Most Important Thing I’ve Learned

I think the most important thing I learned in this class has a lot to do with the concept of discrimination and unfair hiring methods. In today’s workforce, there are a lot of different opportunities to conduct or be on the receiving end of a biased screening process, and I think it is important for all of us to know what the regulations are in order to protect ourselves and others along with our companies. I remember the lecture talking about disparate treatment, where people are purposely not given the same opportunities as others because of a predetermined characteristic, and adverse impact, which is when members of protected classes are unintentionally discriminated against whether in the form of training, promotion, or hiring. Before taking this class, I had known that discrimination in the hiring process occurred, but not necessarily how. Seeing that there are so many different ways that a hiring process can go wrong makes it all more important that companies have the best possible systems in place to ensure that they are not caught up in a legal battle further down the road. Being a woman, I have always been told that I would have a harder time landing a job than a male counterpart, or would have limited opportunities. Learning about the 4/5 Rule as well as the gender bias that exists within organizations was very eye opening to me, and has definitely stuck with me throughout this term. I hope that more and more organizations become increasingly aware of the negative effects that gender bias can have on its employees and working environment. Rather than focusing on traits that candidates cannot control, recruiting and hiring based on job-related qualifications and experience is the best approach a company can take to ensure that the best candidate fills the open position.


1. What am I good at?

I am good at communicating, staying organized, and passionate. I am not afraid to speak out about certain things, and enjoy being an advocate for others. I have a strong work ethic, and always perform to the best of my ability. 

2. What do I value?

For this question, I had to really consider what will make me happy as an individual both in my personal and professional life. While I want to be comfortable and stable when it comes to financial matters, I do not necessarily think it is my primary motivation. I value family, integrity, and humility, and like these values along with others to show through with all of my actions. I think my biggest motivation going into the working world is being independent and being able to provide myself and those closest to me with stability.

3. How did I get here?

When listening to the minilecture, the concept of mini decisions and their future implications really stood out to me. I have always felt that I have been one that is very indecisive, and have always leaned towards the option that others feel is best for me, rather than taking my own route. However, I definitely think that coming to Oregon State, an out of state school where I did not know anybody beforehand, has pushed me out of my comfort zone in important ways.

4. Where am I going?

If I continue on this current path, I will graduate on time with my degree in management, which will hopefully lead me into my Master’s degree and will leave me happy and fulfilled not only professionally but also personally. I have always valued education and want to continue down the sports business route, although I do not have a current position in mind. 

IPIP Results and Reactions

After taking the shorter version of the test, my results revealed that when it came to extraversion, my highest scoring aspects were assertiveness and friendliness, with a score of 52 that shows I am “neither a subdued loner nor a jovial chatterbox” which I think describes me pretty well. In the agreeableness category, my score was a lot lower than I thought it would be. I think that I am pretty easy to get along with, but I can definitely see how I hold my ground and like to take charge of things, which probably contributes to this score. My conscientiousness score was high, which according to the chart means that I set clear goals and wholeheartedly pursue them. My neuroticism score was also high, showing that I can be more emotionally reactive and feel things intensely. My openness to experience score was extremely low, which was not a surprise to me, as I like to stick to routines and do not like change. 

If a potential employer were to look at these results, I think that it would be really easy to identify my strengths and weaknesses. I think my results show that I am a goal-setter and a determined, hard worker. Another strength from the test would be extraversion, showing that I am able to communicate effectively with coworkers and customers, and am comfortable with others. I think that my low score in openness to experience could be perceived either way, but a positive to be taken from it might be that I am good at sticking to routines and am able to effectively meet deadlines. Some weaknesses that might jump out might be my high score in the neuroticism category, and making sure that my emotional responses to things or getting annoyed easily will not affect work. Agreeableness could also be seen as a strength or weakness, but a downside would be a lack of willingness to compromise at times. 

Typical vs. Maximal Performance: Week 5

If I were in the business owner’s shoes, this would definitely be a tough decision and I would be weighing my decision heavily on factors that the reading mentioned such as inside referrals to make the final decision. When pushed to their extreme limits, Avery has much more production capability than Jaime, but cannot be as consistent as Jaime each day. Because this is an essential position within the company, I would personally be more willing to give the position to Jaime since he does not slack off and consistently works hard to the best of his abilities. Although Avery has a much higher performance ceiling, I would not want to fill this position with an unreliable or slacking employee. A type of job where it might be more beneficial to hire someone like Avery over Jaime would be a job in which there are strict deadlines to meet, where someone like Avery may be able to exercise a higher capacity of production than someone like Jaime in a short period of time, or when the pressure is on. The thing that makes someone like Avery so valuable in these types of scenarios is their ability to work in a high pressure environment and find innovative solutions. A type of job where it would be better to hire someone like Jaime over Avery would be a job like accounting or an office job, where it is important to stay on top of work consistently and always perform at a high-functioning level. What makes someone like Jaime so valuable in these types of jobs are their dedication and work ethic. They are not someone that their supervisor has to worry about looking after, but they might not thrive in high pressure situations.

Job Ads

As a potential employee, I would define my personal brand as an organized, devoted employee who is always willing to go the extra mile and think creatively to solve solutions. As far as first impressions go, I think that it is important for potential employers to see personal interest in the company as well as someone that can offer experience and leadership within the field. For personal strengths, I am organized, dependable, and hardworking, and something I could work on is delegating work or not taking on too much at a time. Something that sets me apart as a potential employee, especially in the sports field, is my experience working within a Division One basketball program and the skills I have gained through working there for four years. I have held leadership positions in different clubs and know how to effectively communicate and get along with groups of people. When creating my own situation wanted ad, I thought that the way the woman from Buffalo stood in the intersection and handed out resumes was a perfect example of how recruitment can be a two-way street. I do not think I would necessarily come into contact with many of the employers I am interested in by doing exactly this, but I thought that maybe having some resumes handy or striking up more conversations with executives and athletic directors as they come into the basketball office. This way, we are in the work environment and they can see my strengths in action as well as having referrals and coworkers around as well. By immersing myself in that environment they can see my excitement and desire to work in the field, and I would also have the best chances of landing a job in my desired field of work. When you think of positioning yourself in a creative way, I think that it is a bit intimidating to think of but I think that it is extremely beneficial. In the sports industry, a lot of people get jobs based on who they are connected with, and I think that just by introducing myself and my career aspirations as well as learning a bit more about their job I could potentially make an impact. 

Job Descriptions

For my current manager position with the men’s basketball team, the hiring process was overall pretty informal, so I was not given much of a professional description before I was hired. However, before getting hired, as I had mentioned in one of my previous blog posts, I was walked around and introduced to important people and coworkers in the office, and from these interactions it was clear what my responsibilities and expectations would be. I knew that I would be able to fit in with the environment, as I had worked previously in the sports field throughout high school. Mostly, this job requires someone who is willing to be flexible and adaptable with their schedule, as practice is every day from 11 am until 2 pm, and players are constantly wanting us to come in and work with them during off hours. For most of us, this is the time when we want to schedule our classes, so this definitely was an adjustment and requires a lot of time management on your own. We are always expected to look and behave professionally, as many NBA scouts and other professionals from conferences and teams come into practice often. Going into the job my first year, I thought that it would entail showing up to practices and games, and doing whatever jobs the coaches needed. Since I was the only female that this staff has hired, my job looked a bit different from the other males that they hired, and my position has grown to fit me and my abilities over the years that I have worked there. The ways in which my position now is different from how it was initially described is that I will mostly be working behind-the-scenes, or off the court, on office tasks the coaches have or NCAA regulation logging. While originally I had thought that I would be doing things on the court like the other managers and was a bit hesitant about it, I am glad that my boss had thought of an alternate plan for my position, and it has helped everyone out around the office a lot more. I think that the initial job description did not necessarily fit what I currently do in the position, but it has allowed me to grow within this environment and showed me that I do want to work in this field in the future.

Experiences with Discrimination

If I came across an article that stated a company I admired was faced with a public lawsuit for discrimination, I would definitely be turned away from this company. Not only would I not continue to support the company, but also would refrain from applying in the future. I think that companies that promote diversity and can overlook superficial differences to see the individual and all that they bring to the table are the companies that are the most successful. This type of discrimination in the work force is not only illegal, but also promotes a toxic and uncomfortable work culture that I would not want to partcipate in. Growing up in a bigger city, I have always interacted with people from different backgrounds, cultures, and religions and I think that it is important for everyone to experience working and collaborating with people that may have a different perspective than them. I chose to go to an out of state school for college with an intent of meeting new people, and the college environment of people from all over the world was the best way to interact with people I would have never met if it were not for school.   If everyone at a company thinks the same way, or has the same knowledge or background, not much would be accomplished. I have always valued the teamwork aspect of my different classes and jobs, and would hate to think that companies take away the collaborative and inspiring perspectives that different individuals can bring to that company. For these reasons and many more, I would not work for a company that was accused of discrimination, even if it was a company I had dreamed of working for.

The Case for Recruitment and Selection

While recruitment and selection is an essential element to any company, it is not the most important function. From the mini-lecture video, it was apparent that this process can be very costly, and may not lead to the desired result right away. Mis-hires can be very costly to companies, and this money could have been spent on marketing or manufacturing for the company. Organizations might choose to allocate more resources towards marketing and product design rather than an exceptional recruitment process because of their strategies or access to resources. The video mentioned widely known companies like Apple, that are able to spend this money on product development and software because of their name brand. I would argue that for similar companies, it makes more sense to allocate more funding into product development than employee recruitment. If you possess a large component of the market share, more focus is going to be on products and profits, rather than the new employees coming into the company. Companies are focused on profits, and therefore will spend more money to make goals instead of investing it in their employees. If an organization chose to pursue other aspects rather than prioritizing recruitment and selection, some strengths would be that the organization is focusing on profits and efficiency, and they would not be losing money during the hiring process. Some weaknesses could include the fact that there is a weak culture at the company which can lead to poor organization and morale. The employees may not feel as invested with their work or the company, and are more likely to leave. 

Job Application Experiences

The last job that I applied for was my current position as a manager for the men’s basketball team at Oregon State. When I arrived at my START orientation as a freshman, I was able to go over to the coaches’ offices and meet some of them before meeting my boss who would essentially make the decision to hire me or not. Meeting some of the coaches beforehand was a positive thing for me, as it led me to be more comfortable around my potential bosses and get a feel for the work environment before committing to the job. I had previous experience working with sports teams throughout high school and grew up around my dad’s college basketball team, so it was a great fit for me. Because of this past experience, I did not really have much of a formal interview, but instead was asked about commitment and work ethic, as well as being comfortable in this environment since I was the only female on staff. Then, I was introduced to all of the coaches, other staff, and the team. Overall, I think this process was a positive one for me. Although it was not necessarily a traditional, interview-intensive job application process, I was able to meet people that I would be working with and see the types of tasks I would be asked to perform before being offered the job. The comfortability and structure made this job more desirable for me, and I am glad that I ended up taking it.