Annual Impact Report Extended Story: From Internship to Full-Time Employment

April 11, 2020


Twin Cities

Denise Reyes, Class of 2015, & Nancy Yang, Class of 2014, Current Employees at Land O’Lakes, Inc.

Mission completion. That’s what we call the magic happening at Land O’Lakes, Inc. with Denise Reyes and Nancy Yang – two Genesys Works alumni who are now full-time employees with the company.

So, what’s the recipe for this magic? That’s the thing; there isn’t one recipe. Each journey looks different, and each requires a special combination of opportunity, drive, and mentorship.

Like all of our young professionals, Denise’s Genesys Works journey began with summer training. She rode the bus for an hour every morning to training and on the way, dreamt about what her future might hold. Eight weeks after that first bus ride, she began interning at Medtronic and then again the following summer after her first year at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.

Fast forward to her senior year of college, and Denise was hired as a bilingual credit intern at Land O’Lakes, Inc. on their international credit team. And now? Denise is now more than a year into her role as an international credit analyst where she supports customers all over the world.

Nancy Yang grew up in a low-income family, so she joined Genesys Works to gain financial freedom. Says Nancy, “I watched my parents struggle and barely manage to scrape by growing up, and I didn’t want my future to be the same. So, I joined Genesys Works to get my foot in the door.”  In high school, Nancy interned at Target Corporation and graduated in 2014. Four years later, she had also graduated college from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in computer science.

Now, Nancy has achieved more than that: currently, she is a second-year IT Talent Acquisition Program (TAP) associate on the data and analytics team. TAP is a leadership development program designed for recent graduates to gain hands-on experience in different areas of IT at an organization. TAP, and programs like it, are built for young people like Nancy, who are bright, talented, and enthusiastic about IT.

Of course, there’s more to it. There’s supply, and there’s demand. Land O’Lakes, through college internship opportunities like Denise’s and through Nancy’s TAP program, has bought into hiring young, driven, and diverse talent from underserved Twin Cities communities. Land O’Lakes is committed to the Genesys Works program – sponsoring 63 high school interns and four college interns in the last 12 years. Moreover, they’ve shown they’re committed to hiring Genesys Works alumni, as well.

Land O’Lakes CISO Tony Taylor knows it’s mutually beneficial: “We get to know the students through their internship, and we build lasting relationships both professionally and personally.  Having the opportunity to stay connected with them through their college education and having the opportunity for them to come back to Land O’Lakes is simply a win-win for both of us.”

Mission completion: these are the stories we like to hear.

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