A taste of success: Q&A with Katelyn Wandel

Pictured is Katelyn Wandel walking outside near Schneider HallBusiness Bronco Katelyn Wandel is getting a taste of what a rewarding career in the food and consumer package goods marketing industry is like. Here, she dishes on what her experience at WMU has entailed so far, and how her education is setting her up for success. 

Why did you choose food and consumer package goods marketing for your major? What appeals to you most about this area of study?

I chose this program because it offers endless opportunities to connect and work with industry professionals and gain experience, and because it prepares students for success beyond college. This program offers students a personalized learning environment. The professors truly care about the students and go above and beyond to help them. 

What excites you most about your field?

The food industry is constantly evolving and dealing with new trends coming to the market. Having the variability that can come with different companies and products is exciting to be a part of, as it affects such a large array of consumers. A unique opportunity the industry faces is that there will always be a need for food and consumer packaged goods, so being able to see how products develop, change and adapt is a really interesting element.

What have been your top 1-3 highlights or experiences as a business student so far?

My top three highlights and experiences so far have been: being on the Food Marketing Association’s executive board, being part of WMU’s 2020-21 National Grocers Association case competition team, and being able to attend WMU’s Food Marketing Conference. All three experiences have given me the opportunity to grow and develop personally and professionally, as well as expand my network and find further opportunities within the industry—like internships and certification programs.   

What is the most important thing you’ve learned as a business student so far?

The most important thing I have learned is to continue to put yourself in a position to learn and grow. I think it is so important that business students expose themselves to new opportunities, experiences and ideas in order to gain professional and personal insights. Western offers plenty of options for broadening skills and getting involved as a student.

Have you had an internship, study abroad trip, student organization or club, etc. that you’ve been a part of that has been especially influential in your college career? What are those experiences and what is special about them?

I will be interning virtually at Meijer this summer on the merchandising team. I also plan to study abroad at some point during my time at WMU, and I currently hold the vice president of marketing position on the Food Marketing Association’s executive board. Throughout my time with FMA, I have had the opportunity to meet and grow my network. As part of FMA, I have also been able to lead teams and have learned that I would love to manage a team in my future career. 

Have you had any mentors throughout your time at the business college? Who, and how have those individuals helped you succeed?

I have had many mentors throughout my time here at Western! I have found mentors in my professors who have helped me gain experience relevant to the industry and have aided me in building a foundation for a future career. I have also found mentors in many of the peers I have had the opportunity to work with on the FMA’s executive board. These individuals have not only been friends, but people who have inspired me to always go the extra mile.