Recruiters offer advice on how to launch a career
Steve Peila, district compliance manager, Washington State Department of Revenue: Be willing to move, he advises. Many new graduates want to stay in Bellingham, he said, but if you take a job with a company in another town, you might be able to transfer back to Bellingham once you prove yourself.
Career fairs are also a good way to help your resume stand out. Until you meet someone, he said, the name on the resume is just a name - along with everyone else's.
Amy Philip, regional recruiter for Target Corp.: Don't wait until your senior year to start coming to career fairs. Come earlier to talk to recruiters and find out specifics of what they're interested in so you can plan your coursework or campus leadership activities. It also gives you a chance to practice your "elevator speech," your 30-second description of yourself, she said.
Greg Strickland, '94 and LEAN Promotions Office manager at Genie Industries in Redmond: Work your Western connections, he said. Every job he's ever had, he's found through fellow Western grads. Keep in touch with members of your class, as well as those who graduated in your major a few years ago. Learn about the companies they work for to find out if they would be right for you, too.
Alex Pugel, director of career development for Northwestern Mutual Financial Network: Don't think your major disqualifies you from companies you're interested in. Pugel, for example, isn't just interested in finance majors. She's looking for people who have an entrepreneurial sprit, she said, as well as those who are good communicators, and interested in making a meaningful impact on others.