Employee profile: Sammy Swanson

Sammy (Samantha) Swanson was hired on June 1 as a marketing intern.  Julie Birkey, her manager, explained that her primary role for the summer would be staffing the GRSB payments booth at the Farmers Market.  As it turns out, however, Sammy contributed far more than expected during what turned out to be a very busy summer. 

“It’s been an awesome summer,” Sammy explained.  “The very first day I began work here, I was put to work helping with the Forest Jam event.  The month of June was a blur as we organized all aspects of the concert; it was awesome!”

Sammy will be a fourth-year student at St. Thomas University’s Opus College of Business where she is working on a bachelor’s of arts degree in marketing management.  And she knows this is her fourth and final year.

“I grew up working in my mom’s (Trina Fuhrman Jacobson) retail businesses as early as I can remember,” Sammy explained.  “I was too young to officially work, but I helped out with cleaning or doing errands.  When I was older—high school age—I worked at Purple Pinecone and Isabella’s and then Reed Drug.  I came back during the summer the first two years of college, too.  I know retail.”

Sammy likes getting involved in big events.  She has helped out at the Bisch Bash (now known as The Bash), a fundraiser created for Itasca Area Crisis Cancer Fund in honor of Jackie Bischoff.  That experience, coupled with what she learned helping with Forest Jam, will be good references on her resume. 

“I’ve had the chance to be involved in all aspects of marketing,” said Sammy, “and that’s the experience I was hoping for.  Julie has been amazing to work with, and I’ve had lots of fun while learning the ins and outs of marketing in the real world. 

“Everyone here has been so open and friendly; I feel part of the GRSB family.  I was a little nervous before I started working here, but that’s behind me.”

Sammy’s other mom, Heather Swanson, is the GRSB teller manager.  Sammy has a younger sister, Tabitha, and brother, Braidy, who is a second-year student at Mesabi Community and Technical College.  Sammy was active in high school activities as she grew up in Grand Rapids: she played flute in the concert band and was a volleyball star since elementary school.  She still enjoys watching all kinds of sports.

“I really want to move back to Grand Rapids after graduating from college,” Sammy added.  “I wanted to move away, but after living in the Twin Cities, I appreciate life in Grand Rapids.  I like the Cities, but I like living here more, and I’m hoping to move back here after college to get a job and start a family of my own.”

And what about the Farmers Market, the primary job she thought she was being hired for?

“I like being outside at Farmers Market,” said Sammy. “It is fun and rewarding to help customers with EBT (electronic benefits transfer) and other electronic payments.  This has been a great summer.”

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