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QRF Interview Series: Mike Bedarev

Introducing QRF’s first-ever interview series! QRF has reached out to multiple commerce students who worked in retail positions this summer and gained valuable insight on their individual experiences in the retail industry. We are starting off the series with Michael Bederev, a third-year commerce student who interned at PepsiCo. this summer in Kingston. Keep reading to hear about his incredible experience and advice for recruiting!

1. Tell us about what you did this summer.

This summer I stayed in Kingston and worked as a Sales Intern for PepsiCo. Beverages Canada. To clarify, I did not go door-to-door and sell bottles of Pepsi, fist-fight Coca-Cola employees (I’d win, easy money), or get free Gatorade. However, what I did do was an engaging and unique experience. During my time with PepsiCo. I was shown the ins and outs of the CSD business through engaging with the delivery team, merchandising, and selling. More specifically, the majority of my summer was spent as a Sales Representative; I had to manage a portfolio of around 60 accounts, sending their orders, managing their backroom overstock, and providing them outstanding service on a daily basis. This relates to retail as some of my accounts were well-known, major retailers such as Walmart, NoFrills, Metro, Sobeys, etc.

2. What interested you about the retail industry?

Honestly, prior to working for PepsiCo. I lacked knowledge about the retail industry and therefore cannot say I had a passion or even interest in it. With that said, after having experienced the industry this summer, I can say that people give it a lot less credit than it should receive. It’s unfortunate that it is not touched on as much as it should be in our program, but it is an intense, fast-paced and often cutthroat environment, and I love that. Another interesting point is that you can look at retail through an iceberg aesthetics-like lens, where we, as consumers and shoppers, oftentimes have 0 idea of what goes on behind-the-scenes in the very places we spend so much of our time and money, and I only got tidbits of that; there’s so much to learn!

3. What’s your number one tip for people new to on-campus recruitment?

To be transparent, this is my first experience with on-campus recruitment, but I have invested a lot of time and effort into it, so my number one tip may be relatable. I would say the most important thing to do is to consider OCR as a learning opportunity. Going to an info session will not get you a summer internship, but what it will give you is a chance to see if X Company is the right fit for you, and an opportunity to meet people who may have an impact on your career in the future. Think of OCR as a good investment, put time and effort in today, and see positive results later. Further, do not get discouraged if you don’t get an internship out of it; in fact, I am going to my 2107450317th info session today, and am still unemployed, you’ll be fine! Best of luck.

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