Katie Ranallo '08
Why I chose to major in MGMT:
I started off my college career as an individualized major, knowing that I wanted to have an emphasis in marketing. I chose to pursue a management major because I believe it gave me the "essentials" that I would need to build a solid foundation before entering a profession in business. The flexibility within the major still allowed me to drive my education into specific directions of interest, resulting in a true personal investment in my classes. I created a set of coursework that I believed would make me most marketable in my fields of interest. I graduated with strong interests in both marketing and entrepreneurship. Marketing courses, creativity & innovation, topics in leadership and entrepreneurship were my favorite courses.
Activities Involved in:
I was a member of the cross country team all four years, and captain my senior year.
I studied abroad spring of my junior year in South Africa.
I was involved in the Management mentor program and a member during the first years of the marketing club.
I wrote a senior honors thesis.
I interned for CentraCare health system's marketing department for one year under the guidance of John Schnettler (Marketing director and SJU Alum).
Why I chose General Mills:
I had my eyes set on GMI for sometime before I began looking for jobs. General Mills is one of the most sought-after companies because they are known for treating their employees very well. They are an organization with a great reputation - even internationally! I wanted to know that I would continually be challenged and would have the opportunity to gain a career filled with broad experience. They call General Mills the company of champions and the people are really what make the company such a great place to work.
Right now, I'm in sales on a team that works on Category Management. Being this is my first year in Sales, I analyze trends and data on some of our largest categories in Convenience stores (Grains, Salty Snacks, Cereal, etc) and then make recommendations and build sell stories for the field sales representatives. I'll slowly build a foundation and then begin appearing in front of the customer. I hope to keep moving through the organization, hold some cross functional roles, and eventually earn a leadership position. The possibilities really seem endless here. In a few years, I'd also like to pursue a graduate degree in business.
Advice to students:
Network, network, network! We have a great alum network out there (it's one of the best) and it's the best way to explore opportunities that you may not have been aware of.
Start early. It's never too early to explore opportunities like internships, informational interviews, career opportunities, etc.
Seek multiple and a variety of experiences (study abroad, volunteering, internships, jobs, etc). You can never have too many and the more you have, the more appealing you'll be to prospective employers.