Sarah Engstrom, CISO and
VP of IT Security, Productivity
and Privacy, CHS, Inc., Romeo
Vang, Intern at CHS, Inc., and
Scott Grussing, Manager of IT
Client Services, CHS. Inc.
We’re not going to lie – it can take a village to build a successful relationship between a corporate partner and Genesys Works. Luckily, with five-year partner CHS, Inc, we’ve found that village – support and enthusiasm for the program from all levels.
Sarah Engstrom, the CISO and VP of IT Security, Productivity and Privacy at CHS, has championed this partnership because she knows that the program’s benefits are far reaching – to the young professionals, to the supervisors, and to the company at large. Drawing from her experience with program, Sarah shared that the interns “are able to take learnings from navigating life and internship priorities and schedules, and carry that level of discipline and accountability into university and beyond.”
Even more, from a company standpoint, this infusion of new perspective – of excitement, of engagement, and of learning – is something that Sarah cannot underscore enough. She explained, “the internships give us an opportunity to step out of the ‘corporate norms’ a bit and reflect on what we do, how we do it and why. The Genesys Works interns give us that license to look at things with a fresh perspective – a fresh set of eyes.”
Sarah’s enthusiasm for the program has cascaded to company supervisors and young professionals alike. Scott Grussing, Manager of IT Client Services, currently manages two interns, and sees firsthand the importance of the program: “The opportunity gives the student a real word experience in a corporate setting. We have multiple students that have returned to CHS as college interns and seeing the continued growth is amazing.”
According to Romeo Vang, a young professional on CHS’s Distributive Services team and one of Scott’s interns, Scott has prioritized exposure to professional development and networking opportunities, as well as sharing his own IT expertise. Because of Scott and Sarah’s support, Romeo is proud of all that he has accomplished in his role and he sees the value in his experience as a Genesys Works young professional. In particular, Romeo recalls a project where he said that he “had taken full action to increase[his] knowledge.” “Looking back at it now,” he explained, “it truly was a learning point that helped me achieve so much as of now.”
As in any healthy partnership, the positive effects of working together, of relationship building, and of collaboration have reverberated to everyone involved. Scott shared that he, too, has grown from his involvement with Genesys Works and from working with Romeo and his other interns: “I have learned that each student is an individual and that for some this program takes a lot of courage and shows a great commitment,” he explained.
Scott even went onto add, “There was a time when I could have used a program like Genesys Works to help me in preparing for the future.”
At the end of the day, the continued success of our young professionals is foremost to our mission. And it’s clear that this is at the heart of our partnership with CHS. The interns, Sarah explained, “are role models for the community, and they now have a network of built-in champions and mentors.”
We are thankful for our strong partnership with CHS and excited to see how it can continue to grow so that more young professionals like Romeo are equipped with opportunity and empowered to succeed in whatever path they choose.