When Jennifer Stein found her career niche, she realized how big an influence the business program has had on her life.
After a promotion from cashier to head buyer at the Morrisville Food Co-op, “I’ve never been happier,” she said. For a recent trip to Salt Lake City to attend a vendor show and do some purchasing, “The store trusted me, and I was able to get that experience and learn from it.”
Her work at the coop fits well with her business education. “The business program stressed local entrepreneurship and working in the community, and here I am working at the local coop,” Jennifer said.
Jennifer was drawn to business because of all the related career options: human resources, sales, marketing, management, and more. Through the liberal arts foundation, she gained a broad view of the business world and developed critical-thinking skills.
“It taught me about looking at the whole picture as a buyer. You have to analyze all the facts,” Jennifer, who pursued a management concentration. “My education taught me to look at everything through every lens, and it helped me get where I am today.”
In an internship as a mentor to first-year business students, she also built communication and management skills useful in her co-op work.
Access to Academic and Personal Support
Jennifer chose the Johnson campus because of the community feel, caring faculty and staff, and small classes. “You aren’t just a number there,” she said. “I wanted to succeed and wanted the teachers to care that I succeeded, and that’s what I found there.”
The TRIO academic support program was a valuable part of Jennifer’s experience. TRIO improved her test-taking ability and other skills. “Without that, I wouldn’t have done as well as I did,” the Morrisville resident said.
TRIO is just one example of the close-knit campus. “The faculty and staff provide a community where you can always find someone to talk to,” Jennifer said. “You can find a family there — that’s where I found my second family.”
Working to Serve Members and Help Local Businesses Thrive
At the coop, with about 1,000 members, including students and employees, she also has a family.
As head buyer, Jennifer purchases whenever possible locally made products, including milk, produce, meat, and cheese. “We want to support our neighbors and make sure they get business, too. That’s our big goal,” she said.
The satisfaction from her work is big for Jennifer, too. “The most rewarding part is when somebody comes in and , ‘I didn’t know you were here. I’ll be back tomorrow,’ she notes. “It’s fantastic for people to be excited about what we have on the shelves and know we’re here for them.”