Casey Collins enjoys helping and working with others at her job with Buffalo Rock-Pepsi, which is one of the reasons she enjoys the field of human resources.
“I worked as an assistant general manager at Regal Cinemas for four years,” she said. “During that time, I found that the aspect of the position that I enjoyed doing the most was all of the HR functions. During the pandemic, I moved to Alabama and saw an entry-level HR position available at Buffalo Rock (which had recently renamed the human resources department the ‘employee experience’ department. I got the position and it continued to foster my passion for human resources and I made the decision to grow further in the field by getting my MBA in human resource management.”
“The entire culture of Buffalo Rock is centered around providing positive experiences for the employees and that aspect of the position is so fulfilling. I love having the opportunity to interact with the employees,” she said.
Buffalo Rock is also a member of the Alabama Grocers Association, a state trade association representing the grocery retail industry with 350 member companies and over 90% of the retailers in Alabama. AGA also represents others involved in the food industry including wholesalers, manufacturers, brokers and distributors. AGA offers a special benefit for its members — tuition reimbursements for education.
“The Alabama Grocers Education Foundation’s mission is enriching education and career development in the grocery industry,” said Stephanie Crabtree, event and education director. “Our association raises money to provide tuition reimbursements and continuing education for our members and award scholarships for our members and their dependents. We take pride in our efforts of uniting for this mission, as we have raised over $1.4 million in scholarships for deserving college students.”
Collins used the reimbursement money right away.
“I had to pay for my courses utilizing financial aid, so both annual reimbursements went straight toward paying off my student loans,” Collins said, who enrolled in CSU in June 2021. “Although a master’s degree is not a requirement for my current position, I wanted to earn my degree for my personal accomplishment and the building of my professional knowledge. After earning my degree, I plan to begin the process of getting Professional in Human Resources certified. The knowledge that I have gained through the courses that I took will be beneficial in helping me to achieve that goal.”
Both Buffalo Rock and the Alabama Grocers Association are CSU Learning Partners. Learning Partners’ employees and their families receive a 10% tuition discount and are eligible to apply for the Learning Partner Scholarship. For more information, visit ColumbiaSouthern.edu/Partners.