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You Asked, They Answered: What Employers have to say about the Future of Work

The CCO reached out to our employer partners with some of the questions we’ve received from undergraduate and graduate students since the start of the pandemic. Read on to learn what our employer partners are saying!

Today we are focusing on what companies’ comments are about the future of work. Two of our 21st Century Partners, Eli Lilly and PepsiCo, spoke with us about this topic.

What do you think will fundamentally be different about post-COVID19 work/professional life? Will there be more remote work? Some industries getting more 'essential'? Any large-scale economic trends you anticipate?  

All companies are anticipating significant changes in how business is conducted and the nature of the workplace. The CCO has reported in earlier posts in this series that companies have had to pivot to remote work and/or internships since this summer, and it sounds like remote work will be the reality for the near future! They are leveraging new technologies and remote platforms in order to remain efficient in fulfilling their corporate purpose and, to quote Alexis Cohen of Eli Lilly, to “fulfilling Eli Lilly’s purpose of making life better for people.” Telecommuting is expected to increase across the board, and the current notable reduction in travel is expected to continue beyond the pandemic as more and more folks depend on teleconferencing instead of in-person meetups.

The changes in the physical work environment is only one aspect. Employers are also reporting that the nature of their work and specific responsibilities is evolving. Flexible working has begun redefining accountabilities for roles. There is a need to partner with different divisions within a company in new ways in order to support the larger organization more holistically. [The CCO presumes that this took place to a certain extent earlier, too, but is more pronounced now.]

And finally, note that while some industries are very clearly going to be essential – consumer packaged goods, health and safety and suchlike – students should also be on the lookout for emerging opportunities in companies that enable new ways of working: apps that allow remote work and collaboration, for example, or designing new layouts for airplanes. PepsiCo recruiter Daria Kowalinski also shared their company’s substantial increase in how many meals they are giving away to or creating for underprivileged communities. They started at 112,000 and are now at 11.2 million meals. Government agencies are buying these meals, which has led to the development of a new partnership. Daria believes that this speaks to their commitment to engendering change and making a positive difference. In fact, this attitude, of making a difference and driving change that leads to the betterment of humanity, is something PepsiCo hopes to see in the most competitive candidates. And, since Purdue is PepsiCo’s second-highest yielding university in the country, in terms of recruiting students for internships and fulltime positions, the CCO hopes Boilermakers take these insights to heart.


The CCO would like to remind you of the resources we have available for you!

  • Be sure to login to your myCCO account to look for opportunities being posted for the Fall recruitment season! myCCO is Purdue’s exclusive online job board where you can find jobs, internships, as well as information on career fairs and information sessions.

  • Check out the CCO Calendar for information sessions and other ways to get connected with employers!

  • Don’t forget that the CCO offers Job Search Appointments where you can meet with a Career Coach to get assistance in your job/internship search. Schedule an appointment via BoilerConnect.

  • Connect with us on social media to get additional information on opportunities and resources to assist you in your professional journey. We’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Wix!

Questions: email or call 765-494-3981.

The Center for Career Opportunities would like to thank our 21stCentury Partners for taking the time to answer our questions, especially Eli Lilly and PepsiCo. To see a list of our 21stCentury Partners click here.

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