Briana Brewer’s comfort zone was once a limited area. Now, as she looks forward to graduating from Olive-Harvey College, it’s larger than she could have imagined.

Briana started her City Colleges journey in 2018 after transferring home from a four-year university that wasn’t meeting her needs. She decided to enroll in film/production classes at Kennedy-King College, but when the pandemic hit, her dreams changed.

“2020 was a time of re-evaluation,” Briana said. “I started thinking about my future career goals, and my degree plan didn’t match those dreams.”

Briana’s mom knew she was looking for something new and handed her a flyer to a Certified Logistics and Warehouse Technician program with the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Shortly after starting the program, Briana knew supply chain was the perfect industry for her.

“After the program ended, I decided to change my major,” she said. “My mom and I visited Olive-Harvey College, which specializes in supply chain management education, and I instantly felt a sense of belonging. I thought, ‘I can totally see myself getting the help and assistance I need here.’”

Briana officially enrolled in classes at Olive-Harvey in the spring of 2022. As she started taking advantage of the college’s resources, she was hired for a work-study position and began spending much more time in the college’s state-of-the-art Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics (TDL) building. There, she met Dean of Careers Cheryl Freeman, who introduced Briana to a summer internship opportunity at PepsiCo. Briana says that position changed the trajectory of her career.

“The internship truly helped me conceptualize what I was learning in class,” she explained. “We learned about transportation in class, and at PepsiCo, I saw how products were being transported in real life.”

The next summer, Briana was given the chance to do it all over again on a different team—e-commerce. The new opportunity gave her a look into a different side of the business, helping to grow her work-based experience. But despite the differences of the internships, Briana noticed a key similarity—the friendliness of her colleagues.

“The work culture and environment at PepsiCo really set the standard for me. All of the employees were incredibly encouraging and helpful to the interns—they wanted to see us succeed,” she said.

Briana says she grew both personally and professionally from the opportunities, which further solidified her interest in working in the supply chain sector. After graduation, she plans to transfer to a four-year college or university to earn a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management.

“So many people from PepsiCo who saw me at the end of the summer told me how much I’ve grown—and I see it too. I went from being forced out of my comfort zone to embracing it with open arms,” she said.