GOVERNMENT JOBS WORKING FOR UNCLE SAM
6 NEED-TO-KNOW NEGOTIATING TIPS
MIXING MONEY AND MORALS
JOBS IN SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE INVESTING
THIS IS WHERE IMAGINATION TAKES SHAPE.
EVERY PLANE IN HISTORY took its first flight in someone’s imagination. At Boeing, we envision the most remarkable things, and assemble the people and resources to make them take shape. That’s why we’re here. The job categories below reflect skills we are seeking for various positions in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington. To view the available jobs at each location and to apply, visit: boeing.com/collegecareers • AEROSPACE ENGINEERING
• ELECTRICAL/MECHANICAL ASSEMBLY
• INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
• EMBEDDED SOFTWARE ENGINEERING
• MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
• COMPUTER/ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING
• INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING
• SYSTEMS/SOFTWARE ENGINEERING
Copyright © 2009 Boeing. All rights reserved.
boeing.com/collegecareers – click on “get hired”
To view the available jobs at each location and to apply, visit: boeing.com/employment. Security clearance requirements are indicated in the position listings. U.S. citizenship is necessary for all positions requiring a security clearance. Boeing is an equal opportunity employer supporting diversity in the workplace.
Table of Contents Insights 03 The handshake how-to, tweet to a EDITOR in Chief Denis Wilson Editor Liz Seasholtz Web Manager Lindsay Hicks Staff Writer Cara Scharf Design & Illustration Michael Wilson www.mcalvinwilson.com
job, and celebrities’ first gigs
A Good Investment 04 Careers in socially responsible
investing mix money with morals
Universum publishes a portfolio of products, including WetFeet Insider Guides and MBA Jungle Magazine UNIVERSUM 1518 Walnut Street, Suite 1800 Philadelphia, PA 19102 215.546.4900 www.universumusa.com
CEO Michal Kalinowski University Relations Tracy Lynn Drye, Mikael Eriksson Marketing Manager Kristina Mathews Distribution Manager Jeremie Haynes For information about advertising in Universum publications, please contact Lesley Umbrell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215.546.4900 ext. 102 Sales & Advertising Tracy Lynn Drye Camille Kelly Kevin Kelly Kortney Kutsop Neha Patel Rachele Ferri Stephen Hyslop Entire contents copyright 2009, Universum All rights reserved. Universum’s goal is to improve communication and understanding between employers and young professionals. Our annual Undergraduate, MBA, Diversity, and Young Professional surveys are answered by more than 250,000 people in 28 countries. Universum also produces MBA Jungle, WetFeet Insider Guides, CareerTV, events, and websites.
Money Talks 25 Make sure you've mastered your salary speak
Top 100 Business Employers 06
Working for the U.S. of A. 26 Job seekers flock the halls of
Top 100 Engineering Employers 08 plus Top 20 Climbers
NSA 27 Employee Profile
Top 100 IT Employers 10 plus Top 47 Industry Leaders JUNGLE CAMPUS IS A MEDIA PROPERTY OF UNIVERSUM
Monsanto 24 Employee Profile
Reality Check 12 The struggling economy brings
career goals back down to earth
14 Amazon Employee Profile
BP 15 Employee Profile
16 CIA Employee Profiles General Mills 18 Employee Profile Thornton 19 Grant Employee Profile L’Oréal 21 Employee Profiles
Nestlé 28 Employee Profile
29 PricewaterhouseCoopers Employee Profile Sears Holding Corporation 30 Employee Profile Turner Construction 31 Employee Profile Unilever 32 Employee Profiles Verizon Communications 34 Employee Profile Verizon Business 35 Employee Profile Walmart 36 Employee Profile
ven in a recession, students entering the work force are picky about who they want as an employer. At a time when you may expect seniors to take any job they can get after graduation, students are confident about what qualities they desire in their first employer—and who can deliver these. The Universum Top 100 rankings are a reflection of these desires. The frontrunning employers for 2009 were NASA, Google, and Ernst & Young, for engineering, IT, and business, respectively (check out the full rankings on pages 6-11). We also interviewed employees at Top Companies, such as General Mills, Walmart, and Unilever, to find out why they think their employers deserve these top honors. What we’ve found is there is no single answer for what makes an employer ideal: Usually it’s a mix of qualities, including career goals, financial needs, work culture, and professional development. At the CIA, it’s the job security and stability of the agency. At Verizon Business, it’s leadership’s vision and constant communication via webcasts and town hall meetings with employees. At Nestlé, it’s the potential for upward mobility within the company. And sometimes, it’s the work itself that makes a job fitting. For the employees working in socially responsible investing, (A Good Investment, page 4), it’s about making an impact through their day-to-day work. Natasha Lamb, an analyst at Trillium Asset Management, loves having a “higher purpose” in her career. Throughout this issue of Jungle Campus, a common thread that employees mentioned as a quality of a top employer is the people. As Vasudha Niranjan at Verizon says, “Employees make a company.” As you read through this issue of Jungle Campus, realize that the employees we spoke with could be your potential colleagues in the near future—so pay attention to their advice. — T h e E di t o r s
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE...
ARE YOU THE ONE? At Ford Motor Company, we are dedicated to designing, manufacturing and selling high-quality vehicles. We know that our employees are the driving force behind our success. That is why it is so important to us that our programs, policies and employment practices recognize the diverse needs of all of our employees. We welcome you to find out what it means to be THE ONE and discover an automaker that thinks about more than just cars. View a complete listing of available opportunities and apply online at www.ford.com By choice, we are an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to a culturally diverse workforce.
Ford Motor Company
Celebrity First Jobs
hone your handshake
There’s no better way to get off on the right foot than with a confident, professional handshake. In fact, research shows a handshake can establish the same rapport that three hours of face-to-face conversation achieves. To achieve clasping and grasping success, follow body language expert Patti Wood’s step-by-step approach to shaking your way into a job offer:
It’s all in the palms
When you see your interviewer, be the first one to stand up, put your hand out, and initiate contact. “The guessing game stresses you and the interviewer out,” says Wood.
Wood says having palm-to-palm contact is the most important part of the handshake. “It says ‘I hold no weapon, I’m not hiding anything.’ It’s primal wiring.”
Land your plane
Try this trick: Slant your hand sideways, like a plane landing. Your palm should be angled, allowing for a better hand lock.
Make eye contact
This should be a no-brainer: Eye contact is essential for making a connection and showing confidence.
Avoid the two extremes of the dead fish shake and bone-crunching clasp. Wood says to take your cue from the interviewer, and apply no more than two squeeze levels up from what he is giving.
If your handshake gets off to an awkward start, go in for round two. Research shows people don’t even remember you went in a second time. The other alternative is to acknowledge your faux pas. “You can just say out loud, ‘Let’s try that again.’ Use your sense of humor,” says Wood. ‑
Tweet yourself to a new job
The rich and famous weren’t always rich and famous. Before making it big, they all had to find a way to pay the bills. Check out these amusing celebrity first jobs. Tom Hanks sold peanuts and soft drinks at Oakland A’s baseball games. Al Pacino was a bicycle messenger
in New York City. Tiki Barber, former running back
for the New York Giants, washed cars at a Shell gas station. Madonna worked behind the counter at Dunkin’ Donuts. Chris Rock bussed tables at Red Lobster in Queens, NY, where he now jokes he could barely afford a shrimp while working there. Danny Devito was a formally trained hairdresser at his sister’s salon before his break on “Taxi.”
Instead of using Twitter as nothing more than a place to track friends’ escapades, why not use it to get valuable career advice? Check out these sources of some of our favorite career tweets:
Russell Crowe spun as DJ “Russ Le Roq” at an Australian nightclub when he was 16.
Creators of the unique Twitter Advice Project, which lets visitors pose questions and get tweet-sized expert advice.
Add some attitude and wit to your job search with straightforward and often humorous advice from this HR professional.
Friendly, down-to-earth advice geared toward recent graduates and undergrads.
Rachel McAdams asked, “Would you liked fries with that?” when she worked at McDonald's when she was a teenager.
Instead of reading about what different employers and careers are like, CareerTV links you to its video library to see employees in action.
Career advice especially for college students and young professionals.
DebraWheatman This resume guru offers short, sweet advice for pumping up your resume and job searching.
Greenjobs Learn about the growing field of sustainable jobs from this environmentally conscious feed.
Wetfeet_Career A useful compilation of career-related news and advice from the experts at our sister site, WetFeet.com.
Thejobsguy A former online recruitment strategy consultant tweets often on interesting career articles and jobs in hubs such as L.A., Chicago, North Carolina, Dallas, and Florida.
donned a chicken suit and stood outside attracting customers to El Pollo Loco restaurant on Sunset Boulevard.
AInvestment Good Careers in socially responsible investing mix money with morals
fter graduating with a degree in international studies in 2007, Mariah Hudnut expected to head into the nonprofit sector. As an undergrad she helped her economics professor with a project geared toward reducing HIV stigma in Latin America, and felt compelled to continue her work for the less fortunate. ¶ But when she heard about an open position at KLD Research & Analytics, an investment research firm that helps companies integrate environmental, social, and governance factors into their investment decisions, she decided her energy would have a greater impact when channeled through the business and investing world.
Hudnut has found an unlikely career in the rapidly growing niche of socially responsible investing—or SRI—a sector geared toward infusing investment strategies with a healthy dose of ethical principles. SRI aims to generate financial returns and achieve social good by targeting companies that adhere to ethical business practices, such as sustainable agriculture, carbon emissions reductions, and maintaining workers’ rights in emerging economies. As an employee in the SRI sector, the payback can be great. “There is a more vast potential to make change in SRI than in the nonprofit world,” says Hudnut. “I’m part of a growing movement to change corporate behavior, which is exciting. When you get a company like Walmart to commit to sourcing organic food, you really change the market.” Hudnut researches corporate impact on the environment and human rights, and whether firms meet SRI requirements, such as helping neglected communities and avoiding animal testing. Students concerned about the ethical repercussions of working in business or finance also can be assured the outlook for the SRI sector is robust. SRI represents roughly 11 percent of assets under management in the U.S., rising from $639 billion in 1995 to $2.71 trillion
in 2007, (a 324 percent growth rate), according to a 2007 report by the Social Investment Forum.
Getting In Three general paths offer an entryway into the SRI universe: dedicated SRI firms, SRI divisions of large corporate banks, and independent investment research firms. Firms such as Ariel Mutual Funds, Calvert Group, and Trillium Asset Management focus strictly on SRI. These firms operate like normal asset management firms, but their specialization shows a certain dedication to the good cause— it’s truly at the heart of the organization’s mission. Most big banks have created SRI divisions within their investment banking arms. Goldman Sachs, HSBC, and Citigroup launched socially responsible funds and employ specialists to manage them, though the big banks often refer to SRI as ESG— environmental, social, and corporate governance. Lisa Leff, vice president and portfolio manager at Trillium, says working in SRI at larger banks is a great starting point. Leff started with social investing at Citigroup, but wanted to get away from working 80-90 hour weeks and heavy travel. Both paths offer a return on your effort. “What we can do at Trillium is
significant, but what a handful of people working in Goldman or JPMorgan do can be equally significant,” Leff says. Research firms, such as KLD, often hire undergrads for research positions. A common misconception is that all
Bainbridge Graduate Institute’s little-known MBA program in sustainable business. “Once I graduated in 2007, SRI and CSR had become part of the public dialogue, and my knowledge was indemand. What was risky before became really timely.” SRI specialists in larger banks often start out on the traditional investment banking path. Aloys Goichon, an SRI analyst in investment banking at HSBC, started his career at an asset management firm in Paris. After working in asset management, Goichon wanted to advance his career by specializing in SRI, felling it’s “not just a plus, it’s a must” for the future of investing. After being with HSBC for 18 months, Goichon says there is not an extreme difference
I’m part of a growing movement to change corporate behavior, which is exciting. – Mariah Hudnut, KLD Research and Anyalytics entry-level jobs in SRI are for business or finance majors, but research offers positions for students with other majors. “I have coworkers with degrees in rhetoric, Latin American studies, history, and even a lawyer,” says Hudnut.
Moving Up Advanced degrees and certifications, such as MBAs and CFAs, are generally needed for senior positions, including financial analysts and portfolio managers at small and large firms alike. Natasha Lamb, an equity analyst at Trillium, used her MBA as a step into SRI. Initially, Lamb doubted whether an MBA would help her achieve the “higher purpose” she wanted to achieve through her work. After working a few years with a sustainable retailer in California, she enrolled in
between himself and his nonSRI-specialized colleagues. “We have day-to-day interaction with all of our mainstream asset management colleagues. The difference lies in the fact that we will combine mainstream criteria with ESG criteria.” — Liz Seasholtz
Thinking about applying for a job in SRI? Check out these job boards: Just Means
www.JustMeans.com Business For Social Responsibility
Net Impact www.netimpact.org Social Investment Forum
TOP 100 EMPLOYERS
Procter & Gamble
Major League Baseball
6 KPMG 11.73%
7 Apple Computer 10.34%
12 Microsoft 6.35%
13 Coca-Cola 6.31%
Bank of America
9 Goldman Sachs 8.50%
17 Johnson & Johnson 5.89%
18 Merrill Lynch 4.73%
19 Morgan Stanley 4.67%
20 U.S. Department of State 4.59%
Hilton Hotels Corporation
Federal Reserve Bank
Ernst & Young
McKinsey & Company
27 Central Intelligence Agency 3.86%
Lockheed Martin Corporation
Internal Revenue Service
30 General Electric 3.08%
31 Macy's Inc. 2.98%
32 L'Oréal 2.97%
33 AnheuserBusch InBev 2.96%
45 Peace Corps 2.39%
46 Boeing 2.37%
47 Hyatt 2.36%
48 American Express 2.33%
Wells Fargo & Company
American Cancer Society
The Boston Consulting Group
Teach for America
36 IBM 2.81%
37 Grant Thornton 2.77%
51 NASA 2.14%
52 Amazon.com 2.13%
58 Southwest Airlines 2.00%
59 Yahoo! 1.89%
60 Harrah's Entertainment 1.87%
Bain & Company
76 Best Buy 1.39%
National Security Agency
64 U.S. Dept. of Energy 1.72%
65 UBS 1.71%
66 Barclays Capital 1.67%
67 Nestlé 1.63%
68 HSBC 1.60%
Gap Inc. 1.60%
Starwood Hotels & Resorts
91 The Vanguard Group 1.07%
92 Delta Airlines 1.07%
93 Cisco Systems 1.06%
94 FedEx 1.04%
U.S. Air Force
Rolls-Royce North America
Shell Oil Company
84 MillerCoors 1.22%
99 Lincoln Financial Group 0.93%
Zurich Financial Services
he votes are in. The numbers tallied. The winners crowned. Throughout this issue of Jungle Campus, you’ll see the results of Universum’s 2009 Ideal Employer Survey, American Undergraduate Edition. The rankings of the top employers are based on what 60,930 undergraduate students at 227 universities and colleges from around the country had to say. The survey asked students about their career preferences. A big part of this, of course, is the companies that they think would serve as their ideal employer— those that fit their career goals, financial needs, work culture, professional development, and more. Take a look at the three rankings released for Top Employers for Business, Engineering, and Information Technology. See where your ideal employer fits in. One trend we noticed was that the financial crisis and the market downturn have caused many students to favor industries and companies that offer stable employment. Take a look at Reality Check on page 12 to see more trends in undergraduate career goals.
TOP 100 EMPLOYERS
Procter & Gamble
U.S. Dept. of Energy 10.09%
9 BMW 8.02%
10 Apple Computer 7.98%
Lockheed Boeing Martin 13.76% Corporation
13 D.O.D. Missiles and Weapons 5.83%
17 Johnson & Johnson 5.47%
19 Toyota 5.24%
20 Shell Oil Company 5.15%
Nuclear Regulatory Commision
Teach for America
American Cancer Society
24 U.S. Air Force 4.10%
25 FBI 4.08%
26 Dow Chemical 3.86%
27 Caterpillar 3.80%
28 Siemens 3.71%
29 BP 3.70%
30 Chevron Corporation 3.67%
31 General Motors 3.45%
32 3M 3.45%
33 Texas Instruments 3.29%
34 DuPont 3.26%
35 Schlumberger 3.15%
36 Turner Construction
40 U.S. Department of State 2.72%
41 Ford Motor Company 2.60%
42 U.S. Army 2.48%
43 Honeywell 2.47%
44 National Security Agency 2.42%
45 Rolls-Royce North America 2.40%
53 Major League Baseball 2.18%
54 HewlettPackard 2.16%
55 BAE Systems 2.14%
56 ConocoPhillips 2.12%
57 Dell 2.07%
58 U.S. Steel Corporation 2.03%
60 Halliburton 1.97%
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
John Deere 1.79%
McKinsey & Company
Sun Microsystems 1.75%
98 Adobe Systems
Delta Airlines 1.10%
The Boston Consulting Group
Centers for Disease Control
United Technologies Corporation (UTC)*
Bain & Company
OP T L L ER A These 17 companies made the biggest jumps in rank
CHANGE 08 > 09
Shell Oil Company
Wells Fargo & Company
U.S. Air Force
Waste Management 1.45%
75 Deloitte 1.44%
77 General Mills 1.32%
78 J.P. Morgan 1.31%
80 Abbott 1.19%
TOP 100 EMPLOYERS
Apple Computer 21.07%
National Security Agency
6 Cisco Systems
15 Yahoo! 7.32%
18 Lockheed Martin Corporation 6.33%
20 HewlettPackard 4.80%
U.S. Department of State
Shell Oil Company
22 Boeing 4.46%
23 AT&T 4.27%
24 Deloitte 3.88%
25 eBay 3.16%
26 U.S. Department of Energy 2.96%
27 D.O.D. - Missiles and Weapons 2.91%
28 Nike 2.84%
29 Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) 2.80%
Procter & Gamble
34 J.P. Morgan
36 Ernst & Young
38 Major League Baseball 2.42%
U.S. Air Force
United Technologies Corporation (UTC)*
Teach for America 1.21%
83 United States Postal Service 0.73%
84 Federal Reserve Bank
BAE Systems 0.86%
The Vanguard Group 0.85%
86 Ford Motor Company 0.69%
Booz Allen Hamilton
Johnson & Johnson
Hilton Hotels Corporation
52 U.S. Army
Centers for Disease Control
46 Bank of America
78 CBS Interactive 0.82%
93 McKinsey & Company 0.66%
94 Bosch 0.63%
95 Citi 0.60%
96 Coach 0.59%
96 Kraft Foods 0.59%
US Customs Border Protection
99 Morgan Stanley 0.57%
100 Philips 0.56%
See what companies led the way in their industry.
Academic research Google Accounting (pub.) Ernst & Young Accounting/auditing/taxation (corp.) Ernst & Young Aerospace/defense NASA Agricultural John Deere Airline/travel Walt Disney Automotive BMW Biotechnology Genentech Chemical/petroleum ExxonMobil Commercial banking Bank of America Computer hardware Google Computer software Google Construction Turner Construction Consumer goods Procter & Gamble Education/teaching Teach for America Electronics Google
Energy/power U.S. Department of Energy Engineering consulting NASA Engineering/manufacturing NASA Entertainment/media/ public relations Walt Disney Environmental/conservation U.S. Dept. of Energy Financial services J.P. Morgan Food service Walt Disney Forestry/paper/pulp U.S. Department of Energy Government/public service U.S. Dept. of State Healthcare Mayo Clinic Hotel/restaurant/tourism/hospitality Walt Disney Insurance Google Internet/e-commerce Google Investment banking Goldman Sachs Investment management Goldman Sachs
IT consulting Google Management consulting Google Marketing/advertising Google Metals NASA Network comm./data networking Google Non-profit Peace Corps Pharmaceutical Pfizer Private banking J.P. Morgan Private equity 3M Real estate Google Retail/fashion/apparel Macy's Inc. Telecommunications Google Transportation/distribution/logistics Google Utilities U.S. Department of Energy Venture capital Goldman Sachs Other Walt Disney
Reality Check The struggling economy brings career goals back down to earth
n July 2009, the U.S.
economy lost 247,000 jobs and unemployment stood at 9.4 percent. Since the recession began in December 2007, payroll employment has fallen by 6.7 million. The recession has clearly put a damper on entry-level job prospects: Fewer companies are hiring, certain employers are no longer in business, and many people are losing their jobs. Of course, most undergrads are keenly aware of the changing job market, and many have made Table1 Career Goals:ď€´ 08-09 Comparison of notable changes Undergrad Career Goals with respect to their showing job security/ desired industries, stability (12 percent jump job expectations, and as a career goal) and Workemployer offerings. life balance up 3 percent.
Below is a list of 9 possible career goals. Which are most important to you? Alternative
To have work/life balance
To be secure or stable in my job
To be dedicated to a cause or to feel that I am serving a greater good
To be competitively or intellectually challenged
To be a leader or manager of people
To be entrepreneurial or creative/innovative
To have an international career
To be a technical or functional expert
To be autonomous or independent
For many, the financial crisis and market downturn has served as a bit of a reality check, leading to a more practical mindset among undergraduates: They’re playing it safe with stable companies and looking to industries with clear potential for growth. Just as a smart company focuses on its core business and products during a recession, students have narrowed their priorities as well. Substance Over Style .S. undergrads have shown a clear shift toward valuing substance over style, which is most apparent in their increased emphasis on job security and stability. In Universum’s 2009 Ideal Employer Survey, American Undergraduate Edition, this career goal saw a 12 percent
In which industries would you ideally like to work?
Students around the country were a little traumatized by seeing a lot of their friends... unemployed without so much as hope for a call back from Starbucks. — Dan Baicker, senior at Cornell University
jump from the previous year. At least for the near future, students are looking to the tried and true employers that can show they will be sticking around—and hopefully hiring. Results from the 2009 survey also showed that preference for financially strong employers increased 6 percent from 2008. “Students are smart enough to know that their career
Has the economic downturn influenced the number of industries you are considering for employment? Yes. I’m trying not to be picky and considering more.
Yes. I’ve focused all my efforts on two to three of my most desired industries.
No, it hasn’t affected my job search at all.
What percent of the Fortune 500 companies do you think are hiring? 100 percent
25 percent or less
Did you/will you accept your first job offer post-graduation? Yes, I need to secure a job in this economy.
Maybe, but only if I’m happy with the position.
No, I’d rather weigh a few options.
I’ve already lined up an internship because it was easier to secure.
I’ve enrolled in grad school to avoid the whole process.
growth and development correlate with a company’s strength,” says Universum research consultant Joel Quast. “And in a recession, they’re going to parse that more closely. They’re looking for a job where they can get settled, and in the near term, offers stability, solid learning, and a name on their resume.” University students have also shown they value financially stable employers that offer a refuge from a dismal job market, while prestige and the attractiveness of a company’s products and services are less significant factors. Dan Baicker, a senior industrial labor relations major at Cornell University, can understand why students are feeling this way. “I think students around the country were a little traumatized by seeing a lot of their friends, who did everything right and had internships at top companies, unemployed without so much as hope for a callback from Starbucks.” This trend is also apparent in the trade-offs undergrads are willing to make to attain job security. Specifically, they’ve shown they are will to give up challenging work (7 percent drop), variety of assignments (5 percent drop), and being competitively or intellectually challenged (6 percent drop). Work-Life Balance: Here to Stay urprisingly, undergrads are showing little compromise when it comes to work-life balance, which rose 3 percent from 2008. Despite Polls: Gathered from the trade-off trend among Wetfeet.com
their other career aspirations, students have made clear they will not sacrifice worklife balance and two factors associated with it: control over their working hours (5 percent increase) and flexible working conditions (4 percent increase). Students are sticking to their guns is an important signal that work-life is not merely a fashionable trend, says Quast. “It’s a three- to five-year trend in our data that work-life is continuing to rise. Millenials are being more practical, but they still want to work in a certain context. Work-life balance is the critical factor for that.” Jason Yee, a junior business administration major at University of California, Riverside, is sympathetic to the way his generation has held ground on work-life balance. “It is a given in school that students must balance work, life, and health in order to be truly successful. If I had to work odd hours and miss out on time with family and friends, I would quit my job and find another one.” By withstanding the sacrifices of the recession, it has been shown that worklife balance is ingrained in the professional mindset of millenials. “In many senses, I think our parents’ generation avoided the 1950s, dinner at the dinner table, classic American image,” says Baicker. “Our generation, I think, is more a fan of that stuff. We want success. We want money. But we want it with the understanding that we will have days off and have the potential to work from home if needed.” — Denis Wilson
At Amazon, we strive to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where people can find and discover anything they want to buy online. We’re making history and the great news is that we’ve only just begun. Employees:
We hire the world’s brightest minds, offering them an environment in which they can relentlessly improve the experience for customers. We are now looking for students interested in technology and operations roles.
> Position: Software development engineer in Retail Customer Experience > Education: University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign, Computer Science, 2009 > Childhood dream job: A doctor or veterinarian, and, when I got a little older, an architect.
To find out more or send your CV:
orinne Russell discovered she had passion for programming during a computer engineering class she took her sophomore year. The next semester, she switched her major from electrical engineering to computer engineering. Her technical background made her a good fit for Amazon, and a friend who loved her internship at the company inspired Russell to interview with Amazon at a campus career fair. Now as a full-time employee, Russell enjoys working for a high-profile company with a down-to-earth culture. How did you get your job? I started with an internship, which
I got by taking advantage of the job fairs at school and getting a referral from a current Amazon employee. An internship is essentially a long interview for a full-time position, and I had my current job offered to me after my internship was over. What surprised you the most when you started? I assumed that
I’d be surrounded by very intelligent people at Amazon—and this definitely turned out to be true. However, what surprises me most is that while everyone I have met and worked with is very smart, they are all also very humble and helpful. The culture at Amazon is open and friendly, and everyone is truly working toward the same goal of providing the best products and services to our customers. What is the best part about your job? The thing I like most
about my job is that Amazon.com is very high profile. Many of the changes or additions I make actually affect a visual part of the site. I also get to interact with many other teams on a daily basis, which can be fun and interesting.
What is the biggest challenge you face? I don’t think there is
really one biggest challenge. Because I just started on my team, there is definitely some learning and “ramp-up” involved before a person can really get started. Right now I come across new problems every day that force me to take the needed initiative and solve what needs to be done. Are you involved in any mentorship or networking programs at Amazon? I have a mentor who is very knowledgeable and helps
me with basically any problem I have. I am also a member of the affinity group called Hoppers, which is for women in technology. What’s the most fun project you’ve done so far? Because I just
started as a full-time employee, I have not worked on any big projects yet. However, as an intern, my project was to build a recommendations widget for Mp3 tracks. I was able to work on all aspects of this project and watch it launch by the end of my internship! What’s your advice to students who want to work for Amazon? I
would suggest for a student to work hard and do well in school. Aside from that, a person that works for Amazon must be agile, innovative, energetic, and willing to learn and try new things. Therefore, a student who wants to work for Amazon should try to incorporate these values into his or her work and be ready to take on new challenges every day. See Amazon in action. Go to CareerTV.com to view companyspecific career videos and get the inside scoop on top employers.
operations, and process surrounding the utilization of the equipment.
> Position: Production engineer, petroleum engineer intern > Education: University of Arizona, Geomechanics Engineering, anticipated graduation May 2011 > Childhood Dream Job: I wanted to be professional hockey player.
92,000 in 100 countries around the world, 37,000 in the U.S. Future Coworkers:
What’s something about BP that others may not know? That BP is one of
rowing up in Anchorage, Alaska, Alex Youngmun had a strong desire to have an impact on the future utilization of Alaska’s natural resources. So when it came time for him to pick an industry and career to pursue, involving himself in Alaska’s booming oil and gas industry was a natural next step. Fortunately, the neighboring BP plant was a great option for starting his career with an internship. Photo: Martha Lochert
BP is the leading producer of oil and natural gas in the United States, and the largest investor in U.S. energy development. We own multiple refineries around the globe, a fleet of more than 80 ships and 25,000 miles of pipeline.
What was your project for the duration of your internship? My project
focused on working and evaluating state-of-the-art equipment used for monitoring sand and other solids that came out of an oilproducing well. I was able to work with internal BP technical groups and contractors, and was able to educate other PE’s on the rig-up,
We offer many different programs for people interested in developing a long-term career in engineering, science, and business.
the largest oil and gas companies in the world with operations all over Send your CV to: the globe. Also, that www.bp.com/ we’re more than oil: We uscollegecareers offer wind, solar and Find out more: natural gas solutions. www.bp.com/us We’re also a green company, and I think that makes us stand out from other oil companies.
Why do you think BP was ranked as a top employer? Because
of its people, reputation for excellence, and it’s a fun and exciting place to work. At BP they do a lot of team-oriented things during the business day, but also after hours: We had opportunities to take part in group fishing trips, softball games, and community volunteering days. There are a lot of people not from Alaska, so these activities were a good way to get out and experience our surroundings.
From Alaska to Azerbaijan, from the Gulf of Mexico to China, we have a vast operation comprising nearly 98,000 people, exploration and production interests in 29 countries, 11 refineries, 80 ships and thousands of retail outlets. Producing more than 3.8 million barrels of oil equivalent every day, we bring energy from the very depths of the earth to virtually every corner of the globe. And as demand grows, we are going further and deeper to secure the energy that the world needs. Look beyond the limits.
To learn more about BP or apply for opportunities, please go to:www.bp.com/uscollegecareers jungle campus
Serving as an independent agency, the CIA is responsible for providing intelligence on a wide range of national security issues to senior U.S. policymakers. CIA’s primary mission is to collect, analyze, evaluate, and disseminate foreign intelligence to assist the president and senior U.S. government policymakers in making decisions relating to national security. The CIA has four Directorates: Directorate of Intelligence, National Clandestine Service, Directorate of Science and Technology, and Directorate of Support.
efore her job in human resources at the CIA, Jackie was a stay-at-home mom, caring for and supporting her son. Now as an HR administrator, she is providing a different kind of support to the agency’s expansive staff of intelligence collectors and analyzers. Jackie says she was first drawn to the CIA because of its top-secret depictions in movies—and so far, the cool factor hasn’t worn off.
How did you hear about the job?
> Position: Human resources administrator > Education: University of Texas at Austin, French and Spanish, 2001 > Childhood Dream Job: A mattress comfort tester. I love to sleep!
I was surfing the net one day and came across the CIA’s website. I was looking at open positions and saw one I was qualified for, so I applied. I had always thought a government job would be a good option for me, because of the job
security it provides: At the time, two years ago, I was a new mom so I wanted a job I could hang on to. What was your first day like?
It was really incredible. Just walking into the front doors, it’s like what you see in the movies! I was in awe when I saw the CIA seal in the middle of the floor and the stars on the wall. Walking down the hall, seeing all these different people, I was just wondering what they do here. Orientation was actually four days long, and my class was comprised of approximately 80 “newbies” from across the agency. Then we got sworn in. We collectively raised our right hands and read the oath off the overhead screen, inserting our names where appropriate. Shortly after that, and I think in an effort to pump us up even further, they presented us with some classified material. It was a great feeling.
Ana > Position: Engineer > Education: Iowa State University, Mechanical Engineering, 2008 > Childhood Dream Job: To be an astronaut.
hen Ana’s friends ask where she works, she tries to give a vague answer. As an engineer at the CIA, Ana needs to keep her job a secret, so foreign intelligence will not pinpoint her as a target for a security breach. On a dayto-day basis, Ana’s work revolves around designing tools and services that ultimately make her CIA counterparts safer when they’re out on missions. How did you first become interested in working for the CIA? It
was pretty coincidental. I went to a career fair at my school where the CIA was recruiting. As I was on my way out, I saw the CIA booth. I had one resume left, and thought, ‘What the heck,’ and gave it to the recruiter there. Two years later, I started. What surprised you the most once you started? It’s kind of funny, but I didn’t know what job I was going to have when I started! I got my assignment on my first day. That was mostly because of security reasons.
A college degree, preferably an advanced degree, is a standard requirement for overseas officers, intelligence analysts, and other nonclerical positions; knowledge of a foreign language is also helpful. Because the Agency’s personnel needs span such a broad spectrum, we do not recommend any one academic For example, they may track over another.
need someone who knows all about kayaking. I’m studying Arabic right now, which I think will be helpful for my career down the road. Why do you think the CIA was ranked as a top employer? Because it’s
Not publicly disclosed Send your CV to:
www.cia.gov/careers/index.html Find out more:
a unique career choice. Plus, the endless career possibilities, like I mentioned before. Certain companies focus on one area—like banking, finance, business, building airplanes—but the CIA has to do everything and have all departments. What is the biggest challenge you face? I think the biggest
What are you most proud about in your work? I’m really proud
when I get to see the feedback that comes to us from those whom we were able to help in the field. You’re providing intelligence to other officers and securing their safety, so it’s nice knowing you contribute to that.
challenge is learning to work in a classified environment. You have to be conscious of your constant responsibility to protect the people you’re working for. Every email you send, every conversation, you need to think about the possible repercussions.
What is the best part about your job? The access to a million
What’s something about the CIA that others may not know? I
other careers over the next 20 years. There’s so many ways you can branch off into different departments in the CIA. Plus there’s a good chance any interest or hobby you can bring to the agency can be utilized—some requirements are so specialized.
don’t think people know that you can actually work here! The CIA is so nebulous, people think of employees with no faces or identity. But you can actually apply for jobs, even if you have to wait for the security clearance.
What are you most proud about in your work?
That I’m able to serve my country. It’s a generational thing: My dad and grandfather did it, but I didn’t want to go their route and join the military. I feel like I’m serving in a quiet, somewhat non-life-threatening way. What is the biggest challenge you face?
Learning the acronyms! There are a lot across the different departments and I don’t even know a quarter of them. There’s actually an acronym database on our website, and I’m always going to it.
know more about the agency and the abundance and wide range of our available jobs. And it’s a very flexible work environment; there are opportunities to move to different areas, and the CIA is an advocate of flexible scheduling. I have every other Friday off. There are also great benefits, good job security, and the agency takes care of its employees. For example, we have a “call-in-sick” policy, pretty much like any other business. If you’re not going to make it in to work, let someone know. But since we are so security-focused, if an employee doesn’t show up for work, and no one in their office has heard from them, a security officer will be sent to that employee’s house to locate them, and the search won’t stop until they are found.
What’s something about the CIA that others may not know?
What’s your advice to students who want to work for the CIA?
Why do you think the CIA was ranked as a top employer?
When it comes to life decisions, use your better judgment because it will show up on the polygraph!
Probably because we are getting out there more, letting people
General Mills Whitni Cotton > Position: Product developer in Big G (cereal division) > Education: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Chemical Engineering, 2007 > Childhood dream job: Scientist. I wanted to work on cures for cancer and diabetes.
One of the world’s leading food companies, General Mills operates in more than 100 countries and markets more than 100 consumer brands, including Cheerios, Yoplait, Nature Valley, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, General Mills had fiscal 2009 global sales of US$15.9 billion, achieving double-digit growth. Employees:
30,000 employees worldwide Future Coworkers:
General Mills recruits top talent in various fields. New employees have strong leadership achievements, from academic to community involvement. The two key success factors are a desire to make a difference and a drive to take ownership of projects. Send your CV to:
www.generalmillscareers.com Find out more:
What was your first day like?
I started as an intern after my junior year, and I remember being nervous. What really put me at ease was meeting people with friendly faces. They were welcoming and open to questions, and they were enthusiastic about me being there. I felt like the company was well prepared for me—right away I started orientation, working with HR, talking to my manager about my project, and training on company safety and software. I felt I was given the resources I needed to get up to speed quickly. What surprised you the most when you started?
The breadth of products that GMI offers. I worked on Old El Paso, and I didn’t previously know that GMI owned that business. I was impressed by all of the areas that I could explore within the company, from taco shells to Progresso soups. Do you ever get to taste the products?
Yes. We have a taste panel at the technical center, and there are definitely opportunities to see what other people are working on and taste different products.
www.generalmills.com What’s something about General Mills that others may not know?
How much GMI gives back to the community. I think around 82 percent of our employees volunteer through the company or independently. Each division has a volunteer liaison, and I’ve done things with coworkers like packing meals for a homeless shelter and teaching students about food processing. General Mills also raises money for United Way, and runs Box Tops for Education and Save Lids to Save Lives. Why do you think General Mills was ranked as a top employer?
For one I think employees get great work/life balance. We start with three weeks of vacation plus two personal days, and we have flexible working conditions because we can work from home or stagger our hours. There are also fitness centers onsite and various health and wellness programs. The company also appreciates having diverse employees and offers multiple networks for racial, ethnic, and gender diversity. What are you most proud about in your work?
My work on Total Blueberry Pomegranate cereal. I like knowing I put a healthy product on the shelf that people can connect with. When it launched, I called home and told my mom to check it out in the grocery store. She is friends with a teacher from my elementary school, and they actually had me come in and talk to the students, so they could see that someone who went there was making a big impact.
See General Mills in action. Go to CareerTV.com to view company-specific career videos and get the inside scoop on top employers.
Photo: Rich Ryan
he engineering school Whitni Cotton attended prepared students for careers mostly in petroleum and pharmaceuticals. But Cotton was interested in a different path. While at a career fair for the National Society of Black Engineers, she spoke with a recruiter from General Mills (GMI). The conversation got her thinking about the engineering behind the bowl of Cheerios she ate every morning. Her curiosity led her to a career at General Mills, where she’s already helped launch a cereal of her own.
Grant Thornton Mandi Ellis > Position: Second year audit associate > Education: University of Oklahoma, Finance and Accounting, December 2007 > Childhood Dream Job: I was in all-city choir, and I wanted to be a singer!
Grant Thornton LLP is the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, one of six global audit, tax and advisory organizations. The people in the independent firms of Grant Thornton International Ltd provide personalized attention and the highest quality service to public and private clients in more than 100 countries. Employees:
More than 5,400 in the United States Future Coworkers:
Grant Thornton LLP recruits accounting, finance, IT and business students who are enthusiastic, demonstrate leadership, possess strong communication skills and actively seek out challenges. Send your CV to:
andi Ellis first became interested in accounting firm Grant Thornton LLP after she was introduced through a mutual friend to a partner at a Big 12 basketball championship game her senior year. The partner’s candid and laid-back demeanor impressed Ellis, as did his enthusiasm for Grant Thornton and her future career in accounting. Now in her second year as an audit associate, Ellis says she is still impressed by her colleagues’ eagerness to teach her new things and advance her career—just like the partner she originally met at the basketball game. How did you hear about the position at Grant Thornton? Grant
Thornton had a great presence on my campus, and career services helped line up my first interview. Although I originally went in looking for an internship for summer 2007, they were already recruiting for new hires for January 2008—which lined up with my graduation. Fortunately, I was hired!
Photo: Karen Campbell
What’s the best part about your job? It’s always changing. For
each of my audits, I’m with a different client and team, and I’m at a different location so it’s never boring. You also get to audit several types of clients—I’ve worked on public, nonprofit, and right now I’m on a retail client. Grant Thornton enables you to have a diverse client base when you start, so you can figure out your niche and where you eventually want to end up. What is the biggest challenge you face? While it’s nice to have
different work and opportunities, it can be a challenge working with numerous clients and projects simultaneously. However
Find out more:
even though it seems like a lot to handle, working with a wide variety of clients and different teams is a great way to network and meet new people. What’s something about Grant Thornton that others may not know? I don’t think people understand how big Grant Thornton
is. Grant Thornton is a cohesive international firm with a strong global presence. We shouldn’t be overlooked. What’s the most fun project you’ve done since starting? Even though I have a lot of projects going on, the neat thing about my job is that my daily routine doesn't always follow a pattern. One day I can be touring a client's meat processing plant, the next day I get my photo taken as part of a national recruiting brochure, and then at night I can go to a spa for pedicures as part of a local recruiting event. It's nice to be able to mix business and fun and definitely makes life at Grant Thornton entertaining! What’s your advice to students who want to work for Grant Thornton? Be yourself. I think Grant Thornton thrives on
different personalities, and that’s what makes us a great firm to work for. Sometimes accountants are stereotyped to be very serious and grim. The truth is, we all like to have fun—we just know how to get the job done, too! For detailed information on Grant Thornton, check out WetFeet.com’s Employer Close-Ups.
L’Oréal Shelby Wong > Position: Marketing manager on L’Oréal Paris skin care, RevitaLift > Education: University of Michigan, Economics, 1999; Georgetown, MBA, 2007 > Childhood Dream Job: I wanted to be a comic book artist. I was a super hero fanatic!
L’Oréal USA is headquartered in New York City. A subsidiary of Paris-based L’Oréal S.A., the company develops, manufactures and markets haircare, haircolor, skincare, color cosmetics and fragrances for the luxury, consumer and professional markets. Through an extensive and diverse collection of 25 global brands and an unparalleled marketing expertise, L’Oréal has gained international audiences and continues to meet the needs of men and women of all ages and diverse backgrounds. Employees:
67,662 employees globally, 9,000 in the U.S. CONTINUED ON P22 >
s a marketing manager for L’Oréal, Shelby Wong can walk into any drugstore across the nation to see the results of his day-to-day work lining the shelves. Wong started off his career at L’Oréal as an MBA intern in the company’s ethnic hair care division, Softsheen Carson. After his internship, he entered L’Oréal’s MBA Track Program, where he rotated through sales and marketing before being promoted into the L’Oréal Paris skin care marketing team after completing the program. How did you first become interested in this industry and this company? I started out my career in asset management,
Photo: Mike Whitson
but decided to go to business school after realizing that I didn’t want a career in finance. A friend who interned at L’Oréal really sold me on the idea that a career at L’Oréal would allow me to combine my quantitative skills and the marketing fundamentals I learned in business school with a sprinkling of creativity. She was absolutely right, and I loved my internship. I was given a ton of responsibility and was basically managing a small franchise by myself. It gave me great insight into what I would be doing if I came back to work full-time. What surprised you the most when you started? Having had the
internship experience, I had a pretty good understanding of the type of work I’d be doing, but the daily pace took some getting used to. There are an amazing number of crucial business decisions made on a daily basis. The fast pace took a little while
to adjust to, but it made me much more efficient in my ability to process information and make decisions based on it. What’s the most fun project you’ve done since starting? It’s a lot
of fun working on new product launches. It’s great to be directly involved in and accountable for decisions made at every stage of the development process, from concept to execution. In the last two years I’ve been responsible for launching RevitaLift AntiWrinkle Concentrate, an extension of our base business, and RevitaLift Deep-Set Wrinkle Repair, an entirely new sub-franchise. Why do you think L’Oréal was ranked as a top employer? I think
it’s a combination of things. First, L’Oréal embraces diversity, whether in education, ethnicity, or personality of its workforce. This makes for a dynamic work environment. Second, the company uses employee surveys to actively solicit feedback on what’s happening in the workplace. The results are presented to the employees and task forces are created to help address pressing concerns, like improving workplace efficiency, as well as work-life balance. I’ve been in companies where they take these surveys and you see no change, but that’s not the case here. What is the biggest challenge you face? The skin care market is
extremely saturated, which can be very confusing to our target consumers since manufacturers are all trying to differentiate themselves on limited shelf space. With the economic downturn our retailers are really evaluating how they do business, and are challenging us more than ever to deliver true product innovation that is efficient on the shelf and affordable to the consumer.
L’Oréal Jose Rivera > Position: Analyst in the market supply logistics department, Lancôme > Education: Cornell University, Chemical Engineering, 2005; Cornell University, master's of Engineering, 2006 > Childhood Dream Job: An entomologist. I wanted to work with bugs. I was always digging in the backyard.
> CONTINUED FROM P21 Future Coworkers:
L’Oréal offers students the chance to work in an imaginative, entrepreneurial environment with a diversified portfolio of products. We offer full-time and summer internship positions in different functional areas, including marketing, finance, sales, operations, and research & development. Send your CV to:
www.lorealusa.jobs Find out more:
www.lorealusa.com or become a fan at facebook.lorealusa.jobs
performance, analyzing future needs, and implementing some logistical methodologies, I was able to drive down the inventory levels to save the company a couple million dollars. That was pretty cool, to save the company so much money—I’m still waiting for that check! What is the best part about your job?
How did you first become interested in this industry and this company? My freshman year I had an internship at the
pharmaceutical company Merck, and I didn’t really enjoy it, to say the least. During my sophomore year, L’Oréal had an info session at my school so I stopped by and spoke with a recruiter. We ended up having an informal dinner where he explained the beauty industry and how I could be involved in it. Three internships and three years later, here I am. What surprised you the most when you started? The
responsibility you’re given right from the get-go. They throw you right in the thick of things—you’re given a lot of support, but in the end your work reflects on you. I’d rather not have my hand held, and at L’Oréal they give you the opportunity to take responsibility. What are you most proud about in your work? We had an
opportunity to improve the supply chain side regarding Lancôme’s imported products. Through reviewing historical
What is the biggest challenge you face? Communications.
Although seeing every part of the business is what I like about my job, it’s also a challenge because I am dealing with a lot of different communication styles. For example, in operations everything is black and white, so you need to present the information that way; business wants to know availability; sales wants to know the SKU (stock keeping unit); marketing wants to know the bottom line. I need to filter the information I’m gathering to ensure the right information reaches the right parties at the right time. One wrong communication date can mean the difference between making and missing our service level to our customers that month. What’s your advice to students who want to work for this company?
Be flexible. I interned in Little Rock, Arkansas, Piscataway, New Jersey, and Clark, New Jersey. I worked with luxury products for Macy’s, Dillards, and BonTon, with consumer products for Target and Wal-Mart, and professional products for salons. I’ve overseen technical package development, production floor, and now market supply logistics in the past six years. You also need to show passion. If you want to go into this industry, do your research: Don’t be shy about finding out about mascara and lipstick! See Loreal in action. Go to CareerTV.com to view company-specific career videos and get the inside scoop on top employers.
Photo: Mike Whitson
ooking back on his first day at L’Oréal is a blur for Jose Rivera. After a plant tour and coworker introductions, Rivera immediately started on the first of five lipstick production projects he would have that summer. Six years later, Rivera says he thrives on the responsibility L’Oréal has continued to give him, especially when it comes to the import supply and inventory optimization he spearheaded, which has saved the company millions.
Although I’m mainly managing operations, I still get to see how we affect every department in the business. I deal a lot with marketing, demand planning, customer service and sales; I’m in the middle of everything.
Monsanto offers a place where you can be proud to work, grow and make a difference in agriculture every day. At Monsanto, you’re part of something bigger than yourself. You’re part of the innovations that will provide enough food, feed and fuel to meet our growing world’s needs. Employees:
More than 22,000 worldwide Future Coworkers:
Monsanto offers a variety of opportunities for students with majors in: accounting, finance, agriculture, engineering, agronomy, horticulture, crop & soil sciences, business, chemistry, computer science, bioinformatics, biotechnology, entomology, plant pathology, process optimization, genetics, and supply chain management.
> Position: Territory sales manager > Education: Delaware State University, AgriBusiness, 2008 > Childhood Dream Job: To be a police officer.
Send your CV to:
www.monsanto.com/careers Find out more:
How were you first introduced to Monsanto? I received an
invitation to the 1890’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities conference at Monsanto’s world headquarters in St. Louis. It was at that conference where I got my foot in the door for an internship for the summer of my junior year—Monsanto recruited 9 out of 30 students from that conference for their summer internship program. How did you transition to the trainee program and what do you do? My internship was in Spencer, Iowa. I mainly spent the
time gathering testimonials from farmers about our product performance and gathering data used in research. Then after the internship, I heard about the full-time field sales trainee position back in Pennsylvania, which is closer to where I’m from. I have a coach that is responsible for the eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey territory and he manages all the different locations that sell our products, while I learn about sales, the products, and overall how to work in the territory. Starting in September 2009, my training will be complete and I’ll officially be a Territory Sales Manager in State College, Pennsylvania.
What was your first day like? The first day of the trainee program
was interesting because I spent it at a national sales meeting— in Boca Raton, Florida. It was a pretty great first day! What are you most proud about in your work? I am most proud
about the fact that once I find a product that works for the farm, farmers listen to me and are really impressed with what I am selling. For example, I sold a corn hybrid that had a great stand. The corn would be the last the farmer ended up harvesting for the season because it had excellent dry down and a strong stalk quality. Prior to trying my product, the farmer complained about when a wind storm would come, his corn would fall flat to the ground. He no longer has that problem. What is the best part about your job? The flexibility is the best
part about my job. I work from home, so I set my own schedule. My regional sales team is also a great team and they make a lot of resources available to me. What’s the most fun project you’ve done since starting? The most fun project I’ve done was taking five of my top customers and a salesperson to the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky. Another ongoing project I have fun with is being the advertising lead for my team. I have a budget to create different ads for local papers. I create ads featuring the top products we are selling that season, and send them to local papers to give farmers an idea of what we have available.
For detailed information on Monsanto, check out WetFeet.com’s Employer Close-Ups.
Photo: Mike Whitson
hristina Collins grew up in Sussex County, Delaware, next to a chicken farm. Although as a child she didn’t know much about farming, the world of agriculture was never far away. After meeting the dean of agriculture her freshman year of college, she decided to switch her major from marketing to agri-business. Now, Collins sells improved corn hybrids and soybean varieties—producing more yields per acre and making farmers of the tri-state area very happy.
How much are you worth? It’s a hefty question, but one you’ll need to confront when an employer brings up salary during the interview process. Understandably, many new grads are uncertain about how to approach compensation—either they’re not sure what they’re worth, they’re uncomfortable talking moolah, or they’re satisfied just to get a job offer. Yet it’s important to think about salary early on. It’s one of the few times you’ll have an opportunity to negotiate your value with a company. Once you sign on the dotted line, though, the
Know Your Worth
“The salary question should never catch you off guard,” says Graham. Before starting your search, establish an appropriate salary range. Research industry standards using survey websites, such as salary.com, read trade news, and conduct informational interviews. Then gauge where you fall within that range given your education, skills, and experience. Also, calculate your personal budget, such as rent, gas, and food expenses, to make sure your requirements are realistic. Thorough preparation will give you confidence during negotiations. State Your Case
When a job post asks for salary history or range, it’s important to provide an answer so you don’t get passed over for ignoring directions. For salary requirements, provide your range (no more than a $10,000 window), but state you’re flexible. Be truthful about salary history. However,
if you had low hourly wages in the past, use your cover letter to emphasize what you bring to the new position, not what you’ve done in previous jobs. Be prepared to compare the work of previous positions to the new position’s requirements to justify any large jump in compensation. Try Not To Show Your Cards First
By revealing your number early on, you risk undercutting a higher number the employer might have offered. When an interviewer asks for your requirements, say, “I have a number in mind, but I’d like to hear your offer.” If their offer is sufficient, acknowledge that and move on. If not, say you were hoping for more and set the stage for negotiation by talking about the job’s requirements and your qualifications. If the interviewer insists you make the first move, provide a number and justify it with your research and worth. Don’t say a range works if it doesn’t.
chance to renegotiate openly may be rare. Plus, employers take the matter seriously and expect you have perspective on your own worth. “We have a certain budget for every new position, and we ask because we want to be sure you’re a good match,” says Bridget Graham, co-author of Working World 101: The New Grad’s Guide to Getting a Job. Handling the money question clumsily—suggesting a number that’s far out of range or one that’s so low it cheapens you— could knock you out of the running. To ensure that doesn’t happen, be prepared to talk dollars and cents.
Don’t Jump the Gun
“Some people get into the interview and think, ‘I’m a top candidate. Let’s talk money,’” says Graham. “But you don’t know for a fact that you’re the top candidate until you have the offer in hand.” Once an employer has made you an offer, you know it’s ready to invest time and money into bringing you on board, giving you the upper hand in negotiations. Before this time, though, focus on your interest in the job and what you can bring to the table, rather than money. Show Your Worth
You don’t have to negotiate if the terms of the offer fit your requirements, but don’t settle if you’re not satisfied. Start negotiating by saying you were hoping for a higher number, and demonstrate the value you’ll bring to the company: your experience, work ethic, willingness to surpass job requirements, and unique knowledge or skills. “Prove that
you deserve a higher salary,” says J.R. Parrish, author of You Don’t Have to Learn the Hard Way, Making it in the Real World: A Guide for Graduates. Confidence is key, so practice with a friend or family member. Everything Is Negotiable
Salary is just one part of a job offer. There’s usually a long list of benefits on the table as well, which are also up for negotiation. Benefits include vacation time, hours, health benefits, telecommuting opportunities, bonuses, and more. “If I don’t have your salary requirement in my budget, I may be willing to give you more vacation days or more flexible work hours,” says Graham. “Candidates should be open-minded about these things if they can’t get money.” Consider what benefits might help sweeten the offer—and remember that your starting salary won’t remain the same throughout your career. — Cara Scharf
job seekers flock the halls of government
service. “The government employers are government has stepped up to deal with agencies: the CIA, Department the tremendous challenges of State, FBI, NASA, and Peace our nation faces,” says Corps. McManus. “Students see that Several factors have made the government is part of the government a beacon in the solution, not part of the bad times, says Tim McManus, problem.” vice president of education Elizabeth Halash, a senior and outreach at Partnership at Wayne State University for Public Service (PPS). who hopes to work for the “Certainly one draw is that government as a technical the government has jobs engineer, says she is lured to while other sectors don’t.” government work because it In May 2009, federal job contributes to the greater good openings increased almost 50 of the nation. “Government percent from the year before, employees provide a service while job openings across all rather than generate a product for industries dropped 35 percent, sale. I think I’d feel satisfied that I according to the Bureau am helping to better the country, of Labor Statistics (BLS). rather than feeding profit-hungry Hiring needs are expected to executives.” continue growing to mirror Job seekers view the the increased retirement rate government as a smart career of baby boomers: A 2007 PPS choice for the professional study projected that 550,000 development opportunities as federal employees would exit well. “The government between 2007 and 2012. wants people to be President Barack Obama better and also promised contribute his stimulus more,” says plan would Alan More, generate an employer 600,000 in residence government at George jobs. Mason The stability University. of government More, who jobs (which are –Alan More, also worked less affected with the CIA by the cyclical formerly of the CIA for 32 years, nature of the has recently noticed economy) is also quite an increase in students appealing, especially in interested in government a time when job security is careers. More, and says the threatened. “The bottom has agency covered tuition so fallen out of the market,” says many of his employees could Omari Monteilh, who started attend local universities, as his Howard University MBA long as courses were deemed program with plans to work appropriate for the job. as a consultant at a private Meanwhile, the breadth financial firm. His mind has of government specialties since changed. “Now I want to means students can pursue do government consulting. I a multitude of roles. “There think the government is a more are jobs, literally from A secure, recession-proof route.” to Z—architects through Jobs and security are zoologists.” says McManus. practical reasons for students’ Such a variety of opportunity increased interest in the allows employees to have government, but McManus career mobility within one thinks that these days young organization. people are greatly motivated — Cara Scharf by a desire to achieve social good through public
There are 659 specialties in the federal government— what do you want to do?
ncle Sam is looking pretty good these days. Not because he plucked those bushy white eyebrows or lost the flamboyant top hat; rather, he’s become an employer students are finding increasingly attractive in the midst of record unemployment and dismal hiring prospects. College grads, typically turned off by the stifling effects of government bureaucracy, are starting to warm up to federal jobs. College career centers
have recognized more student interest in government jobs. And a 2009 survey by research firm Universum found that 5 of the 15 ideal undergraduate
NSA Derek Ditch > Position: Software developer > Education: Missouri University of Science and Technology, Computer Science, 2008 and PhD of Computer Science, anticipated graduation 2012. > Childhood Dream Job: I wanted to be a doctor, so I could help people.
The National Security Agency (NSA) is a world leader in the protection and exploitation of intelligence. We gather and analyze foreign signals intelligence to produce vital information for U.S. policymakers and war fighters. And we protect American intelligence from the ears of our adversaries. Number of Employees:
Approximately 30,000 Future Coworkers:
NSA has opportunities available for students and professionals in a variety of fields, including computer/electrical engineering, computer science, information assurance, business, and others. Send your CV to:
To apply online, visit www.NSA.gov/Careers Find out more:
erek Ditch has pride in his country. After graduating high school, Ditch joined the Missouri National Guard, where he trained for one year to be a soldier. While in the National Guard, Ditch learned basic IT skills, motivating him to get an advanced degree in computer science—and gain knowledge that could eventually be used to save lives. Now as an intern at the NSA, he gets to do just that, as well as continue to serve his country as a soldier one weekend a month, and two weeks a year.
What’s something about the NSA that others may not know? I
How did you hear about the position at the NSA? I was looking for ways to pay for grad school, and I heard about the Information Assurance Scholarship Program offered by the Department of Defense, and that the NSA participates in. I applied for the scholarship during my first year in grad school, and got it. With the scholarship, I intern with the NSA over the summer and then go back to school fulltime the rest of the year. Summer 2009 was my first summer with the internship, and I’ll continue to intern every summer until graduation, when I’ll most likely be offered a full-time position.
What’s the most fun project you’ve done since starting? My most fun project is something I can’t really talk about! But one thing I did that was really cool I actually started during the second week of my internship. It was my task to set up automated testing framework. It was a great way to learn the tools that the NSA uses, and I also got to interact with people from several different development teams, showing them how to extend the tools they already use. This was all in the second week of my internship: You don’t sit around twiddling your thumbs here!
What surprised you the most when you started? The access to
Definitely get involved on campus as an undergrad. My current adviser on campus hired me for his research group because he noticed the extra time and attention I put into all my work. I think being a part of his research group got my foot in the door at the NSA, because not only did it look great on my resume, but it helped refine my skills more than other students.
think a lot of people have the perception that the government is a big monolithic machine and people are doing one job, and doing it for their entire life—like they are stuck in a position. But the NSA really promotes growth, and they want employees to find what it is that they’re passionate about. You might hear about a project halfway around the globe or down the street, and you can opt in on this project.
Photo: Chris Holloway
What is your advice to students who want to work for the NSA?
information available to interns there. Before this summer, I interned at a national lab, and since you’re just there for the summer, they keep everything classified. It seemed like all the cool stuff was kept away from the interns! But at the NSA, interns are welcome to take on as much as they can, and use all available resources to do the best possible job. See the NSA in action. Go to CareerTV.com to view company-specific career videos and get the inside scoop on top employers.
For detailed information on the NSA, check out WetFeet.com’s Employer Close-Ups.
Nestlé Jon Stephens > Position: Manager of industrial performance – Lean supply chain, Operations Improvement Team > Education: University of Wisconsin at Madison, Industrial Engineering, 2005 > Childhood dream job: I wanted to be a cowboy!
Named one of “America’s Most Admired Food Companies” in Fortune magazine for the 12th consecutive year, Nestlé USA provides quality brands and products that bring flavor to life every day. From nutritious meals with Lean Cuisine to baking traditions with Nestlé Toll House, Nestlé USA makes delicious, convenient, and nutritious food and beverage products that enrich the very experience of life itself. That’s what “Nestlé. Good Food, Good Life” is all about. Nestlé USA, with 2008 sales of $10 billion, is part of Nestlé S.A. in Vevey, Switzerland - the world’s largest food company with a focus on nutrition, health and wellness - with 2008 sales of $101 billion. Employees:
Nestlé USA employs more than 22,000 people nationwide Future Coworkers:
At Nestlé USA, we look for candidates who are selfstarters, results-oriented, innovative and intellectually curious and exhibit initiative and leadership potential. Send your CV to:
www.NestleUSA.com/Careers Find out more:
Can you tell us about your career path so far at Nestlé? I
was recruited out of school by Nestlé into their Operations Management Trainee (OMT) program, and began my career at a Nestlé Prepared Foods plant in South Carolina. After completing the OMT program, I spent about a year as a production supervisor over a high speed retail line. Then I started to look for a new challenge, so I applied to the Operations Improvement Team (OIT) based in California. Recently I have been promoted to manager within the OIT group, and now my focus is on developing Lean manufacturing and supply chain competencies. What is the best part about your job? That I get to travel. I love to
see new factories, learn new processes, and meet new people. To date I’ve been able to visit 22 Nestlé facilities as well as its world headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland. What’s something about Nestlé that others may not know? All my
friends automatically think of chocolate chips and candy bars
when I tell them I work at Nestlé. But when you really look at Nestlé, it’s the world’s largest food company with 250,000 employees, and hundreds of brands—including TOP CLIMBER Stouffer’s, Lean Cuisine, Gerber baby food, Haagen-Dazs ice cream, Purina pet food, a slew of bottled water brands, and the list goes on. Why do you think Nestlé was ranked as a top employer? My opinion is that a top employer is top because of the people. At Nestlé, we are very family oriented, and there is a lot of employee support, especially for upward mobility. I’ve been here three years and I’ve had three promotions. But ultimately what keeps me coming back every day is the people. What’s the most fun project you’ve done? Our kaizen events with
Lean. In Japanese, kaizen means rapid improvement. For these events, we go into factories and work intensely for two to five days to resolve a specific problem that has been plaguing the factory for years. For example, one factory was having a problem with a supplier—he was sending extra product and we were holding onto it, which was creating some issues. Through kaizen, both Nestle and our supplier collaborated as one team, and we solved the problem together.
Photo: Dave Feiling
on Stephens leads the Lean Manufacturing and Supply Chain pilot program for Nestlé USA. Lean, as it is called in the industry, is a business philosophy built around the elimination of “waste” through building a problem-solving culture. In his day-to-day work, this means Stephens is constantly working on operational improvement, and helping associates on the plant floor. With his help, they work more quickly and with less stress— which makes Nestlé more efficient, and his job very rewarding.
PricewaterhouseCoopers PwC is the fifth largest privately held business in the U.S. and the largest global network of professional services firm in the world, offering a wide range of assurance, advisory and tax services to many of the world’s largest and most prestigious companies. At PwC, you will be part of a learning culture, where teamwork and collaboration are encouraged, excellence is rewarded and diversity is respected and valued.
Eric Gilmore > Position: Tax associate > Education: University of Georgia, Accounting; 2006. University of Georgia, master's in Accounting & Financial Planning, 2008 > Childhood Dream Job: To build bridges. Then I actually shadowed a civil engineer and discovered I didn’t like it!
Employees: 155,000 globally, and more than 29,000 partners, principles and staff. Future Coworkers: PwC
primarily looks for accounting majors, while some of our practice areas will also consider a finance or computer information systems major.
s a defensive end on his high school football team, Eric Gilmore knew he wasn’t going to make it big in pro football after he tore his ACL. Luckily, his offensive line coach had a background in accounting and encouraged Eric to sign up for the accounting elective he was teaching. Gilmore enjoyed the attention to detail accounting required, and with the encouragement of his football coach, he decided to stick with it as a college major. Now he’s a tax associate at the Big Four firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, where he does taxes for the rich and famous (well, sometimes).
How did you hear about the job at PwC? The summer after
Photo: Brad Newton
my freshman year of college I was looking for a position in accounting and got involved with INROADS, an organization that helps place talented minority students in corporate America. They arranged a few interviews for me with different accounting firms, including PwC. Since I was only a freshman, I didn’t qualify for the normal tax internship that college juniors can apply for, but I got a position in PwC’s internal firm services. I was helping out HR, recruiting, and administration for two summers, until I could apply for the tax internship my junior summer, and do more “real” accounting. By working in internal firm services, I had the opportunity to shadow other PwC professionals, and that’s when I decided I really wanted to pursue a career in accounting. What is the best part about your job? The challenging environment. Since everyone is so smart and does such great work, it forces you to step up your game and be a better accountant. At school I was used to applying for and winning a lot of scholarships and
See PwC in action. Go to CareerTV.com to view companyspecific career videos and get the inside scoop on top employers.
awards, but in the PwC environment, everyone would qualify for these awards. This helps keep you in check while encouraging you to set specific goals, like learning different tax laws.
Send your CV to:
www.pwc.com/getstarted Find out more:
What’s something about PwC that others may not know? Most people assume accountants are geeky, but people at PwC are laid back, fun, social, and it’s really a team atmosphere. My wife always jokes that she imagines me at work typing away on a calculator, but really it’s a lot more fun than that. What’s the most fun project you’ve done since starting? My most fun project was doing a tax return for a public figure, whose name I can’t mention, that has many different businesses. I was able to see how this individual set up his different companies and organized the taxes for each, which was interesting. I also had a great team for the project, so that made it even more enjoyable. What’s your advice to students who want to work for PwC?
Continue to work hard in the classroom, keep your grades up, and really understand the things you’re learning in class. It’s also very important to establish and broaden your personal network of contacts. At school, there are so many available opportunities to go to recruiting events and learn about different companies. Students, especially accounting majors, should take advantage of these opportunities, because it will help you land a job! For detailed information on PwC, check out WetFeet.com’s Employer Close-Ups.
Sears Holding Corporation > Position: Assistant store manager of soft lines, St. Charles, Illinois. Participant in the Retail Management Trainee Program > Education: Northern Illinois University, Textile Apparel and Merchandising, 2007 > Childhood Dream Job: To be an architect or interior designer. I've always wanted to be in the design industry!
lthough Jenny Hinton is aiming to be a buyer for Sears, she’s taking it one step at a time. One of her first assignments in the Retail Management Trainee Program was to take over the ready-to-assemble furniture department. Having never assembled furniture before, she taught herself to put together the floor models, and proudly displayed them. Passing customers started to take note of the furniture, and by the time Hinton left the department, sales had increased. Now she’s eager to learn as much as she can during her rotations through Sears’ departments—even if it means rolling up her sleeves and getting dirty in automotive.
my tires and other things I wasn’t interested in before, but I probably should know. I went into the rotation very unfamiliar with automotives, but when I finished I had a lot of knowledge.
How did you first become interested working in retail? I first
people don’t realize is how supportive Sears is of their employees. As a trainee, I rotated a lot, but the company is very supportive of all their employees moving from corporate to the store, or vice versa, or changing departments if you have different interests.
started working in retail after high school: first at Dippin’ Dots ice cream, then at a luggage company, and then at Victoria’s Secret. I’ve just always enjoyed working in retail because everyday is different. When I was looking for a full-time job after graduation, Sears was a very obvious choice for me, because I grew up with Sears as a brand my family trusted—we would go there to get our car inspected, buy new appliances and clothes, you name it. Can you tell us about the Retail Management Trainee Program you are in? It’s a six-month program, and for the most part you
stay with one store, but you rotate through all the different departments. So far I’ve worked in automotive, receiving, hardware, basically every section you can think of. I also went on a ride for a day with the district HR manager. The idea is to learn everything you can about the business. It’s very handson; when I shadowed HR, I learned all the HR applications; when I was in shipping, I unloaded product, learned to use the stock locator, and more. What’s the most fun rotation you’ve done? I really enjoyed my
rotation in automotive! I learned how to measure the tred in 30
What’s something about Sears that others may not know? One thing I think
What is the best part about your job? Working with so
291,000 Future Coworkers:
We are constantly striving to recruit the best undergraduate talent across the nation. Whether you are a recent graduate seeking full-time employment or a current student seeking an internship, we have several opportunities for you. In both instances, you will receive mentoring and networking opportunities, structured career development, and rewarding experiences. Find out more:
many people from different www.searsholdings.com/ backgrounds. Every day careers is a surprise. I can try to come in with a plan of how the day is going to go, but things always change. It’s never monotone: The customers are always different, the cashiers are different. I find that by meeting and interacting with all these different people, I learn about myself.
Sears Holdings Corporation is the nation’s fourth largest broadline retailer with approximately 3,900 full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States and Canada. Sears Holdings is the leading home appliance retailer as well as a leader in tools, lawn and garden, home electronics and automotive repair and maintenance. Key proprietary brands include Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard, and a broad apparel offering, including such wellknown labels as Lands’ End, Jaclyn Smith and Joe Boxer, as well as the Apostrophe and Covington brands. It also has Martha Stewart Everyday products, which are offered exclusively in the U.S. by Kmart. We are the nation’s largest provider of home services, with more than 12 million service calls made annually. Sears Holdings Corporation operates through its subsidiaries, including Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Corporation.
Turner Construction Steven McKessey > Position: Assistant engineer > Education: Temple University, Civil Engineering, 2007 > Childhood dream job: I wanted to build stuff, and now I do!
teven McKessey’s dad owned an electrical contracting company, and when McKessey was young, he rode in the back of his dad’s truck after school. Unfortunately, he often saw his dad get cheated out of payment from customers who promised to pay later, but never did. McKessey wanted to continue his dad’s work in construction and build strong business skills. That’s what led him to Turner Construction.
How did you become interested in Turner? In high school I was
looking into college scholarships and I saw one at Turner called YouthForce 2020, which also offered an internship program. I liked how large and professional the company was—it had the business qualities I was looking for. So, I applied and was accepted. I’ve worked with Turner since my freshman year of college. What is the best part about your job? I’m an engineer working
Photo: Mike Whitson
on a hospital we are building in New Jersey. I don’t know how to do the welder’s job or the carpenter’s job, but I make sure everything is coordinated. To do that I keep strong lines of communication, and people come to me for answers on how to get things done. I really like being a go-to person. It’s nice to feel needed. What surprised you the most when you started? How much
trust Turner puts in your abilities. At a new job, you expect someone over your shoulder for a couple months. But at See Tuner Construction in action. Go to CareerTV.com to view company-specific career videos and get the inside scoop on top employers.
Turner Construction Company is a people-focused, client-driven construction management company that builds 1,500 projects each year with the highest ethical standards. Since our beginnings in 1902, we have grown to 46 offices in the U.S. and are active in 20 countries around the world. Employees:
5,100 Future Coworkers:
At Turner, we’re looking for individuals who are eager to develop and apply their skills to creating the buildings where people live, work, and play—if you can think big and build big, we’d like to hear from you. Find out more or send your cv to:
Turner, I asked a lot of questions the first few times I did things, and earned their trust. Because of that trust, I’ve been given more responsibilities. On the hospital project, I actually host a weekly meeting. Who would think I’d be running something that the lead architect, mechanical engineer, and my boss attend every week? It’s pretty cool. What are you most proud about in your work? The end result.
I was one of two people coordinating the construction of a steakhouse in Philadelphia. Now, every time I hear about that restaurant, I can say, “I built that.” What’s something about Turner that others may not know? One is
that we use cutting-edge technology. For instance, we have a 3-D modeling computer program that shows us how a building will come together before we build it. This saves time and money. The second is all the training we are provided. Turner offers online, onsite, and corporate training. I recently took an onsite course about elevators. It’s great to have that access to learning. What’s your advice to students who want to work for Turner? If
you’re doing what’s expected, you’re probably not doing enough. It’s one thing to get good grades, but you have to also be active elsewhere. For instance, I am the president of the Philadelphia chapter of the National Society for Black Engineers. Turner’s career website says “Think Big,” and I think it means we’re not just about engineering or construction, we’re also about having a positive impact on the community. For detailed information on Turner Construction, check out WetFeet.com’s Employer Close-Ups. jungle campus fall 2009 31
Unilever Matt Algar > Position: Customer service team leader in the Logistics Organization, Supply Chain Management Program Leadership Development Program (SCMP) Participant > Education: Pennsylvania State University, Supply Chain and Information Systems, 2006 > Childhood Dream Job: I liked to draw, and wanted to be an architect.
You’re in your third rotation of Unilever’s SCMP. Can you tell us a little more about it? SCMP stands for Supply Chain Management
Program, and it’s a 3 1/2 year rotational development program here at Unilever, where you come into the business and pick a functional area of the supply chain from either Plan, Source, Make, or Deliver. Then you spend the next few years developing your skills and knowledge within that track, and when you successfully complete the program, you’re offered a management position. I never would have expected to get this kind of experience so quick in my career. How are you involved in getting Lipton Tea to grocery shelves? Logistics is responsible for the entire process of a
product, from the time it’s produced to the time it gets to our customer’s location. On a typical day, I’m involved in the customer service aspect of logistics, which means I monitor day-to-day order execution, making sure the orders of a product like Lipton flow through our system properly and that we’re exceeding our customers’ expectations. What’s something about Unilever that only those who work there know? We have an excellent company store with great
discounts! If you like our brands, it’s definitely an added benefit of being an employee. What surprised you most when you first started? Everyone’s
really passionate about the business and willing to lend a helping hand. And they’re all so nice! At first you think, well, maybe they’re just nice because I’m new. But you soon learn that teamwork is embedded in Unilever’s culture. You’ve been advising new SCMP participants as they enter the program. How has it been to help those who are where you used to be? I’m really passionate about helping the new co-op
participants because I understand what it’s like being new to the business—I’m only three years out of school! I’ve been in their shoes, and I feel like I can help them learn the ropes as they come on board. What’s the most fun thing you’ve done since starting here?
Getting to work in recruiting and going back to campus has been great. It’s been fun to get to be on the other side of the table. And I love getting involved beyond my day-to-day responsibilities—that’s one thing you’ll find about Unilever: If you have interests above and beyond the normal scope of your role, they definitely encourage you to get involved.
See Unilever in action. Go to CareerTV.com to view company-specific career videos and get the inside scoop on top employers.
Photo: Mike Whitson
att Algar has been preparing for a career in supply chain management for years. His college major was specifically tailored to the profession, and while he was still in school, he even completed a semester-long co-op program with Unilever. Algar found the experience—and the people—to be so welcoming, challenging, and fun that he was immediately drawn back to the company after graduation.
Andrea Atkinson > Position: Brand building manager, Lipton Tea > Education: Middlebury College, French/Art History, 1999; University of Michigan, MBA, 2004 > Childhood Dream Job: A librarian! I’ve always enjoyed curling up with a good book on a rainy day.
Unilever’s mission is to add vitality to life. We meet everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene and personal care with brands that help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. Each day, around the world, consumers make 160 million decisions to purchase Unilever products. Employees:
12,000 in the U.S. (includes Puerto Rico) Future Coworkers:
Unilever recruits for MBA’s and undergraduates. We look for students studying marketing, finance, logistics/ supply chain management, business and the sciences. Send your CV to:
Apply via your school’s career services or our website at www.unileverusa.com Find out more:
ike many people in the U.S., Andrea Atkinson didn’t know much about Unilever when she was in college—but she knew many of the brands she’d get to work with once she took a job with the company. Since joining Unilever nine years ago, Atkinson has worked on many of the brands she grew up with, including Ragú, Skippy, Hellmann’s, and Lipton, which she is currently working on. How did you become interested in Unilever? When I started the
job search my senior year in college, I knew I wanted to go into marketing. I sent my resume to a number of CPG [consumer packaged goods] companies, including Unilever. At that point, I didn’t know a lot about Unilever, but certainly recognized many of its brands. In the end, after coming to visit and interviewing with some of the folks in the organization, it just seemed like the right place for me to start my career. What are some of the brands you’ve worked on? I’ve worked on
Photo: Mike Whitson
our pasta sauce businesses: Ragú and Bertolli. I’ve also worked on Skippy, Hellmann’s mayonnaise, and Promise spreads, and now I’m on Lipton. Do you have a favorite? Skippy Peanut Butter! It was such a fun brand to work on. It’s great at cocktail parties when people ask you what you do and you get to say you work on Skippy. And of course they always want to know if you like chunky or creamy better! So which do you like? Creamy!
Have you seen the industry change since you’ve been working here? I’ve seen a lot of change in the industry since I started,
but I think now is a particularly interesting and challenging time to work in consumer goods. With the economy as it currently is, and private label brands becoming more competitive, it’s been much more of a challenge for name brands to differentiate themselves and add value for the consumer. And that’s what my job is all about: creating value for our consumers, our company, and ultimately, our shareholders. What are you most proud of in your work? I love getting to see an idea that I helped develop come to life on a grocery shelf. When I worked on Skippy, we launched a line of natural peanut butters. It’s great to see Skippy Natural in stores and know that I had a lot to do with it—and it’s $45 million business now. What’s the most fun thing you’ve done since starting this job?
Without a doubt, working on Unilever’s NASCAR sponsorship. Many of our brands, including Hellmann’s and Lipton Tea, have sponsored racing teams. I’m from the New York area, so I didn’t know a whole lot about NASCAR until I went to a race in Virginia. It was a great way to connect with our consumers and associate our brands with something they are so passionate about! For detailed information on Unilever, check out WetFeet.com’s Employer Close-Ups.
Verizon Communications Verizon Communications Inc., headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass-market, business, government and wholesale customers. The company’s divisions include Verizon Wireless, Verizon Business, and Verizon Telecom.
Vasudha Niranjan > Position: Business operations analyst: Verizon Services Organization, IT > Education: New Jersey Institute of Technology, MBA in Technology Management, December 2008 > Childhood dream job: To be a doctor or a news anchor!
Number of Employees:
Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 228,000. Future Coworkers:
asudha Niranjan started off her telecommunications career in India, in a directmarketing position with a company providing mobile services, wireline, phone equipment and public booth telephony. After a few years, she realized the growing importance of telecom on the world economy and decided to come to the U.S. to pursue her MBA and career in telecom. Fortunately, she didn’t have to go far to do it: Niranjan was recruited for a Verizon internship at a campus career fair. Now, as a business operations support analyst, she has a central role of defining project plans, analyzing and identifying issues, and resolving issues efficiently with different teams to maintain cost, time and quality. What was your first day at work like? There are thousands of employees, so I just remember thinking, “This is a company I can grow with and make a difference.” On the first day, I was assigned the role of coordinating actions and effective communication between interns. Our team hired a lot of interns, and I was doing cross communication between all the interns and management.
basically part of the intern orientation event, where senior management comes to speak to all the interns at the company to Find out more: encourage them. Myself http://newscenter.verizon.com and five others were picked to be on the panel. Send resume to: Basically we were able to www.verizon.com/jobs give them some insight and guidelines from our experiences to help them succeed at the company. At the time I participated in the event, I was only with the company for six months, so it was great to participate What kind of advice did you give the incoming interns? Well, one of the main questions they asked us was how we got fulltime positions right after our internships. I always say the most important thing is to take a proactive approach and then another important part is communication and collaboration.
would say because it has top employees. Employees make a company. At Verizon, we are all highly sensitive to timelines and customer service excellence. Each employee realizes this, and our whole game plan is to perform the best we can to deliver this.
What’s the most fun project you’ve done since starting? I think my most fun project so far was when I was an intern: I was involved in onboarding all the interns, and that included myself! I was so new to everything that it was a little overwhelming, but it helped me build rapport with all the interns and motivated me to explore all opportunities within Verizon.
Are you involved in any mentorship programs at Verizon?
What are you most proud about in your work? I’m very proud
Why do you think Verizon was ranked as a top employer? I
I was involved in our intern panel this year. The panel was
For detailed information on Verizon Communications, check out WetFeet.com’s Employer Close-Ups.
to be associated with the Verizon brand name. Walking into the office every morning just to give my best is a matter of pride. See Verizon Communications in action. Go to CareerTV.com to view company-specific career videos and get the inside scoop on top employers.
Photo: Mike Whitson
The students we look for are—high-energy, unique, ambitious, fascinated by learning, tech savvy, resultsdriven, and determined to succeed. While each of our divisions has its own focus, we’re collaborative in the way we all share a commitment to exceptional customer service and a cutting-edge approach to communications technologies.
Verizon Business is a global IT, security, and communications solutions partner to business and governments, with the world's most connected IP network. We activate business by connecting our customers to their customers, employees, suppliers and partners; improving the reach of their networks and technologies, and helping them secure their data. Employees:
approximately 22,000 Future Coworkers:
Verizon Business recruits high performing diverse talent that thrives on being challenged and are dedicated to doing and being the best. Send your CV to:
Wallace Lee > Position: Network engineer > Education: University of Texas at Dallas, Electrical Engineering, 2007 and master's of Engineering, anticipated graduation 2012. > Childhood Dream Job: I wanted to be a video game designer.
www.verizonbusiness.jobs Find out more:
allace Lee’s first phone interview for Verizon Business was a bit unconventional. This was because the call came at 2 a.m. on a Wednesday while Lee was vacationing in Hong Kong. But after talking to the director during the late night hours, Lee was eager to line up his interview for when he returned, so he hopped on a plane on Thursday and interviewed first thing Friday. After three rounds of interviews, Lee was accepted into the program—despite a major case of jet lag.
How did you hear about the job? I went to the University of
Texas at Dallas, which is an electrical/telecommunicationsbased school. Verizon Business was a very obvious choice for me when I was looking to start my career. The first time I heard about the Engineering Development Program was after graduation. I went to the Verizon Business website, found the particular field I was interested in, and it said they were hiring new graduates, so I hopped on it and applied.
all the departments of the company. It’s a two-year rotation, so you spend two rotations in engineering, one in planning, and one in implementation. Usually an entrylevel job is stationary, but this job is not; I’ve seen network infrastructure, budgeting for the network, implementing the budget, and more. Because of the program, we’ve also been able to network with top engineers and managers within the company that come to speak with us every week. The networking alone has been great for my career. What is the biggest challenge you face? The biggest challenge
was being “the new guy” every six months. It takes about two months to really learn the job, and then by six months, when you’re really getting a hang of it, you have to leave and start it all over again. Another challenge is balancing customer service and the health of the network. Customers keep coming in, which will never stop and we strive for that, but it also means we need to have the ability to support them and be ahead of the game when it comes to their issues. Why do you recommend Verizon Business as an employer?
What surprised you the most when you started? The most
Photo: holly kuper
surprising thing is how much attention my Engineering Development Program team members and I received when we first started. For example, in our first meeting a senior vice president came in to introduce himself and talk about the program. What is the best part about your job? Since I just graduated from
the Engineering Development Program, I would say the best thing about my experience so far has been rotating through For detailed information on Verizon Business, check out WetFeet. com’s Employer Close-Ups.
Because of the vision from our leaders. Our executives are committed to innovation. Even something like FIOS, we are the first company to bring fiber directly to homes. Another great thing about our leadership is their attitude toward communication within the company. We have quarterly webcasts from the CEO about how the company is doing. Many companies don’t have this benefit of direct messaging from senior leaders. We even have senior leaders visit us to solicit our opinion in person. For example, one executive vice president recently came to my location in Richardson, Texas to have a town hall meeting.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at more than 8,000 retail units under 55 different banners in 15 countries. Employees:
More than 2.1 million worldwide Future Coworkers:
We recruit for a variety of jobs including finance, marketing, logistics, information systems, merchandising, human resources, replenishment, real estate, global security and a number of other positions.
> Position: Operations finance manager at Sam’s Club > Education: Tianjin University of Commerce, Accounting and Tourism Management, 2005. Missouri State, master's in Accounting, December 2007 > Childhood dream job: Anything involving travel.
Send your CV to:
http://walmartstores.com/ Careers Find out more:
How did you become interested in Walmart? When I attended
Missouri State, I shopped at Walmart every week. At the same time, I learned a lot about Walmart from my accounting and finance classes. The more research I did, the more I liked the company. Walmart is the largest retailer in the world, but it’s amazing to know they started in a tiny town in Arkansas. I applied for the Accounting Finance Development Program (ADFP), which allowed me to work in four different finance departments, and choose one to work in permanently. What was your first day like? I was a little nervous. I didn’t
know where to start or what to say to new people. But I had a sponsor who was very nice and helpful. She met me in the office that morning and showed me my desk. When I got there, there were welcome cards and office supplies waiting for me. My sponsor also showed me around the office and introduced me to my new colleagues. I felt very comfortable.
What surprised you the most when you started? The great leadership. Everybody is very approachable; when I see Susan Chambers, the chief HR officer, or Mike Duke, the CEO, in the hallway, they smile and say hi. Also during different events and meetings, associates have a lot of interactions with the management. It surprised me how nice and accessible they were. What’s the most fun project you’ve worked on? Helping with our
annual shareholders’ meeting. It takes place every year at the University of Arkansas, and it’s a weeklong event that involves associates from all over the world. During the meeting, we talk with investors and analysts about the future of the company. Why do you think Walmart was ranked as a top employer?
Walmart cares about its associates. We’re a big company, but management realizes that associates are just as valuable as customers. The company encourages our professional development through training classes and development plans. Without this attention to associates, Walmart couldn’t have gone as far as it has. What’s something about Walmart that others may not know?
When Sam Walton started Walmart over 40 years ago, no one thought it would work. But now it’s an international company with over 8,000 stores. Another thing people may not know: The best-selling item at Sam’s Club is 2-pound cartons of strawberries.
Photo: scott elkins
rowing up in China, Jenny Zhou wanted a career in business or retail. Even though the rest of her family worked in education, they supported her decision to study accounting in college. Zhou went on to graduate school in Missouri, where she researched Walmart, and even wanted to take a spring break trip to the small town of Bentonville, Arkansas, to learn about the company. Because of its history and the attention given to employees, Zhou ultimately decided Walmart was the right place to start her career.
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