Keele alumnus Tom Rye-Weller has held a variety of roles since graduating from Keele in 2005, culminating in his current position as Communications Director at PepsiCo, based in New York.

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I’m 36 and originally from Fareham, Hampshire, and now living in New York. I attended Keele between 2002 and 2005, studying Information Systems and Music Technology.

After leaving Keele, I moved to London and spent an initial period working in compliance at Ernst & Young, trying to figure out what I wanted to do long term. Ultimately, after many conversations with different departments, I found a junior internal communications position at the company.

In 2008, at the beginning of the 2008 financial crisis, I moved to Lloyds Banking Group. This proved to be a brilliant communications development opportunity, as I was involved in communications that supported the merger between Lloyds TSB and Halifax Bank of Scotland.

In 2012, I jumped industry and joined PepsiCo. The first three years were spent supporting the Europe communications team, before I moved to a global, senior manager role in 2015. I then moved to New York in 2018 to take on a communications director position at PepsiCo, with responsibility for our global HR communications and diversity and engagement communications.

Most days are spent providing communications consultancy to stakeholders, but I can be working on anything from a global communications campaign to preparing talking points for senior leaders to writing and editing content for our internal and external news channels.

Keele prepared me for my future as it is unlike many other universities; its dual honors curriculum doesn’t take you down one path and you’re encouraged to learn different subject areas. It helped to build a mindset of trying new things to see what you enjoy doing, not just what you know.

Some of my fondest memories of Keele are of the student union and the cheap beer! But I also made some lifelong friends at Keele and look back at it as one of the happiest times of my life. I also met my wife at Keele and she’s now working in New York, too!