The Sweetest Thing

Inspired by a friend’s trip back to PA this week for an interview, I thought it was about time to write about my week in…

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Tons of people I met in college had been to Hershey Park before (being native Pennsylvanians), but I never got to visit the Sweetest Place On Earth until about 8 months into my job when I got sent for training. I use “training” loosely; we mostly just got to meet awesome people in the company and have a lot of fun. It didn’t hurt that I had Jordan, my Hershey partner-in-crime, with me, either.

#airportselfie

#airportselfie

After waking up super early on a Sunday, grabbing our first flight out of Austin, transferring to a puddle jumper full of Penn State students and staff going to Harrisburg, then getting a ride from a cute old Milton Hershey School graduate once we landed, we finally arrived at the Hotel Hershey. This is where I got the BEST greeting I’ve ever heard in my life:

“Would you prefer milk chocolate or dark chocolate?”

Obviously, this place and I were meant to be.

We THEN were told that we’d be staying in the brand new cabins built behind the hotel.

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Complete with a personal stone fireplace, I might add!

Complete with a personal stone fireplace, I might add!

We made ourselves at home before meeting the whole group for dinner. All details after that are kind of a blur, but the week looked like this…

Chocolate World

Chocolate World

The Hershey Story - What the first machines that made Kisses looked like!

The Hershey Story – What the first machines that made Kisses looked like!

Old ads

Old ads

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Getting advice from ol' Milton himself

Getting advice from ol’ Milton himself

Factory visits (I went to the Reese's plant!)

Factory visits (I went to the Reese’s plant!)

Tasting fresh Reese's cups

Tasting fresh Reese’s cups

Having an awesome(ly catered) game night

Having an awesome(ly catered) game night

And, my favorite, visiting the Milton Hershey School!

And, my favorite, visiting the Milton Hershey School!

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Seriously, this places is better than some colleges I've seen.

Seriously, this places is better than some colleges I’ve seen.

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I have to say, Hershey’s rock-solid CSR reputation is what drew me to the company in the first place, but getting to actually see where the success of the company goes, in the form of that school and the children it’s helping, made my job instantly worthwhile. I’m not sure how many people know this, but Hershey is aiming to hit $10 billion in revenue for 2017, yet the Milton Hershey School is sitting on over $12 billion right now and has a majority stake in the company. aka we’re not getting sold any time soon, which were exactly Milton’s intentions!

Activities aside, my favorite part of the whole week was getting to connect with people from all over the company – “all over” referring to both departments, geographies, and hierarchies. I met other reps from all over the country (and Canada!), who I keep in contact with to this day. Senior leaders were present at our workshops every day we were there, as well, which was both an honor and an indicator as to how much the company cares about its employees and its future.

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Hershey girls

Hershey girls

If you didn't get a chance to read The Hershey Press that week, we went to Egypt, too.

If you didn’t get a chance to read The Hershey Press that week, we went to Egypt, too.

All in all, it was an informative and inspiring week that I wish I could participate in every single month. It was hard having to say goodbye to everyone, not knowing when I’d see them again!

What DID help was a little side-trip I had planned…

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Can you guess?

– Alexa

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