Jennifer Stein ’15, Business

NVU Opened the Door to a Career She Loves

When Jennifer Stein ’15 found her career niche, she realized how big an influence NVU’s business program has had on her life.

After a promotion from cashier to head buyer at the Morrisville Food Coop, “I’ve never been happier,” she says. For a recent trip to Salt Lake City to attend a vendor show and do some purchasing, “The store trusted me, and I was able to get that experience and learn from it.”

Her work at the coop fits well with her business education. “NVU definitely prepared me for my career. The business program stressed local entrepreneurship and working in the community, and here I am working at the local coop,” Jennifer says. “Our coop is a small community that supports our neighbors, and that’s what NVU is, too.”

Endless Opportunities

Jennifer was drawn to business because of all the related career options: human resources, sales, marketing, management, and more. Through NVU-Johnson’s liberal arts foundation, she gained a broad view of the business world and developed critical-thinking skills.

“It taught me about looking at the whole picture as a buyer. You have to analyze all the facts,” says Jennifer, who pursued a management concentration at NVU. “My NVU education taught me to look at everything through every lens, and it helped me get where I am today.”

In an internship as a mentor to first-year business students, she also built communication and management skills useful in her coop work.

Access to Academic and Personal Support

Jennifer chose NVU-Johnson because of the community feel, caring faculty and staff, and small classes. “You aren’t just a number there,” she says. “I wanted to succeed and wanted the teachers to care that I succeeded, and that’s what I found there.”

The TRIO academic support program was a valuable part of Jennifer’s NVU experience. TRIO improved her test-taking ability and other skills. “Without that, I wouldn’t have done as well as I did,” the Morrisville resident says.

TRIO is just one example of NVU’s close-knit campus. “The faculty and staff provide a community where you can always find someone to talk to,” Jennifer says. “You can find a family there — that’s where I found my second family.”

Working to Serve Members and Help Local Businesses Thrive

At the coop, with about 1,000 members including NVU students and employees, she also has a family.

As head buyer, Jennifer purchases whenever possible locally made products, including milk, produce, meat, and cheese. “We want to support our neighbors and make sure they get business, too. That’s our big goal,” she says.

The satisfaction from her work is big for Jennifer, too. “The most rewarding part is when somebody comes in and says, ‘I didn’t know you were here. I’ll be back tomorrow,’ she notes. “It’s fantastic for people to be excited about what we have on the shelves and know we’re here for them.”

A man wearing a gray suit, sitting on a desk, speaking to a class.

“The program pushes students to step out of their comfort zone and think critically, as a leader in the business world. This hands-on approach has allowed me to develop skills that I never thought that I would need to succeed.”

– Aaron Perry '16


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