Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Growing with Schwan: From internship to leading new business development


June 14, 2016 — We recently welcomed in a new group of 30 interns at the company. During their 12 to 15 weeks with us, they will be exposed to several projects that help them gain a deeper understanding of our business and the value of teamwork.

One person who knows firsthand the value of an internship within one of The Schwan Food Company’s subsidiaries is Jamie Brink Thordson, who has been with the company for 10 years. She began her career as an intern with our training and development team. Afterward, she took a full-time position and worked her way into roles of increasing responsibility.

Today, she works in marketing for our home-delivery business as the new business development director. She took a moment to tell us about her experiences and gave some good advice for college students who are looking to get the most out of their internships.

Q. What interested you in Schwan initially?

A. Growing up, we always had about eight flavors of Schwan’s® ice cream at the house at any one time. My father worked within the company my entire childhood, so I got to see a lot of things firsthand and developed an understanding — and deep respect — for the company, its products and people. When it came time to find a job, this was one of the first places I looked.

Q. How long have you worked for the company?

A. I recently celebrated 10 years, officially. Prior to that, I had some part-time roles and completed an internship.

Q. What do you do now?

A. I now work in marketing as the director of new business development for Schwan’s Home Service. I lead a team responsible for our Schwan’s Cares™ fundraising program, our mail-order business, and I am responsible for identifying and executing any future programs or partnerships that Home Service may launch.

Q. You said you started as an intern? Why did you pick Schwan for your internship?

A. I was an intern early in my time at Schwan. I wanted to learn more about all aspects of business and an internship with our training and development team seemed like a great opportunity to see various parts of the company. I applied and was thrilled when I was selected.

Q. How did your internship prepare you for your full-time position?

A. I saw firsthand the type of jobs I wanted; more importantly, I saw roles I knew weren’t for me. I met people who I still keep in touch with today. I also learned that Schwan is willing to take chances on people who don’t have all the answers.

Q. Do you have any tips for someone looking to be successful in their first internship?

A. Enter with an open mind and open arms. Don’t be afraid to try things you aren’t sure about and soak in absolutely everything you can while networking with anyone who will listen.

Q. What advice would you give someone who is considering an internship with our company?

A. Do it. You won’t regret it. The opportunities at Schwan are truly endless.

*All references to The Schwan Food Company, Schwan or company with respect to trademarks, employees, logos, manufacturing facilities and products are to the subsidiaries of Schwan.

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