For Sophomore Mawaye Appleton (In photo below, third from left), Brooklyn Park, Minn., it was much more than a visit to
company headquarters. For the accounting and management double major at the University of Minnesota Crookston, it was a time she will never forget.
Appleton was selected to spend a day job shadowing in early January 2014 at the headquarters of Anytime Fitness in Hastings, Minn., by winning an essay contest in Kevin Cooper's small business entrepreneurship class.
Following a visit to campus by Anytime Fitness CEO and Co-founder Chuck Runyon in October 2013, Cooper's class was asked to write an essay reflecting on Runyon's presentation. "I did the assignment not knowing it was going to be considered in a contest," Appleton explains. "I took what I learned in the presentation and then in my essay applied it to an experience of my own and explained how I would make a different decision today."
While at Anytime Fitness, Appleton met personally with Runyon and Chief Financial Officer Gerry Thomas. Hosted by Vice President of Operations Jennifer Yiangou, Appleton says she was treated to a day with professionals who care about their company and make the most of their work environment. It proved to be a powerful learning experience.
"I took away so much from everyone at Anytime Fitness," Appleton says. "They shared job hunting tips, talked about their own experience, and offered professional advice. It was a pivotal experience for me as a student, and I cannot believe I was selected for such an amazing opportunity."
What she found during her visit was a culture that felt like family. "They took me in and made me feel like I was a part of the Anytime Fitness family even in the short time I was there," Appleton says." The environment was warm and welcoming and a great place for me to meet and learn from the best in the industry."
While she would love an opportunity to work for Anytime Fitness someday, Appleton is currently focused on her college career. She chose to attend the U of M Crookston because of the size and the opportunity to go to school where the student/faculty ratio meant she would be able to build relationships with her instructors. She loves math, economics, and problem solving and is finding her choice of majors a great fit for her. She serves as secretary of the Accounting and Finance Society on campus and is a member of the Black Student Association.
About Anytime Fitness
With more than 20 years experience managing, consulting, and owning health clubs, Chuck Runyon has distinguished himself as a leading authority in the field of fitness. He revolutionized the fitness industry when he and Dave Mortensen co-founded Anytime Fitness. They designed smaller, neighborhood clubs with features members wanted most: convenience, affordability, quality equipment and a friendly, non-intimidating atmosphere. From the initiation of Anytime Fitness, Runyon has been involved in virtually every facet of the business -- including strategic planning, operations, training, franchise development, and marketing.
Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 36 concentrations on campus--as well as 13 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology. With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree. "Small Campus. Big Degree." To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.
In the photo: Enjoying some time outside class are, left to right, Yazmin Jeylani, Christiana Boadu, Mawaye Appleton, and Mary Boateng.
Contact: Kevin Cooper, teaching specialist, Business Department, 218-281-8187 (firstname.lastname@example.org); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (email@example.com)