By Jenni Hanna
Come with me on a trip back to 1990…
That’s the year I graduated from Tiffin Columbian High School with a 3.91 grade point average. I was going to head to college like everyone else and enjoy the next four years of being a student. There was one issue. I didn’t have the financial means and there was zero hope for scholarships based on my athletic abilities. I struggled for a few months thinking through my options.
After talking with my dad several times, I decided to find a strong company that provided tuition reimbursement benefits. I would be able to earn money and achieve my goal of getting a college degree. I applied to Whirlpool Corporation’s Findlay Operations and was hired in February of 1991 as an assembler working second shift. The factory was so large and I just hoped I could find my way back to the parking lot! I remember thinking I wanted to become a supervisor some day and my dream job was to be a manager of Assembly Operations.
It was challenging at times, but I could bid to different shifts while going to school part time. You might find me at the picnic table reading for a few minutes during my lunch break or asking a supervisor why he chose manufacturing as a career. I started at Terra Community College and received my Associate’s Degree and eventually achieved my MBA from the University of Findlay. During this time, my work experiences complimented my academic learning. I could apply what I was learning at college to being a team leader and a supervisor. Looking back, having both types of learning have shaped the leader I am today.
Tuition reimbursement benefits enabled me to graduate without any student loan debt and ultimately achieve my dream job as Manager of Assembly. I feel like I’m still dreaming as today I have the privilege to lead our Greenville KitchenAid Plant where we manufacture the iconic KitchenAid brand stand mixers, blenders, hand mixers and attachments.
Whirlpool Corporation provides a tremendous benefit with tuition reimbursement. There are also many different types of roles and shift schedules available in manufacturing. Combining work experience with education can be a powerful way to launch your career! I love manufacturing and the opportunities I’ve had through the years. I have been fortunate to serve in many leadership roles, including engineering and human resources. Whirlpool manufacturing provides opportunities for thousands of team members to not only have a job, but to invest in continued education.