With one foot still on campus and the other ready to step into a career in food marketing, Abi Main stopped by Waldo Library for one last look before graduating this past June.
“I love the library,” Main says. “I feel like such a scholar when I come to the library. It just puts you in that head space that you are going to get things done. You’re going to be in a quiet environment where you can focus, and you have resources and all these different people that want to help you.”
On the cusp of graduation, Main reflected on her experiences studying in Waldo Library and working with business librarian LuMarie Guth, who provided research support and instruction during Main’s time in WMU’s food marketing program.
While preparing for the National Grocers Association case competition, Main and her teammates worked with Guth to research current trends and insights, which were critical to the case they developed for the competition.
“Knowing those trends is important for creating and marketing new products because you want to market them to a specific audience. If you don’t have current trends on what people are looking for, you’ll never be able to like hit that target market,” Main says. “You can get current information from [LuMarie]. She would also just expand your lens of what you think you might want to do and open it up to something else that’s even more interesting.”
“She was so quick to respond to everything,” Main says. “She would find information about what we were looking for and then give us her input on things that she thought would be interesting to dive deeper into.”
“It gave us like a more holistic solution,” Main says. “Instead of just saying one thing as our answer, we could look at it from like a bigger lens, which made it more of a story to tell.”
During her capstone course with Dr. Bob Samples, Main’s group worked with Guth to research the cannabis industry and develop a case for a home delivery service. While the team’s initial focus was on just the delivery component, some recommendations from Guth expanded their focus to include the product type.
“[LuMarie] is like a wizard at this,” Main says. “She can show you step-by-step how to get to a program, how to use it, and how to pull your own information. While she was showing you how to do it, she would collect all the relevant documents, and then she would send it over in an email.”
Main is heading to North Carolina to start her career as an associate business manager in the food brokerage industry. Her advice to WMU students: put yourself out there, get out of your comfort zone and take advantage of opportunities outside of class.
“It’s really important to put yourself out there,” says Main. “Once you initially get yourself out of your comfort zone to do something that might scare you, you’ll have a really big return on investment.”
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