Alumni Spotlight: Matt Fry '17
Twenty-three-year-old Matthew Fry sometimes can’t wrap his head around where his life has taken him less than a year out of college. A 2017 graduate of Drury University’s Breech School of Business, Fry now works as a Sales District Associate for America’s largest salty snack provider, Frito-Lay.
And yet, Fry's job at Frito-Lay was no accident. Like most Drury students, he participated in an internship as part of his college degree program. But Fry doesn't like to think of this as a requirement; he prefers to think of it as a privilege.
“I’ve talked to plenty of other people who graduated the same year as me or are about to graduate who really wish they had taken advantage of an internship opportunity,” Fry says.
His own internship came about through a connection with an acquaintance who worked at PepsiCo, the parent company of Frito-Lay. Fry remembers their chance encounter at a job fair during his sophomore year.
“He started talking about PepsiCo and I started talking about Drury,” Fry recalls.
It took some time, but Fry stayed in contact and eventually landed the internship with PepsiCo for the summer of his junior year. At PepsiCo, Fry was able to put the skills he’d acquired at school to the test while gaining invaluable hands-on experience in his field of study.
Then, two weeks before even starting classes his senior year, Fry received the offer to join Frito-Lay on a full-time basis after graduation. As many interns dream, his performance had led directly to a full-time job.
“Knowing I had a good opportunity with a good company that I’d just had a fantastic internship with, how I had the opportunity to grow even more after college, that was a great feeling,” Fry says.
Now, in his daily role, Fry oversees the servicing of Frito-Lay products to stores in his region, from small mom-and-pop stores all the way up to major chains like Walmart, with high hopes of receiving a promotion to Sales District Leader and a larger area of responsibility soon.
Looking Back, Looking Forward
Fry is thankful that his Drury education laid the foundation for his current career path.
“I took a lot of sales classes so obviously this is right up my alley for what I’m doing now. A lot of the lingo and a lot of the thought processes, the ways to organize, ways to lead, lead versus manage, I use that every single day… I’m actually using my education, and I feel like there are other places I could be where that wouldn’t be the fact.”
“It’s just been a heck of a ride since college,” Fry says. “It’s just been mind-boggling to think of all the opportunities only being one year out and what you can do with the rest of your life.”
Story by Bryan Haynes, Marketing & Communications graduate assistant