Fulfilling food marketing goals: WMU student takes on new job opportunity
Throughout her time at the Haworth College of Business, Hannah Douglas has embraced the wisdom she was taught her freshman year: you only get out what you put in. Hannah pushed herself and made sure to seize every opportunity during her four years at WMU. “I learned a lot from the professors in the program,” she says. “I took many classes that pushed me outside my comfort zone, and I used resources, such as the career fairs and Major Mashup to find my true passions in life and what I want my future career to look like. The faculty at WMU Haworth want you to succeed, and you will when you put the work in.”
Hannah graduated in June with a well-earned bachelor’s degree in food and consumer package goods marketing. She didn’t always have a passion for food marketing, but with the help of her WMU professors, Hannah discovered her niche. She was studying general marketing but knew she wanted to find a more specific area to specialize in. Dr. Marcel Zondag, associate professor of marketing and director of the integrated supply management program, reached out to talk through WMU Haworth’s renowned food and consumer package goods marketing program, and the rest was history.
“I think what makes me most excited about my field is how endless the opportunities are. It isn’t just food—there are several industries, such as manufacturing, distribution and retail all tied together under one umbrella,” says Hannah. “I played for WMU’s women’s basketball team and had a hectic schedule. I wasn’t able to take part in all the opportunities that the food marketing program had to offer, but the support I received from WMU’s food marketing association (FMA) was amazing. As a member of the FMA student organization, I was able to attend the annual WMU Food Marketing Conference in Grand Rapids. There, I networked with some impressive companies and met several people interested in hiring from our program.”
Bob Samples, faculty specialist, also helped to guide Hannah through her college career by introducing her to his connections at Hormel Foods. Hannah adds, “Hormel visited WMU my junior year, and with the assistance of my wonderful professor, Mr. Samples, I was able to meet with and learn more about the company. I reached out to Hormel employees through LinkedIn and again at the Food Marketing Conference to foster my connections.”
In July, Hannah will be joining the Hormel team in Phoenix, Arizona, as a food service sales representative. Some of her responsibilities will include gaining a new mentor each week, building client relationships, completing product training modules and speaking with restaurant owners as well as colleges.
As Hannah finishes her time at WMU, she is grateful for all the activities and opportunities that aided her career and helped her leadership skills grow. “The most important thing I’ve learned as a business student at Western is that you should be involved in as many things as possible. Whenever there’s an opportunity to further your education—take it!”