WAEF Weekly: Students Were Busy!

Student Career Tours

Last week WAEF students joined volunteers and staff for two half-day tours to explore career options in Wenatchee and Yakima. 

Our first day began at Stemilt Growers where students heard from professionals in marketing, warehouse operations, planning, international sales, IT and human resources.  Following lunch at the WAEF office, our tour continued on to Oneonta/Starr Ranch Growers to visit with marketing/graphic design, sales, human resources and food safety professionals.  

Day two began at Tree Top in Selah.  Our tour included valuable visits with members from the product development & research, shipping, IT, engineering, accounting, supply chain management and community relations departments.  Tree Top hosted lunch then our group was off to Orchard-Rite.  Here we got to learn from professionals in marketing, accounting, product development, engineering and manufacturing.

This is the second year for WAEF to offer this opportunity to our current scholarship recipients.  It is one of the outreach activities coordinated by our Student Stewardship Committee chaired by Frank Davis.  The committee has a final tour planned for mid-March specifically for students already planning to pursue a production related career in the industry.

Student feedback:

"I liked the informal dialogs while moving from one visit to the other and during lunch time. Also the time it was given for us to ask questions."

"I really enjoyed seeing the developmental process up at Tree Top. Seeing how clients can want a certain product, it gets worked on in a lab, several departments are involved from the packaging, marketing, financing, and others. In the end, through many trials a product is launched. The main idea I got was that several people interact with a lot of projects at a time from engineers, accountants, just about everyone."

"It was very eye opening in realizing the different opportunities out there in just one business."

"To see how everyone had a different path and how there were a lot of ups and downs, it wasn't a straight smooth path. As much as we have plans, they don't always happen they way we expect them too."

"The exposure to true professionals who were at one time in our shoes."

Special thank you to all that made this tour possible! 

Planning Sub-Committee Members
Wenatchee - Kurt Brownlee & Chris Willett
Yakima - Ben Jensen & Larry Martin

Host Companies
Tree Top (Sharon Miracle-Harris & Dwaine Brown)
Stemilt (Zach Williams)
Oneonta/Starr Ranch Growers (Jim Thomas)
Orchard-Rite (Ben Jensen)

Tour Guides
Wenatchee - Chris Willett, Nicole Brunner
Yakima - Larry Martin, Ben Jensen, Frank Davis

Host Company Speakers
Stemilt - Zach Williams, Alex Lozano, Roger Pepperl, Dennis Howell, Sergio Naranjo, Sean Akers and West Mathison

Oneonta/Starr Ranch Growers - Jim Thomas, Jill Morrison, Nicole Brunner, Mickey Mannley, Laura Kinman, Shane Cass and Anne Guerrero

Tree Top, Inc. -  Kevin Holland, Andy Juarez, Lerina Garza, Teri Walton, John Hagler, Bobbie Hiebert, Kelli Pettyjohn, Maria Segura, Randy Leavitt, Sharon Miracle-Harris, Dwaine Brown and Nicole Reed

Orchard-Rite - Ben Jensen, Shawn Miller , Jim Decoto and Edie Bruso