Working with Tomatoes

Published: Friday, August 5, 2016

Two greenhouses, 42 acres of tomatoes, 260 employees and one human resources internship for Thomas College student Logan Bruneau ‘17.

Bruneau, from Madison, Maine, worked at Backyard Farms as a high school student and during the summers in college. This summer, before her senior year at Thomas, she is no longer working in the pack house – she is in the office working in the human resources department.

“I appreciate it more because I worked out there,” says Bruneau of the pack house where she spent her shifts picking through the tomatoes and disposing the ones with bruises and cuts.

“I’m getting the joy of both worlds by seeing what it’s like to be an employee in the greenhouses and then how it is to work in the offices supporting the employees,” said the business management major.

As the human resources intern, she plans employee appreciation events such as trips to Fun Town, barbeques and created the award certificate program.

Bruneau is also helping recruit new employees for the company.

“I review all of the applications, conduct and schedule phone interviews and other various screenings and give the job offer,” she said.

Bruneau said she will also be in charge of orientation for new employees. She hopes to learn more about finance, accounting and payroll on the job.

Bruneau’s boss, the Senior Director Human Resources of Backyard Farms Dawn Palmer ’98, is a Thomas alumna. She is happy to see Bruneau thrive and has helped her learn as much as she can this summer.

***

Bruneau, who is from a small town, said she loves Thomas College’s community, especially the professors.

“They are always there. You’re not a number. You can go up to them and ask anything.”

Bruneau says she also looks forward to classes, where her professors do not just give her materials and facts to memorize, but provide her with real-life scenarios.

She says her time at Thomas has been helpful during her internship this summer, especially in terms of the best way to communicate with people.

***

Bruneau’s first internship has taught her the value of real-life experiences while going to college.

“You just learn so much more. You’re exposed. It puts you on your feet when you’re in a position like this. You just never know what’s going to happen,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed human resources because it’s always changing. There is so much to it. It’s definitely different than a class environment.”

Reader Interactions