Maximizing Potential

By: Michelle Shember

Ryan Trierweiler“Remember—what you’re ultimately striving for is to maximize your potential in the long-term.  Sometimes that means going slower early in your career to gain skills that enable you to go faster later,” says Ryan Trierweiler, B.B.A’04. During his academic career at Western Michigan University, taking it slow and maximizing his potential is how he eventually crafted a successful international career as vice president of international human resources at Bloomin’ Brands.

Trierweiler focuses on strategy rather than speed – a career is not a race, he says. His strategy for success emphasizes less concern for your job title, and more for how you can advance the company in that position. “Stop worrying about the short term. Focus on learning everything you can, look for ways to help the business, and good things will come your way,” says Trierweiler.

As vice president of international human resources with Bloomin’ Brands, Trierweiler is responsible for more than 220 restaurants with system-wide revenues of approximately $800 million, locations in 20 countries around the world and approximately 12,000 employees. “It’s a diverse and ever-changing set of challenges.  My responsibility is to ensure we have locally effective talent acquisition, development, and retention strategies that enable us to deliver outstanding experiences for guests,” says Trierweiler.

Trierweiler used fundamentals and core business strategies learned from the Haworth College of Business to springboard his graduate degree and international career. “My academic experience at the college helped me in two distinct ways: It gave me a broad foundation to understand all aspects of business, including those beyond my core area of focus. Secondly, the human resources focused curriculum enabled me to differentiate myself from peers in graduate school who came from universities without an HR course of study,” says Trierweiler. “While they focused on HR fundamentals, I was able to take broader business courses and focus on my engagement with potential employers.”

Specifically, Trierweiler recalls Dr. Daniel Farrell, professor of management, as an influential force from the college. “A number of management professors had meaningful impacts on my development. Beyond the classroom, though, Dr. Farrell took a personal interest in my development as both a student and a professional—pushing me to achieve a potential I didn’t yet see in myself.  He was the driving force behind my immediately pursuing graduate school, which significantly altered my early career trajectory,” says Trierweiler.

Working in an international role, Trierweiler has visited numerous countries around the world, including a period when he lived and worked in Bogota, Colombia. When he is home in Florida, he spends time with his wife and daughter.