A student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha has been instrumental in the success of a Midwest small business.
One of six total employees, Colin Wattonville serves as a trade representative merchandiser for Madrina’s, a company which sells an all-natural iced coffee drink. Wattonville, a fresh-man marketing and entrepreneurship major at UNO, serves as the Omaha and Des Moines representative for the company.
His duties include verifying product placement and price, supplying coupons, recording information, opening new accounts and negotiating with business owners and managers. He also serves as the UNO campus marketer, organizing giveaways and other promotions.
Wattonville describes Madrina’s as a family business. Started by his uncle last year in Chesterfield, Missouri (just outside of St. Louis) and now run by Wattonville’s cousin, Madrina’s can be found in five states in the Midwest and is stocked in every Omaha Bucky’s, Casey’s and QuikTrip gas stations. Madrina’s products can also be found in about half of Omaha’s Hy-Vees.
Madrina’s contains just as much caffeine as Red Bull and describes itself as “#Coffee4Fuel.” But, according to Wattonville, Madrina’s is much healthier than Red Bull and other energy drinks.
“We’re trying to get students off of unhealthy energy drinks and switch them over to a drink that is much healthier for them but still gives them the energy boost that they are looking for in order to get them through those morning classes and late night study sessions,” Wattonville said.
Wattonville, a graduate of Creighton Prep, is currently enrolled in economics and accounting courses.
“I decided I wanted to do business after I attended a workshop during the UNO Summer Scholars Program the summer between my junior and senior year of high school,” Wattonville said.
He is also involved in the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization and Freshman Leadership Council, and volunteers at career and internship fairs.
Wattonville believes taking business classes at UNO has assisted him with the work he does for Madrina’s.
“It helps so much,” Wattonville said. “Being a freshman, I was completely in the dark in terms of business. I can see the things I’m learning being applied. It’s cool to see it work in action.”