Janse Anderson

Janse Anderson is a graduate of Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Born in nearby White Bear Lake, Anderson grew up in a place that fostered a great sense of community.

“Really nice people and a vibrant downtown with awesome restaurants. That’s White Bear Lake,” Anderson says of his hometown, before doubling down on his love for the Twin Cities suburb that has a population of just over 24,000 people.

“I’ve been fortunate to travel to a number of places around the world, and in my opinion, White Bear Lake is the best city in the world.”

As a teenager, Anderson exerted testosterone playing football and wrestling, but when he wasn’t making plays on the gridiron or manhandling opponents on the mat, his personality was much more relaxed, a trait that appealed to many of his peers.

“I had friends from wrestling and football, but I was also friends with the stereotypical smart kids,” Anderson says.

“I talked to a lot of people, but I wouldn’t classify myself as a social butterfly. I simply tried to treat people with kindness and respect.”

After graduating from high school, Anderson followed several of his friends and enrolled at St. Cloud State University, a college located roughly 75 minutes north of the Twin Cities, but finding his academic footing took longer than expected.  

“I had no idea what I wanted to do when I got out of high school. I didn’t take my education seriously enough in high school, so I joined a few buddies and went to St. Cloud State,” he admits.

While Anderson was able to immerse himself in campus life and achieve good grades at St. Cloud State, internally something was amiss.

After several conversations with his sister, who was attending college in Oregon, Anderson made the bold decision to transfer away from St. Cloud State and continue his academic journey in, of all places, Florida.

“I got accepted at Florida SouthWestern State College in Fort Myers,” Anderson says.

The Buccaneers allowed him to continue studying exercise science, but immediately after arriving in The Sunshine State, Anderson recognized that he was a long way from Minnesota.

“It wasn’t just the difference in weather,” Anderson notes.

“It was also a culture shock because the socioeconomic disparities were glaringly obvious. For example, in Fort Myers you would be surrounded by gated communities one minute, but then a mile down the street there was a lot of poverty and crime.”

Complicating matters, Anderson didn’t know anyone, and even though he eventually made friends and started to feel more at ease, it was hard for him to justify paying out-of-state tuition.

Worse, Anderson rarely got to see his family.

“I’m close with my family, and when I was living in Florida, I only saw them twice per year,” Anderson shares.

“That didn’t sit well with me, and I wanted to spend as much time with them as possible.”

Therefore, despite the allure of warm winters and weekends at the beach, Anderson opted to transfer universities once again, this time landing back in Minnesota at Concordia University in St. Paul.

The move proved to be the right decision.

Anderson eventually completed his degree in exercise science, in the process forming relationships in and out of school.

He even got a job at Lifetime Fitness as a personal trainer.

And then, several months after graduation, Anderson and his family, sensing that there may never be another time when all the siblings and relatives were simultaneously available, booked a trip to South Africa.

On the way the Anderson family made a stop in London, but after that they left behind the comforts that came with living in a first-world country.  

Not that Anderson was complaining.

In fact, the White Bear Lake native had no problem embracing his new environment.

Along with his father and a few other relatives, Anderson went hunting in the African safari, an experience that allowed him to create new memories, but also appreciate the ones of yesteryear.  

“Growing up, my dad and I used to hunt at a property our family owned in Wisconsin. That was how we bonded, just like he did with his dad,” Anderson explains.  

“And so to see how things evolved, from hunting on our land in Wisconsin, to hunting in South Africa, that was pretty special, and an experience I will never forget.”

Beyond reveling in the joys of hunting, Anderson also developed a deeper appreciation for the United States, a country not without its imperfections, but one that throughout history has unquestionably made the everyday lives of its citizens easier.  

“Being in South Africa, it was easy to see how many things I take for granted on a daily basis,” Anderson says, then mentioning how daily tasks like traveling and accessing food are much more difficult on that side of the Atlantic.

“Many people in Africa are raised without the modern conveniences of transportation, or the ability to walk into a grocery store and pick out whatever they want to eat. For the people living there, those limitations are not something they think about, but for me it was incredible to see how other people live, and in the process it became easier to appreciate just how lucky I am.”

Anderson’s gratitude followed him back home, and while his past travels have already taught him so much, in many ways, his journey as a person, and as a professional, has only just begun.  

At present, Anderson no longer works as a personal trainer.

He currently is seeking employment with an established company in the Twin Cities, his hope being that he can leverage his vast skillset to ingratiate himself to a reputable business.

“My goal is to work for a company where in five years I’ll be excited about the prospect of being there for another twenty years,” Anderson says.

“And I want to be part of a company that I can invest in, emotionally and financially, but also a company that will invest in me and help me grow as a professional. That would make me feel fulfilled.” QS


Today’s post is sponsored by:

Graham Riley and his team at Maverrik North America help entrepreneurs and business owners increase their reach on LinkedIn, which in turn generates more revenue.  

If you’re looking to expand your presence on LinkedIn, then get in touch with Graham today by clicking the link above, or by scanning the QR code in the accompanying image! 


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