Sarah McKinnon ’22 admits that while in high school, she focused more on showing horses competitively than preparing for college. With scholarships out the picture she knew she would have to work to pay for college. Luckily, Festival Foods needed someone with McKinnon’s desire to succeed. Her entry-level job there, turned out to be fortuitous to her future.
“College was always the goal, but it wasn’t easy to get there,” she says. “I had a conditional admit, starting at UW-Manitowoc (Now UW-Green Bay, Manitowoc Campus).” It was there that she proved to herself that college was manageable. She transferred to the Green Bay Campus in year two, and found a passion for business.
“My leaders at Festival allowed me to assist with payroll while our human resources manager was on a short term leave of absence. It was that moment that I fell in love with HR.”
“I knew it was going to be tough to finish out my last semester working 40 hours a week, but also taking a full course load of 15 credits. Thankfully, all my classes were offered online, so I could continue working. I knew that I was in a career that I loved which pushed me to finish out my bachelor’s degree on a strong note.” That blip during Covid? It actually made her stronger in the end.
“I am excited to share that I was one of the many hired before graduation, but I would not have been able to do it without the family, friends, and co-workers who stood by me through it all.”