Alumni Profile: Colleen Griffin How Calvin prepared her for a career in marketing

Colleen Griffin
Turns out there is value in trying different classes if you don’t know what you’re passionate about: Colleen Griffin ‘15 discovered her interest in business this way.

At first, Colleen wasn’t sure what she wanted to study at Calvin. However, after taking an introductory business course with professor Cal Jen, she started to have a better idea. “Once I found my interest in business in [Jen’s] class, I asked him to be my advisor,” Colleen said. “Hearing about his experiences in business made me realize that I love the flexibility of business. Accounting and finance weren’t my strong-suits, and I found marketing more interesting. Marketing is always changing, and I like to learn new things.”

Small company opportunities

Once Colleen was hired as the marketing coordinator at Old Orchard Brands in May 2015, learning new things became a regular occurrence. With a three-person marketing department and one manufacturing facility in Sparta, Michigan, Colleen says the size of the company allows for plenty of new opportunities for her.

“Even though we’re a small company, my coworkers and I have the ability to do a lot of different things,” Colleen said. “I get to experience a lot of different tasks or projects, which has been helpful as my first full-time job out of college. I don’t know what I want my career path to look like, but it’s been helpful to see what my talents are in different areas.”

Colleen manages all Old Orchard social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. In addition to managing social media, she helps work on the website, blog page and with sales presentations. One of her favorite parts, though, is directly associated with the juice: “We get to brainstorm new awesome flavor ideas, and I get to taste-test a lot of juice flavors, which is really fun!”

Prepared for the workforce

Colleen is thankful for how Calvin prepared her as a businesswoman both academically and spiritually. “Sometimes it’s hard to relate business to faith, but Cal Jen and other business professors did a really good job at incorporating their faith in different lessons and into the curriculum,” she said. “It reiterated the importance of your faith journey and career path being side by side.”

Although she has already earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing, Colleen is dedicated to remaining a lifelong learner. During the Engaging Development interim trip to Cambodia, she realized how valuable education is in empowering someone’s life.

“There’s a lot more out there than what we know, and exploring that is an important thing to do as stewards of God’s creation,” Colleen said. “Things continue to change, so it’s important to keep learning.”

Colleen looks forward to future opportunities in the marketing field, possibly with a non-profit organization, and to growing as a businesswoman. “I want to continue learning what my abilities are and what I enjoy most within the marketing industry,” she said. “It would be cool to use my experience for helping others.”

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At Calvin, we see business as a powerful tool to make a difference in God's world. Through practical, innovative and challenging coursework, you'll be prepared for the workforce when you graduate.

What's in store after graduation from Calvin? A bold life.

Business department

What's the result of a Calvin education? It's a bold life, a life lived with your whole heart. Calvin alumni all over the world are acting as Christ's agents of renewal.

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VERGE: fall 2016

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