Kristen Rupp '15
Leadership, Ethics and Organizational Sustainability, Spanish
Career Advancement, I got a job!
Senior Customer Executive
Briefly describe your role with Hormal Foods.
"I manage our consumer packaged goods portfolio in sales negotiations with the eastern region of the national wholesaler Supervalu, so I work with products including Skippy Peanut Butter, Hormel Chili, Black Label Bacon, and SPAM. I began my Hormel journey in Minneapolis, MN calling on Supervalu Western Region, and now I am back in Bethlehem, PA creating solutions with Supervalu Eastern Region - about 1800 grocery stores. My job includes negotiating price points, bringing in new items, arranging different promotions for our products, and even tracking our supply chain process to make sure our items get to the stores on time!"
How did you get connected to this opportunity?
"I had older classmates and friends who had enjoyed internships and full-time positions with Hormel and they certainly piqued my interest, but it was my interaction with the company at the career fair and during my on-campus interview that made me simply fall in love with Hormel. I saw so many similarities between the social environment at SJU and the corporate culture at Hormel, and I immediately knew I would feel right at home."
How did your SJU education impact your position and professional goals?
"While I was nervous about a sales career as a food marketing major, I quickly learned how closely my daily job responsibilities parallel the curriculum I completed at SJU. Not only do I regularly leverage concepts I learned in the classroom to navigate obstacles at work, but I also know that the standards I was held to as a student at SJU have instilled a strong work ethic and sense of integrity that have pushed me through four promotions at Hormel over the past three years. My education at SJU taught me that while our successes can be great, the journey is the real reward, and I am so happy to have carried this philosophy with me to my current experiences with Hormel Foods. I will always be a very proud Hawk!"
Did you participate in any experiential learning activities while at SJU?
"I worked as an SJU Summer Scholar alongside Professor Latella researching food marketing shortcomings in the way we currently advertise to Hispanic shoppers. I also spent a summer interning at the U.S. Dairy Export Council - an internship I secured through the help of one of my SJU professors! During my time at SJU, two of my favorite on-campus organizations were the Freshman Orientation Team and the Appalachian Experience leaders, and I think the problem-solving and organizational skills I learned in these two roles still help me every day."