we celebrate the return of homecoming season,” said Derek Lewis, President, South Division, PepsiCo Beverages North America (PBNA). “As a Hampton alum myself, I know how important on campus recruitment is for students which is why it’s been an anchor point from the program’s inception. We are looking to make this year our largest ever for ‘She Got Now’ so that we can create opportunities not just for the students accepted into the internship program but for those looking at their long-term career choices. Our goal is to foster a pipeline that encourages Black women to apply for leadership roles all year round.”

The “She Got Now” program will kick-off with a multi-campus recruitment tour on October 8th starting at Hampton University, where Pepsi and ESSENCE will host a special Instagram Live roundtable event via ESSENCE’s IGTV, offering viewers an inside peek into Pepsi’s activation at Hampton’s Homecoming that weekend as well as the internship program. The panel consists of Hampton University’s Senior Admission Counselor, Kelsey Rountree, and notable university alumni including Pepsi’s Derek Lewis (President, South Division, PBNA), ESSENCE’s Charisma Deberry (Social Media Director), and DJ and radio personality, DJ Envy, discussing the mission of She Got Now, the value of HBCUs, and career opportunities at Pepsi.

The tour will continue to Howard Homecoming, culminating with a celebration at the Florida Classic. At each stop, students will be able to get more information on the internship program, celebrate at the VIP tour bus with tunes spun by DJ Envy, along with free celebratory merchandise, enjoy free Pepsi and more. Tour dates and stops include:

  • October 8: Hampton Homecoming – Instagram Live event and special performance by DJ Envy (Hampton, VA)
  • October 23: Howard Homecoming (Washington, D.C)
  • November 20: Florida Classic, Bethune-Cookman vs. Florida A&M (Orlando, FL)

To date, PBNA has hired from 70 of the country’s 100+ HBCUs and has continued to further facilitate recruitment opportunities. The “She Got Now” program is part of the Pepsi brand’s ongoing commitment to working with HBCUs and fostering Black talent, as part of the larger PepsiCo Racial Equality Journey. The Racial Equality Journey is a more than $570 million set of initiatives over five years to lift Black communities and increase Black representation at PepsiCo.

The “She Got Now” Allen McKellar Jr. Internship Program is open now through December 1st to all young Black women in their final year, currently attending an HBCU. Selected students will be announced in February 2022. Interested applicants can follow the journeys of past successful interns HeavenCamryn, and Treyonne to learn more, and visit for more information and to apply.

Source: PepsiCo Beverages North America

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