Grambling Tabasco interns walk away with top awards

Grambling State University Tabasco interns Christel Eugene and Vernette Simon recently captured first place at the 2009 Spring Intern Marketing Challenge. The competition was held at Tabasco’s headquarters at Avery Island. Other schools included in the competition were Dillard University, Southern University and Xavier University, all of Louisiana.

Tabasco Brand and the HBCUs in Louisiana are celebrating 10 years of working together this year on the HBCU campuses to support paid internships to students who promote the Tabasco brand on campus.

The McIlhenny company considers the program a huge success for the interns, the HBCUs and the company. This year’s challenge was an actual real life marketing problem that the Tabasco brand was facing.

Eugene and Simon rose above the competition with the help of intern advisers Dr. Cheryl Vaicys and Bruce Siegmund, both professors in the College of Business at GSU. The two interns were rewarded with brand new Compact Presario laptops complete with Microsoft Office software.

Simon is completing her second semester as a Tabasco intern with Grambling, and she was twice declared a winner in the New Orleans competition in the fall along with prior intern partner Kwame Cyril.

Simon was thrilled with the competition.

“This program has been so beneficial to the interns, we have learned so much practical marketing experience and we are so grateful to the McIlhenny company for providing this opportunity,” she said.

“Christel and I wanted to win so badly for Grambling, but the competition was tough. We were so excited when they announced us as winners,” said Simon.

The original internship program was the brainchild of the first Tabasco HBCU competition held in 1999. Ironically, it was the Grambling team led by Dr. Vaicys and Siegmund, who proposed the HBCU internship program at the original competition.

Ten years later, the competition is still producing winners for Tabasco, the HBCUs and Grambling.

Students interested in the Tabasco internship may contact Siegmund at 274-3843 or Vaicys at 274-3852 for more information.