Nov 15, 2021
Innovation Comes From You — Not Your Degree featuring Fumi James (Watanabe)
Play • 51 min

Fumi James (Watanabe) is the Senior Director of Global Foods and Breakthrough Innovations Brand Design for PepsiCo. Fumi is a passionate, creative thinker experienced in leading teams to deliver beautiful and purpose-driven brand design. She’s helped lead the design for campaigns like the “Pepsi Generation” and Pure Leaf’s “No is Beautiful.” Fumi is also a champion of creative diversity and maximizing individual strengths in a team.

Fumi began her 15+ years of branding and retail expertise at Starbucks Coffee Company before joining PepsiCo in 2016. As the Creative Manager at Starbucks, she built a top-performing in-house design team, managed multiple re-brandings and promotions, and led packaging redesigns.

In this episode…

In a large organization like PepsiCo, it’s easy to feel intimidated by the world-class leaders surrounding you. How can you overcome your fears in order to contribute?

Remember that you’re in the room for a reason. It doesn’t matter if you have a PhD from a prestigious university or a degree from a community college. You’ve honed your skills over years of success and failure through the hard knocks of life. Your unique perspective and experiences are a strength to any organization. What makes you different from everyone else is exactly what makes you valuable — no one can replace you.

In this episode of the Gooder Podcast, Diana Fryc is joined by Fumi James, the Senior Director of Global Foods and Breakthrough Innovations Brand Design for PepsiCo, to discuss why experience outweighs advanced degrees. Fumi shares the story of her humble beginnings, how she developed a strategic design mindset, and why she values portfolios over educational background. She also talks about how to cultivate a work environment that values diversity and inclusion.

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