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If 60 is the new 30, Thread Marketing Group is helping their newest intern turn 50 into the new 25. Thread decided to look beyond age and bring on a non-traditional intern to work with the Toledo Jeep Fest project this summer.

Marianne Vanderbeke has always had a love for stories and words. After spending nearly 21 years raising her family, she decided to follow her youngest to college and chase her own dreams. As a very non-traditional student, Vanderbeke faced the prospect of reentering academic life with a blend of anticipation and intimidation.


“I hadn’t been in school for more than 20 years when I went back. I was just glad my youngest was ok with me riding his coattails for a change,” she said.

When Thread decided to hire an intern for Toledo Jeep Fest, Vanderbeke applied based on the recommendation of one of her professors. She had visited the office before the pandemic and had met with former Team Thread member Matt Kuhr, who had graduated from Bowling Green State University like she planned to and had heard his tales about working on Jeep Fest.

“When Matt shared his stories about Jeep Fest and working to pull off that event, I was hooked. I had already loved the site visit with my PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) group, but I never imagined the door would open for me to work here,” Vanderbeke added.

Thread President/CEO Judy McFarland decided to take a chance on an intern who did not check off most of the typical boxes. While Vanderbeke was about to be a fresh graduate, she was not a digital native, she had a family and was not the standard entry level age. What she did have, though was passion, life experience and confidence. So, Thread was going to give it a try.

Thread strives to be a progressive agency. While hiring an intern that is “over the hill” may seem like a step backward, they see this as an opportunity to tap into her life experience and her ability to collaborate across the generational divide.

While the partnership between Thread and Vanderbeke is still new, she is already beginning to fit in. We here at Thread are excited to see where this non-traditional internship goes in the future.