Have you ever ordered food at Sheetz on a kiosk or through the Sheetz app? Thank Rachel (Crownover) Alden (’09) and her team for that! As a former communication major, Alden works as the Digital Projects Manager at Sheetz. She looks over market data, customer insight and business needs, and with the help of her software development team, she creates and maintains products that move the Sheetz brand forward.
Working in software product management may seem like an odd fit for a communication major. However, Alden says that it combines her skills and interests. She and her team must use strong communication skills when interacting with internal and external audiences. They also use networking and sales skills to earn internal support for projects. “The technological side of the work feeds my analytical mind,” Alden says. “I love that I am constantly learning!”
During her time at Messiah, Alden had six internships and work-study positions. Some of her internship opportunities included positions at Pennsylvania Partners, Altoona Regional Health Systems and Pinnacle Health Systems. Alden encourages students to pursue internships as soon as possible. Classes that Alden found particularly helpful include Business and Organizational Communication, Marketing and Senior PR Campaign. These classes taught Alden how to communicate effectively in an organizational context and how to compile proposals.
Networking within a company as a new employee holds tremendous value. When she started her new position, she set up meetings with key stakeholders and learned each person’s goals and role. “Organizational dynamics can be difficult but essential to learn with each new job,” Alden says. She found this helpful in allowing her to work more efficiently.
-Audrey Kuhns ’21