Athletics Alumni Spotlight

Jackie Laurenti, Women's Basketball and Soccer


While at MCCC, Jackie Laurenti was a member of the women’s basketball and soccer teams for two seasons.  The two sport athlete has been able to apply the teamwork and leadership she learned on the court and field to her job as a Territory Manager for Frito Lay/Pepsi Co.  Following her two years at Mercer, Laurenti transferred to St. Joseph’s University and graduated with a degree in Food Marketing. 

After graduating from St. Joe’s, Laurenti landed a job with Pepsi Co in Chicago and is now in Denver.  As a Territory Manager, Laurenti has 14 district managers that report to her that lead small teams in different areas of Northern Colorado.  Majority of Laurenti’s sales focus on “the Salty Snack aisle: Lays, Tostitos, Doritos, Cheetos , Fritos and more. If you’re looking for a salty snack – we have it!”

Laurenti discussed how she has always had an interest in the food market and as she was planning her career, recognized the sustainability of the industry.  “My family has some history with the food business. I grew up learning a lot regarding operations of grocery stores, the role vendors (like PepsiCo/Frito-Lay) have with grocery stores, and how that impacts the overall industry. I learned a lot of this experience through my family in addition to my first job which was working at a ShopRite.  I knew it was an industry that could also survive through the ever changing economy since people always have to eat. This gave me confidence to pursue a career within the CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) industry since there is job security.”

Laurenti enjoys working for a large, successful company and the busy pace of her work.  “I love PepsiCo. It’s a great company with a fast paced and competitive culture.  As a former athlete, I thrive in this environment.”

Through her work at Pepsi CO, Laurenti has relocated across the country and taken on different roles and responsibilities.  “I really appreciate all the opportunities PepsiCo has given me, whether that be relocating all over the country or taking on different sales roles and responsibilities. This has given me a chance to grow both personally & professionally over my last 6 ½ years with the organization.”

As a two sport athlete, Laurenti learned the importance of time management, which is something she still values in her work today.  “Playing two sports taught me a lot about time management and how to be disciplined with my classwork & athletic commitment. I would prioritize my school work right after classes would finish up & then I would head to practice in the later afternoon (whether that be soccer or basketball).  I learned how to prioritize my time and balance between a job, going to class, and participating in athletics.”

Teamwork and forming relationships is another thing Laurenti was able to do while at Mercer that helps her with the sales teams she works with.  “Mercer provided me a great network of connections, whether it was in athletics with players, coaches, and the MCCC Athletics staff or in the classroom with fellow students and professors.” 

As a goalkeeper in soccer and point guard in basketball, Laurenti was used to being a manager on the playing field, something she has been able to carry with her in her role as a Territory Manager.  “I love leading and managing a team. Having the opportunity to work with each of my team members and see their growth and development over time motivates to keep coming in every day.”

Laurenti was the starting goalie for the women’s soccer team in 2012 and 2013 and helped the Vikings reach the Region 19 Championship both seasons.  Laurenti earned All-Region 19 2 nd Team Honors in 2013 and 2 nd Team All GSAC (Garden State Athletic Conference) Honors in 2012 and 2013.  In 2012, she finished 3 rd in the nation (NJCAA Division I Women’s Soccer) with a .935 save percentage, 22 nd in goals against average (0.83) and 22 nd in saves with 87 in 13 games.  In 2013, Laurenti finished 33 rd in the nation in save percentage (0.835) and 36 th in saves with 96 in 12 games.

Laurenti was also a two year starter on the women’s basketball team in 2012-2013 and 2013-2014.  In her first year of basketball, Laurenti averaged 7.6 points per game and 4.3 rebounds per game.  In the 2013-2014 season, Laurenti average 5.9 points per game, 5.1 rebounds per game and 2.6 assists per game.

While hard to choose one specific memory from her playing days at MCCC, Laurenti recalls a memorable game in both soccer and basketball that still stands out to her.  “My favorite memory from soccer would be going to the Region 19 Championship game my sophomore year. We lost but the entire season was an absolute blast and I made friendships that I still have to this day.”

“My favorite memory from MCCC basketball is a very close game at the end of my sophomore season. Coach Mike called a Hail Mary pass and play, which worked out in our favor for the win! It was an exciting time and there was lots of celebrating afterwards.”

From the memorable plays and games to the lasting friendships made, Laurenti appreciates where her time at MCCC has taken her.  While she is enjoying the Rocky Mountain air, she still returns to her New Jersey roots.  “Denver, Colorado is an amazing place to live. The weather here is great with no humidity and I enjoy getting the chance to take advantage of all that Denver and Colorado have to offer: hiking in the mountains, taking a ski trip, or hanging out with some friends at brewery. NJ will always be my home though and I come back to visit a few times a year.”

Whether it was on the East Coast at MCCC or in the Midwest and now West Coast with PepsiCo, the many lessons Laurenti has learned from sports and her time at Mercer have travelled with her.  Instead of managing the defense in front of her on the soccer field or running the offense on the basketball court, Laurenti leads a team of employees and food sales.