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Most Stressful Jobs: #7 Corporate Executive, Emily Coborn [VIDEO]

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ST. CLOUD — “I want to be the best leader I can for my team. I want to be there to be supportive, to encourage them, to make sure they are feeling fulfilled in their work,” — Emily Coborn.

Coming in at #7 on our most stressful jobs count down, developed by careercast.com  is corporate executive. Emily Coborn is the Vice President of Fresh Merchandising for Coborn’s Inc. but to get there she had to work her way up.

“I grew up in the business because I’m fifth generation of my family to join the company business. My first opportunity to work for the company was was when I was 16, you know you know you turn 16, you have to buy gas for your car. I was a part-time cashier at our Sauk Rapids store.”

Coborn continued to work for the family business throughout high school and college. While studying communications and Spanish at the College of St. Benedict she continued to worked at a gas station in St. Joseph.

“During my junior year of college, I decided that I should probably pursue an internship, my very ambitious friends were doing that and I thought it was a good idea for me too. So I landed an internship with Supervalu, which is a grocery wholesaler based in Edan Prairie, Minnesota.”

Throughout her internship Coborn worked in the communications department. After graduating from St. Ben’s, she was offered a full time position with Supervalu.

“I worked for Supervalu for a number of years, getting exposed to the industry and learning that this is somewhere that maybe I’d like to wind up, it seems pretty fun. I like just the very premise, the very fundamentals of feeding families and bringing families together over food.”

After Coborn spent several years at Supervalu, the company began to make some changes and she was concerned about her job security.

“So at the same time knowing there was a little instability with my role, Coborn’s had opened up a role within communications. I was lucky enough to have a lead on that opening up and came back to Coborn’s and started in the communications manager role.”

Coborn continued to climb the corporate ladder and she moved on to upper management positions. She now manages the meat & seafood, produce & floral and deli & bakery merchandising teams. 

“Everything when it comes to driving sales, merchandising is responsible for being that engine.”

Although managing her teams can be stressful, Coborn says one of biggest challenges of her job is staying on budget and finding new ways to boost sales.

“Really making sure that the sales plans that we’ve put together are the best for our retail locations and that allow our employees to really drive sales and engage with our guests and make sure we are providing our guests with the right product assortment at the right prices.”

In the grocery business, supplying products that customers need is key but sometimes mother nature has other plans.

“Supply issues with strawberries that are grown in California. Over the last couple of weeks they have had record rain and so that’s effecting the quality of the strawberries that we carry in our stores. We’re having to react very quickly on pricing or just making sure that our stores have the right supply. Ultimately we need to make sure that that’s driving sales.”

Regardless of stress, Coborn loves her unpredictable work day.

“It’s about balance and I’m a person who is a big believer that I need eight hours of sleep. I don’t try to burn the midnight oil because it’s not going to be good for me and it’s not going to be good for my team.”

When it comes to giving advice to someone who is looking to move up in Coborn’s or any other business, Coborn says you have to speak.

“I always tell people you have to raise your hand, be bold and express that you want to move up.”

Tune in next week as we check out our #6 most stressful job, being a print news reporter.

Videographer Justin LaBounty contributed to this story. 

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(Justin Labounty, WJON)
(Justin Labounty, WJON)

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