“Careers In...” Experts Are Back!

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Careers In... is a series of panels of professionals in various industries designed to inform job-seeking UCSB students about career opportunities across a wide array of industries.

Careers in ... Corporate Training Programs*

by Elle Quimpo, UCSB Career Peer 2013-2014

Workshop Description: Corporate Training Programs are the entrée into the world of business and carry major advantages for their participants. These programs can last six months to two years and provide graduates a salary and benefits while teaching valuable skill sets in today’s economy. Enterprise – Macy’s.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car : Kevin Hill, Enterprise Rent-A-Car Manager

Enterprise Rent-A-Car is a car rental company that offers a challenging and fast-paced nine to eighteen month long training management program to entry-level professionals that are looking to work with a team of motivated leaders to run a successful business. Within the first three months, the program consists of training as preparation for a verbal test as well as a paper-based test on operating business covering topics such as human resources, accounting, management, and boosting performance sales. Enterprise is a performance-based company that continuously hires throughout the year, which allows for a lot of corporate mobility – with spikes usually occurring around December and June after college graduations. Enterprise has been known to hire recent college graduates that demonstrate well-roundedness, leadership skills, and a good work ethic. They accept applicants with a variety of degrees and experience in customer service is highly valued. Over 6,000 branches currently operate across the globe so the job outlook is quite positive. Hill mentions that although the transition from college to work is difficult and demanding, he reassures that the benefits are worth it. Benefits include excellent employer/employee relations, rapid corporate mobility, and community building. Like Hill, those in the Enterprise Management Program can choose to work in the corporate side instead of the rental side of Enterprise. Within three months, Hill was promoted to assistant manager and now manages four different branches.
Macy’s : Tanya Smith, Executive Development Program; Cosmetics, Jewelry, and Handbags Sales Manager

Macy’s is a midrange to upscale department store that sells a variety of products from home furnishings to clothing to jewelry to shoes for men, women, and children. Their Executive Development Program consists of ten weeks of in-store training to learn essential tasks such as reading reports, managing score cards, boosting sales, merchandising, and working with clientele. Within this program, one would present projects to the district, attend webinars, meetings, and shadow current employees. The recruitment is not limited since there are over 800 stores worldwide, and most recruiting occurs in October/November and February/March. Macy’s looks for self-driven, hard-working, and team-oriented applicants with strong leadership experience. Suggestions for experiences students should get involved in during college including working hard academically, building good relationships with professors and other professionals, and actively participating in an extracurricular activity, club, or sport. Smith warns the demandingness of the job should not be underestimated, but reassures that the benefits are worth it. The main benefits Smith mentioned include: amazing exposure to the business, networking opportunities, and the perks of traveling to different places and meeting a variety of cosmetic vendors that provide free giveaways and samples. The job outlook remains very positive for those thinking of pursuing a career in this field, especially for online stores. Macys.com online stores are growing ten times faster than the physical retail stores, thus students should look into avenues outside the stores that are growing quite rapidly. Smith’s track to success included attending her college, UCSB’s, Career Fair, meeting Macy’s recruiters, going through multiple rounds of interviews, and after graduating in June, she landed a job in November after the ten week training program in July.

Careers in ... Social Services & Non-Profits*

by Austin Costello, UCSB Career Peer 2013-2014

Workshop Description: Hear about opportunities to make a difference! This panel will feature representatives from some of the largest Social Service/Non-Profit agencies in town. Come and hear about this major sector for jobs and the variety of  positions that fall within the purview of this industry. County of Santa Barbara - Family Service Agency.

This year at our Careers in Non-Profit and Social Service panel we had representatives from the County of Santa Barbara and the Family Service Agency. Each representative provided important information about entering their field as well as what qualities recruiters look for. Their insight is crucial for students who may be interested in entering the field.

Denise Cicourel, the Director of Administration at Family Service Agency, had great advice and opportunities to share. Her non-profit agency’s mission is to strengthen and advocate for families and it does so through many programs including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Senior Services, Family Support Services, and Youth and Family Services. FSA has these programs in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Lompoc, and Carpinteria. When discussing the employment opportunities available at FSA, Denise explained that there are definitely entry level positions available and that they tend to pay around $16.50 an hour. In addition to this, she added that while a college degree is not required for the positions, it can be very helpful to have when applying. Since FSA is a non-profit organization it cannot provide translators 24/7, so being bilingual (in Spanish and English) is a great help as well. However, there are some positions at FSA that do not require any Spanish like jobs in grant writing and finance.

Jess Armstrong, a Human Resources Analyst and Recruiter for the Santa Barbara County, stressed that there are countless job opportunities for the County. With 20 different departments, there are all sorts of positions available including, but not limited to, planners, public health caseworkers, animal control officers, health education assistants, social services workers, probation officers, and alcohol, drug and mental health caseworkers, counselors, and practitioner interns. Of all the positions available, over 100 are entry level! The County offers great benefits for its employees including bilingual pay for those who can provide services in Spanish.

After describing the services and jobs available, each repetitive explained the hiring process students may face when applying for the positions. Jess Armstrong went into great detail about the application process for Santa Barbara County. When applying, candidates are asked to fill out an application, submit a resume, and sometimes provide a supplemental questionnaire as well. They may also be asked to take a set of exams which will be scored and effect their continuation in the hiring process. After the tests have been completed and the resume and application have been looked over, the applicants receive a score which will put them on a list in order of their performances. From there the list is sent out to the departments and the applicants will start receiving interview offers. Although this process is quite lengthily, Jess assured that everyone is always notified about where they are in the process. Denise Cicourel explained that the process at FSA is not quite as long or intense. They will post their openings on craigslist and their website and ask for a resume and cover letter. Then they will interview the candidates they feel have the most potential to succeed at FSA, with potential phone screening beforehand, and final they will start extending offers. Denise assured that applicants will always hear back whether the news is good or bad.

In addition to the specifics of the hiring processes at FSA and Santa Barbara County, both Jess and Denise offered great advice for anyone applying for jobs in their field. First and foremost they emphasized the importance of error free resumes, cover letters, and applications. Small grammar or spelling mistakes can instantly take you out of the running for a position. They also explained how important it is to be detailed in any document you submit. The more information you provide, the more the employer will know about your ability to perform. Sending in general resumes is out of the question. Employers want to see your specific interest in the job you are applying for. They also explained one must dress professionally for their interview and encourage candidates to send thank you letters after any interview.

Overall, the Careers in Non-Profit and Social Services panel was a great success. Jess Armstrong