We first met Brianna Schreurs while she was attending South Dakota State University for a degree in advertising. She joined our crew as Famous’ 2019 account service intern, and in May of 2021, we hired her as a project coordinator. In her first few months back, we sat down with Bri to talk about her journey into advertising (and Fresh Produce), her interests and passions, and all the ways she lives an interesting life.
Bri, can you share what your journey to getting hired at Fresh Produce looked like?
It felt like a journey. After our internship, all three of us (Bri, Bailey & Tom) knew that we would come back to Fresh Produce. It was just a matter of when. So my entire senior year at South Dakota State University, that was the conversation. With COVID-19 and me graduating in May, the company could not hire me just because there was so much uncertainty. I had to find something else to do, so I moved to Rapid City and worked for KOTA Territory News and KEVN Black Hills FOX. And it was really fun and exciting. I learned a lot there, but I also knew that job didn’t have much longevity, so I approached Mike about revisiting that conversation and coming back to Fresh Produce. It took a few months to transition and figure out how everything would work, but now I’m here.
We’re so happy to have you back at Fresh Produce! How did you get interested in advertising?
I’ve always been interested in marketing, but I never had a name for it. Just because when you grow up in a small town, there isn’t really much talk about how you could do creative things for a living. Creative things were kind of looked down upon as something you couldn’t make a living around. When people asked, ‘What do you want to do after you graduate from high school?’ I had no idea and that was okay.
But my senior year, I really got freaked out about it. I remember that I really enjoyed my agriculture classes. I was involved with FFA, wore the blue corduroy and everything. I just had a lot of fun. My agriculture advisor was my favorite teacher, and he was just so vibrant, and he got to do a variety of things. So I told my mom one day that I would go to SDSU to be an agriculture instructor. My mom was like, ‘Why would you want to do that?’ And I said, ‘I don’t really know what I want to do with my life, so if I become an ag teacher, at least I can go anywhere.’ And then she said, ‘I think you should do marketing.’ So that’s what I did. It’s really funny the lack of thought I put into it. And I never even changed my major in college because majoring in advertising just worked.
Within the field, I think there’s a lot of ways to help people articulate ideas and get business. Marketing can accomplish a lot for any business and that’s always really intrigued me. I enjoy really good strategy, and there’s fun in it too. I love making connections and constructing a brand that relates and speaks to people. All of that is really interesting, compelling, and worthwhile work.
What experience or passion feeds into your interest in working at Fresh Produce?
I’ve always been attracted to strong communities in my life, and Fresh Produce is a strong community. I’m always interested in how we like to nurture our culture, support each other, and celebrate each other. I think all of that is why I like Fresh Produce. I’m really passionate about good communities.
I’ve always been a very relational person. In college, I was really involved in SDSU’s student-run newspaper the Collegian, and one of my favorite things I did there was create processes and celebrations for my staff that led to making a really good product. The process of that was really fun. I led a Bible study group throughout college and I taught sixth-grade girls this last year in Rapid City. Both were workshops in making an intentional community for learning and vulnerability.
Why did Fresh Produce’s creative approach appeal to you?
I think Ted has been the first person in my entire life that was like, ‘Hey, creativity isn’t something you just reach for in the dark and it comes to you. Rather it’s a muscle you have to practice.’ And so, learning about the creative process that we have in place was really attractive to me because Fresh Produce takes it so seriously.
What gives you energy and feeds your creativity?
A lot. That’s the answer ‘a lot.’ Haha, no, I can think of a few things. I really enjoy a good run. I’ve been running for a few years consistently. Every time I run, it’s really clearing and grounding, but it’s also very exciting because I accomplish something. The action of it can feel hard or easy but it’s all about how far you want to take it. Some days I don’t want to take it that hard, but I still find delight in it. I also just love being outside. I’m a really big hiker, which is one thing I miss about living on the other side of the state.
I also really like beer, and I really like food. I enjoy cooking, and I’m not great at it, but I’ve learned how to make coffee syrup, homemade pasta noodles, and pizza crust in the past year. But beer is always very fascinating to me. There’s an infinite amount of ways to brew a beer, and I just love how people can reverse engineer it or respect the history of a style. It’s also very full of camaraderie and curious people, so I really love the craft beer community.
What is your favorite Mystic Truth and why?
In Command and Out of Control just because that’s at the heart of what I do as a project coordinator. I am in command of the situation by making sure a plan is set, and there’s at least some structure for the team and the client. But also am out of control to make crazy big ideas for the team happen and delight our clients.
How do you live an interesting life?
I just surround myself with people that I love and that challenge me. A lot of the things that make me interested in my own life are setting goals and habits and seeing if I can do them. The act of trying to do something consistently for a month and creating structure in your own life is really interesting. I try to wake up early, so I can do good work and I try to go to bed at the same time so I can have enough time for the people who fill my life with joy.
If you’d like to welcome Brianna to Sioux Falls or want to send her a note, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org