Erika Arellano, a Walton College of Business Senior from Morrilton, AR, chose the University of Arkansas for the international opportunities and experiences she could have in Walton college. An international business student double majoring in Marketing and Spanish, with a minor in Strategy, Entrepreneurship, and Venture Innovation; she wanted to keep up the language she spoke in her childhood and fulfill the requirement of her international business degree in the process.
Although concerned about how the global pandemic might impact her college experience, Erika said, “[it is] so much better than expected.” So many opportunities have been opened to her in Fayetteville and at the university, such as studying abroad at The Rome Center with Dr. Molly Jensen, leadership positions in the sorority Alpha Chi Omega, involvement in Future Women Business Leaders, and the Gillman Scholarship. Erika credits Walton with preparing her for the future and providing her with meaningful connections to professors and her peers.
Currently an intern with Campbell Soup Company in Rogers, AR; Erika credits a connection made through Dr. Molly Rapert’s class, where she made the connection with her current manager via LinkedIn. The internship is a 12-month program which began in May 2023. As a Walmart Digital Commerce Omni-shopper Intern for Campbell’s, Erika gets to work cross-functionally with teams like category management, legal, and sales to complete projects. One of her recent projects included preparing shopper profiles for all Campbell’s snack brands at Walmart. Through this role she has also worked with Walmart Connect to create and execute digital marketing campaigns on Walmart.com. When asked what she has learned about herself through the internship, Erika stated, “you won’t really know what you’re doing until you’re doing it.” Getting real world experience through internships, it’s okay to step back and give yourself grace to process everything you are learning as you are going through the experience.
Erika applied and was interested in this internship because Campbell Soup Company has such a history and well-known name, she likes Campbell’s soup, and there aren’t many Omni-shopper marketing opportunities in CPG. Erika says that what she enjoys most about her internship is the people. Though being one of the youngest people on the team, she never feels excluded. Erika stated, “the people are what really make the company.”
Before getting the internship, Erika worked various on-campus jobs to practice leadership and teamwork skills. Working in the financial aid office, campus card office, and as an orientation leader and team lead allowed her to work on these skills. She credits three professors with helping her realize marketing was what she really wanted to do. Drs. Molly Jensen, Molly Rapert, and Anne Velliquette all truly care about their students and are passionate about what they teach in the classroom, said Erika. When asked what advice she has for students, Erika again remembered the professors who inspired her, stating that getting to know your professors was key. She said, “They all genuinely care and want you to succeed.” From studying abroad, to a realized passion, and internship connections; the faculty in Walton are truly great resources for life beyond the University of Arkansas campus.