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Keurig Dr Pepper Canada employees visiting three key impact projects in Columbia during their sustainable sourcing trip.Supplied

When Jonathan Lauzon, vice-president, sales, at Keurig Dr Pepper Canada (KDP Canada) attended the opening class for his company-supported EMBA, the first thing he did was approach his professor for advice on reaching out to the best and brightest students. “I told him I wanted to connect with them to talk about our company, our culture, our values and the growth opportunities for young talent within KDP Canada,” Lauzon says.

“At KDP Canada, we are passionate about providing opportunities for young employees because one of the things we’re most proud of is seeing people grow within our organization,” he says.

Every year, the Montréal- and Mississauga, Ont.-based beverage-maker takes on large numbers of young summer job and co-op placement seekers, as well as paid interns, and is proud of retaining a third or more of the interns as permanent employees. There are good reasons for that success, says former KDP Canada intern Jasmine Prégent, 28, now a sustainability specialist at the company.

“Right from the start of my internship project, during which I was asked to develop a water stewardship strategy for KDP Canada, it was clear my expertise and ideas were valued,” Prégent says. “With my mentor’s support and guidance, I felt very empowered. That was a big part of why I chose to embark on an internship and later stay on with KDP Canada.”

Equally as important, Prégent continues, was that the full support of the executive team showed her she was working for a company whose values aligned with hers.

“Top-level support makes for the possibility of real change,” Prégent says. “This company has a true willingness to evolve and improve its practices on a continuous basis, which enables me to have a real impact on our operations. Seeing my internship project become a five-year major corporate initiative has given great meaning to what I do.”

Prégent’s experience as an intern has been replicated throughout her permanent employment. She’s part of the ‘Women and Allies’ employee resource group and a member of an employee-led health and well-being club, which promotes healthy activities within the office.

Two years in, she’s also had many learning and development opportunities. For instance, in November, 2023, Prégent visited coffee farms in Colombia where KDP Canada supports regenerative agriculture, farmer prosperity and responsible sourcing projects.

“We have great partners, and we want to help them expand the reach of their actions,” she says. “As the largest buyer of fair-trade coffee in the world for the 13th consecutive year, we can have a true impact on coffee farmers in Colombia and beyond.”

Career trajectories like Prégent’s are why KDP Canada has made significant investments to offer meaningful internships and build a network with schools and student associations, Lauzon says.

“We are present in universities across the country,” he says, “and we have such engaged employees – often former interns – who will go back to their previous universities and recruit students for new opportunities and speak about what we offer.”

That includes the workplace culture as much as the work and professional growth opportunities themselves.

“Most young talents today want to find an organization that has a meaningful purpose, and speaking to our initiatives in areas like sustainability, diversity and inclusion allows us to attract great talents whose values align with ours,” Lauzon says. “The two go hand in hand: we need the best talent to reach our goals.”

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Advertising feature produced by Canada’s Top 100 Employers, a division of Mediacorp Canada Inc. The Globe and Mail’s editorial department was not involved.

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