College of Business students create Tabasco brand awareness

Southern University seniors Terrica Williams and Robert Harrison Jr. will bring the flavor of the Tabasco Pepper Sauce brand to the SUBR community’s attention during a yearlong internship with the company.


The College of Business students were selected for their innovative ideas and strategies to reach out to the African-American community with the Tabasco brand.


“It is a great opportunity that is specifically targeting HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) and African Americans and what better way to market to an African American than by incorporating an African American who thinks like an African American and who is an African American,” said Harrison, a marketing major.


Williams and Harrison earned the internships after being interviewed and making an advertising presentation in August at the Avery Island, La., company.


The two will carry out their internship on Southern’s campus and the surrounding areas.


Williams and Harrison got their internships off to a roaring start when they hosted a Tabasco-tasting booth at the recent 2012 Southern University Career Fair.  A number of visitors stopped by to taste the hot sauce on samples of red beans and rice, and chicken.


“A lot of people have the perception that Tabasco is too hot,” said Harrison. People were shocked to see the many flavors of the “hot” sauce.


To complete the internship in May, the two will be in a competition against interns representing other Louisiana HBCUs to develop a theme for the Essence Festival held in New Orleans in July. Their competitors will come from Xavier University, Dillard University, and Grambling State University. The winner will represent Tabasco at the Essence Festival.


The Tabasco opportunity was made possible for Williams and Harrison through their participation in campus organizations and paying attention to Tabasco advertisers around campus.


Both are members of the Black Executive Exchange Program (BEEP) and Williams is also a member of the Association for Women Students.


“Take a look around and take advantage of everything,” Williams said. “Even if you don’t get it (internship), ask them what you can do better. It will get you the opportunity to get you that dream job.”


Harrison said, “ A lot of opportunities are missed because students don’t pay attention to a flyer they walk by everyday… Open your eyes to what is in your face.”


Williams, a Baton Rouge native, will graduate in May and plans to attend Georgia State University in Atlanta to work on a law degree and Master of Business Administration degree. Harrison, a Baton Rouge native, is graduating in December and plans to start a real estate company.


“Southern has opened so many doors, especially with BEEP,” said Williams. “People really want quality HBCU students. And for that I’m grateful for Southern because of the foundation it has set in the College of Business.”

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