Coca-Cola looking to ‘pay it forward’ with student internship program

Coca-Cola UNITED started in 2015 in Montgomery, Ala. Since then, the program has grown to 100 students.
Published: Feb. 10, 2023 at 5:43 PM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Coca-Cola UNITED is accepting applications for the 2023 class of its “Pay It Forward” internship. They have partnered with 17 HBCUs, including Albany State University.

The Pay It Forward internship provides students with first-hand experience of what it takes to not only understand the sales and marketing side of Coca-Cola but the process of bottling.

Coca-Cola UNITED started in 2015 in Montgomery, Ala. Since then, the program has grown to 100 students.

“Apply for the internship, come and learn about sales and marketing operations. And learn more about how we operate and get cokes on the shelves in the state of Georgia. You’re going to have a great time; we like to have a lot of fun as well. It’s not all about the hustle and bustle of the business but we like to integrate them into the community partners as well,” said Rebecca Garner, Coca-Cola UNITED multicultural marketing and community affairs director.

Kimia Estrill, a senior at Albany State University, went through the internship program last year.

“I honestly didn’t really know what to expect. I stayed open-minded. I was willing to learn everything. What I could say is if I would see myself If I was to work for Coca-Cola, I would like to work on the business side,” said Kimia Estrill, Albany State University student and program participant.

As an HBCU student, Estill says she felt more connected after the program.

“My favorite part was actually getting to network with the HBCU candidates. I actually had a blast. I could be myself and everybody was so excited. We got the chance to share a lot of experiences together and get the time to engage together. That was my most memorable part, and we still talk to this day,” said Estrill.

At the end of this weeklong program, students can expect to have better knowledge about the program and hopefully spark their interest to work for a big company like Coca-Cola.

For more information on the internship program, click here.