November 21, 2016 at 9:25 am

Sociology-Psychology Alum Recruits for Kroger

Jenna Richards

Jenna Richards

Jenna Richards ’14 ’16M is a recruiter for the Mid-Atlantic division for Kroger. She reviews applications and conducts phone interviews with candidates to see if they would be a good fit for positions at Kroger stores.

If she thinks a candidate would be a good fit, she arranges an in-store interview and offers her recommendation to the store’s hiring manager. She works with 13 stores in North Carolina and also assists other recruiters within her division—in Virginia, Tennessee, West Virginia, and even southern Ohio on occasion.

“It is hard to put into words how much my degree has helped me in my current career. I use the knowledge and skills that I gained in almost every single aspect of what I do,” Richards says.

“Many of my co-workers tease me about how excited I get when I talk about my time at OHIO, or when I try to passionately explain why they should be more sympathetic to those who come from lower socioeconomic statuses and why getting an interview for a part-time position is so exciting for someone.

“I could ramble on all day about how much I value my time in Athens or how much I appreciate my professors for pushing me to think harder and challenge the norm,”  she adds. “Some of the areas that I recruit for are economically depressed, and many of the people that I speak with have interesting perspectives to share.”

Finding the Right Majors at OHIO

“When I began classes at Ohio University, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do in life, which is why I started in the College of Business as a marketing and international business major. After I began taking classes within my major I realized that I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do after all,” Richards says.

“I took an intro Sociology course just to fill a general education requirement and ended up discovering a passion for the subject. I distinctly remember after my first class with Rebecca Collins going home and telling my roommate how excited I was about the class and that she should take it with me.

“High school Psychology classes were extremely interesting, so it was an easy decision to double major. I decided to pursue a certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies because I really enjoyed the classes that I got to take, they challenged my beliefs and really helped me with my public speaking skills.

“I felt that the two majors and certificate all complemented each other.

“All of the courses I took really opened my eyes to just how different life was for other people – growing up in a small town had given me a really narrow view of what the world was like and coming to Athens really changed that for me,” Richards says.

Starting Her Career, Then Moving Up

After completing her graduate coursework in 2015, Richards began her career with Sherwin Williams in its management training program.

“When I started the position, I really don’t think I knew what I was getting myself into. I had no knowledge of the industry or all that went into running a business,” Richards says.

“I truly believe that my degree helped me to better work with and collaborate with the customers that frequented the store. I decided to leave Sherwin and start a career with Kroger because I was looking for something that could better utilize my degree, and I wanted to start a career where I could see myself long-term.

“My time at Ohio University prepared me to be successful in the career of my choosing.

“My current occupation puts me in a position where am I interacting with individuals across different socioeconomic statuses and my education has helped me to understand the unique challenges that a wide range of people face.”

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