How to build a career-specific network

Vickie Maleterri, relationship manager for MassMutual Oregon, addresses COB students Tuesday.
Vickie Maleterri, relationship manager for MassMutual Oregon, addresses COB students Tuesday.

It sounds simple, but it’s a key point job hunters often manage to overlook: Ending up with the career you want requires you first to look inside yourself and decide what tasks you’re interested in and where and with whom you’d like to work.

That was among the messages passed along Tuesday by Vickie Maletteri of MassMutual during her “Developing a Career-Specific Network” workshop in Austin Hall’s Robert Family Events Room.

Maleterri shared insights from the legendary career guide, “What Color Is Your Parachute?” by Richard Bolles. Bolles, 88, is a former clergyman whose book was first published in 1972; he’s updated it annually ever since.

Maleterri had the students attending the workshop do a Bolles-developed exercise called “The Flower.” She gave each student an 11-by-17 piece of paper with six numbered circles arranged as if petals on a flower and asked them to fill in the information asked for in each petal: 1, My Favorite Knowledge or Fields of Interest; 2, My Preferred Kinds of People to Work With; 3, What I Can Do and Love to Do (My Favorite Transferrable Skills); 4, My Favorite Working Conditions; 5, Level of Responsibility I’d Like, My Preferred Salary Range, Other Rewards Hoped For; 6, My Preferred Place(s) to Live (sooner or later); 7, My Goal, Purpose or Mission in Life (or my philosophy about life).

Coming up with the requested information helps a person make his or her career search more targeted.

Another Bolles-created handout Maleterri distributed featured an upside-down triangle that illustrated the way employers look for new workers is inverse to the approach most people take when trying to get hired. For example, many job seekers start by turning in a resume, while sorting through resumes is most hiring managers’ final (read: desperate) tactic.

Employers, Maleterri explained, would rather fill openings with people whose work they’ve already seen – because the candidate is a current or former employee, temp, consultant or contractor.

Bridging the gap between what most job-seekers do and what most employers prefer to do is effective, career-specific networking that infuses hiring managers with trust in their candidates abilities and potential.

Students complete "The Flower" as a means of developing a more targeted career search.
Students complete “The Flower” as a means of developing a more targeted career search.

How to shine in a job interview

Lori Rush of Rush Recruiting & HR says her two most important tips are to be prepared and well practiced.
Lori Rush of Rush Recruiting & HR says her two most important tips are to be prepared and well practiced.

Before you can give an impressive job interview, career consultant Lori Rush stresses, you have to get yourself ready to be impressive.

“How prepared you are for the interview is how prepared you’ll be for the job,” Rush told College of Business students Oct. 28 in a one-hour seminar in Austin Hall’s Robert Family Event Room sponsored by the college’s Career Success Center.

Rush, a COB graduate and the president of Rush Recruiting & HR in Portland, says pre-interview prep should be both thorough and detailed. For example, what are the mission and values of the company, and how has it been affected by changes in the industry? Also, learn the firm’s lingo — if it prefers “clients” and you instead use “customers,” that shows a lack of homework and/or attention to detail.

Other highlights from Rush’s presentation:

— Remember an interview is your chance to gather additional information about the company and the job, so be ready to ask questions as well as answer them.

— Don’t interrupt the interviewer.

— Don’t be afraid of a few seconds of silence; if you’ve thoroughly answered a question, resist the urge to break dead air by saying something else, something you’ll likely end up regretting.

— Don’t talk negatively about a former boss, company or colleague.

— Anticipate questions you might be asked and practice answering them aloud. Have specific accomplishments to share.

— Be prepared to talk about your failures/weaknesses, what you learned from them, and how you’re bettering yourself.

— Close the interview strongly. Express your interest, ask about next steps, and include a query such as “what questions do you have about my fit for the position.”

— Follow up with a thank you note.

— And if rejected, use it as a learning experience, including politely asking why you weren’t a successful candidate.

Kluempke’s real world means ‘killer job’

Tyler Kluempke, far left, joined other students for a panel discussion last winter to talk about internships.
Tyler Kluempke, far left, joined other students for a panel discussion last winter to talk about internships.
Tyler Kluempke, far left, joined other students for a panel discussion last winter to talk about internships.

For 2015 marketing graduate Tyler Kluempke, when Oregon State’s football season started without him in Corvallis to cheer for the Beavers in person, that’s when it hit him that he’s part of the real world now.

The good news for the former Marketing Club president is that his first stop after the College of Business is “exactly what I wanted to get into.”

Kluempke is a sales and business development representative with Oracle, and as the school year approached in Corvallis, he was wrapping up five weeks of training – the final three at corporate headquarters in San Francisco, the first two in Boston, where Kluempke will be based.

“It’s been a crazy couple weeks to say the least,” Kluempke said Sept. 14.

In his role with Oracle, he will serve as an account manager with current cloud ERP systems clients and also try to grow revenue streams. ERP stands for enterprise resource planning, and Kluempke describes the systems as “software packages that are the essential backbone of all businesses across all industries.”

“Financial reporting, procurement, project management, everything a C-level employee needs to run a business,” he said. “My territory is the Pacific Northwest and all of western Canada, mid- to small-size businesses up to $500 million in revenue. I’ll try to generate new business, warm calling, cold calling. It’s a sales role, a killer job, exactly what I wanted to get into. I always wanted to be in the tech world.”

Kluempke said the Career Success Center in particular and the College of Business in general “really put the opportunities in place for me to learn a lot of essential material, to really excel.”

“You hear a lot of material, it’s like drinking out of a firehose, and things kind of piece together once you’re out of the school zone and in the workforce,” he said. “I went to a lot of guest speaker events and talked to executives. There were a lot of similarities in the answers when it came to people successful enough to reach upper-level management or the executive level, and it usually came down to putting your head down and just working, just doing your job. Those are simple concepts that kind of get masked in the tech world, where everyone thinks they’re going to have the next Facebook or Snapchat and it’s going to go boom overnight. They’re not paying attention to those long hours, going to the events they need to go to, going to a networking event.”

Kluempke, third from right, says his education is coming into particularly sharp focus now that he's in the workforce.
Kluempke, third from right, says his education is coming into particularly sharp focus now that he’s in the workforce.


Business Expo draws huge crowd

Doug Robillard of Boeing talks about how students can get the most out of their internship and career.
Doug Robillard of Boeing talks about how students can get the most out of their internship and career.

Doug Robillard, quality director for Boeing’s 747 and 767 programs, told College of Business students that his company wants its interns to question why the company does things the way it does.

“Your questioning and understanding of what we’re doing make us better,” said Robillard, one of the presenters April 21 at the Business Expo at Austin Hall. “It’s easy for a company to fall into doing things a certain way because that’s the way we’ve always been doing them, and a lot of those companies are no longer with us.”

Robillard, a 1987 College of Business graduate who’s spent his entire career at Boeing, conducted a workshop titled “Keys to a Successful Internship and Job.” His workshop was one of four, each given twice, at the Business Expo; the others were “Making the Most of Your Internship,” presented by Mutual of Enumclaw Insurance; “Networking Skills,” by Mass Mutual Financial Group and Cambia Health Solutions; and “Resume Writing,” by Enterprise Holdings.

Those companies were among 17 that took part in the Expo, which drew more than 200 students of all classes and majors and featured hours of networking opportunities in addition to the workshops.

“It’s a competitive world you guys are in,” Robillard said. “Internships are a big step in our company for getting your foot in the door.”

Boeing internships take place in the fall, he said. Most of them are in the Seattle area, and there are also opportunities in Troutdale, as well as around the nation.

Robillard noted that at his last count, he was one of 678 OSU alumni working for Boeing.

Oregon State also has a strong alumni presence at Cambia, and the company sent Michelle Scwhartz, diversity and university programs manager, to Austin Hall to help teach students how to network their way to career success. A key topic during her presentation was the informational interview – meeting with someone at a place you might like to work to learn about it and what potential roles might be, and also to make a key connection to follow up with over time.

Schwartz advised developing a list of questions to bring to the interview, and the questions shouldn’t include asking for a job or even a job interview, or asking the interviewee how much money he or she makes.

Schwartz also told the students to write a thank-you note to the interviewee, ideally a handwritten one.

“It’s so rare, it really stands out,” she said.

MBA student Huiying Huang, who’s graduating this year and wants to be a management consultant, said she found the informational interview tips particularly useful.

Michelle Scwhartz of Cambia Health Solutions gives students networking tips.
Michelle Scwhartz of Cambia Health Solutions gives students networking tips.

Compete for a Wildfang internship

Emma McIlroy explains the WF Intern Challenge to College of Business students. Emma McIlroy explains the WF Intern Challenge to College of Business students.
Emma McIlroy explains the WF Intern Challenge to College of Business students.
Emma McIlroy explains the WF Intern Challenge to College of Business students.

Emma McIlroy, co-founder and CEO of tomboy-style clothing retailer Wildfang, was on campus Feb. 26 to invite students from multiple College of Business disciplines to compete for a pair of paid 10-week internships at the Portland-based startup.

The deadline is April 14 to enter the WF Intern Challenge. The challenge is actually five separate challenges that students can choose from depending on their major, expertise and experience.

Basic details are as follows:

  • Design and merchandising students are asked to create four to six pieces for Wildfang’s fall/holiday 2015 Tomboy collection, each retailing for less than $100.
  • Marketing students can either come up with a five-day run-of-show social media campaign, or identify two key consumer moments in 2015 and show a plan “to activate them for Wildfang.”
  • Business students’ mission is to predict where Wildfang might be in five years and give three examples of how the company could potentially modify its business and/or operating models.
  • Operations students are tasked with figuring out the metrics that matter most to a business like Wildfang and how they might trend over the next two years, and providing three initiatives to improve in some or all of those areas.

Nine students attended McIlroy’s presentation in Austin Hall. Wildfang is hoping to hire two interns, each of whom will receive a $1,000 stipend and course credit.

“We’re looking for people with a passion for learning and understanding our brand and our consumers,” she said.

For more information on the intern challenge, visit

For more on the company, go to

Students prep via mock interviews

Employers and students descended on the CH2M HILL Alumni Center ballroom for the mock interviews.
Employers and students descended on the CH2M HILL Alumni Center ballroom for the mock interviews.

Representatives from 23 employers helped College of Business students prepare to compete for jobs Feb. 20 during 5½ hours of mock interviews at the CH2M HILL Alumni Center.

Among the participating organizations were COB corporate partners Mutual of Enumclaw and adidas.

“We’ve developed a very strong relationship with the College of Business, and every time we interact with someone from the business school, we walk away amazed at how much of a partnership we’ve built and how cool the students are,” said Larry Beck, a trainer for Mutual of Enumclaw who was conducting mock interviews at Oregon State for the first time.

Added adidas recruiter Thomas Stuyvesant, also a first-time mock interviewer: “We get a lot of talent from OSU, so it’s important for us to maintain that relationship. It’s about pipelining and building goodwill and preparing these strong students to be successful in their careers. It could pay immediate dividends for us, or it could be down the road.”

Prior to the start of the afternoon session, Stuyvesant said he was “very impressed” with the students he’d talked to.

“It’s been great,” he said. “I’ve interviewed four so far, and they’ve all had obvious strengths. One of them, I wish he’d have applied for our internship; he’d have been a great candidate.”

Student reactions to the interviews were just as positive.

“I thought it was so helpful,” said Megan Goody, a junior in finance and management, following an interview with a representative from Target. “I haven’t done a lot of interviews, and she made me feel relaxed, at ease about this whole situation. I was so nervous going into it.

“I think you just need to relax before you answer a question and not let nerves get to you. Take a deep breath — you do have a second to think.”

Mohannad Hadi, a senior business information systems student, interviewed with a representative of the State of Oregon.

“It was really worth it,” he said. “She gave me a lot of advice. I’m planning to get a graduate degree, and she gave advice about what fields to go into.”

And he also learned a key lesson about being a strong interviewee.

“That I should relate my answers to experience listed in resume,” Hadi said. “That was really useful.”


Loge event caps career fair

Students and employers mingle at last month's career fair.
Students and employers mingle at last month’s career fair.

More than 100 employers and about 800 students came together Feb. 18 at the all-majors winter career fair hosted by OSU’s Career Development Center at the CH2M HILL Alumni Center.

Afterward, the College of Business and the Department of Athletics held a reception in the Reser Stadium loge that gave COB students and Beaver athletes a chance to connect with prospective employers in a less formal, more conversational setting.

Strong consensus among recruiters and job seekers alike indicated that both events were valuable as well as enjoyable.

“I love going to these things,” recent marketing graduate Chris Pham said at the career fair. “It’s a great chance to network.”

“It’s excellent,” agreed freshman pre-business student Sean Fox, who had talked with roughly a dozen companies. “I’m trying to position myself so that two or three years from now I can put together a resume that looks like I have five or six years of experience.”

A few hours later in the loge level of the football stadium’s northeast grandstand, College of Business students had a second opportunity to market themselves.

“More informal conversations, more personal,” is how Matt Adams, a junior studying finance and business information systems, described the after-hours reception. Among other things, Adams used the event as a chance to talk with a representative from Fisher Investments for a fifth time.

“Anytime students get to interact with professionals, it’s great,” said Sukhpreet Singh, a senior double-majoring in business information systems and accounting. “I’m trying to get a lot of companies interested in me and weigh which is the best fit for me. You can’t know what’s the best fit if you only look at one or two.”

Slade Crooks, general manager of Foodguys, called the after-hours reception “a great event.”

“You get to talk to students in a more casual setting and get insight into who they really are,” he said. “I’m looking for people interested in sales, so I watch how they interact, who the wallflowers are, who are the aggressive ones who put themselves out there.”

Juili Tonape, an MBA student in the marketing track, was trying to do just that. She admitted, though, “it’s not really natural for me. It’s a little overwhelming.”

In all, the reception featured more than 100 students and representatives from roughly 80 businesses.


Alumni return for Career Symposium

Cameron Stanislowski picks up tips from OSU alum Katie Barger, who works for Nike.
Cameron Stanislowski picks up tips from OSU alum Katie Barger, who works for Nike.

Representatives from more than 50 companies were at the CH2M HILL Alumni Center on Wednesday for the 29th annual Career Symposium for College of Business students majoring in interior design, graphic design, apparel design and merchandising management.

“It’s great to be involved with people in the industry, and it’s cool they brought it to us,” Hannah Bonilla said during a “life after graduation” networking session featuring Oregon State apparel design and merchandising management alumni who work for companies such as Aquent, Firebrand Sports, Gap and Macy’s.

“You hear what they do and think ‘Oh, I might want to do that too,’” said Makenzie Donnerberg, like Bonilla, a junior majoring in merchandising management.

Fred Meyer, Kohl’s, Nike and SmithCFI were the gold-level sponsors for the four-hour symposium, the theme of which was, “Yesterday’s Dream, Today’s Mission, Tomorrow’s Reality: Shaping the Future of Business & Design.”

Columbia Sportswear and Dream Careers were silver-level sponsors, and traditional-level sponsors included Accademia Italiana, Adidas, American Home & Stone, the American Society of Interior Designers, Buckle, Fine, Hanna Andersson, JanSport, Linn County, Lucy, The North Face, Pacific Furnishings and Pendleton Woolen Mills.

“It’s really fun to walk around and talk to people and see what they’re doing and figure out what I’ll actually do after graduation,” said John Conner, a senior in apparel design. “I’m interested in sportswear but am keeping everything open.”

Senior Cameron Stanislowski, who’s studying merchandising management, said his dream job would be to work in footwear design or footwear product development, ideally in the areas of cleated, training or basketball shoes.

“It’s so useful to have your past classmates come back and talk to you,” he said. “You can network and really find the heart of what you’re into as you prepare to make that transition from graduation into the possible industries you might be in.”

More than 390 students attended.

Claire Rose, an OSU grad working for Macy's, talks to students at the symposium.
Claire Rose, an OSU grad working for Macy’s, talks to students at the symposium.

Executives offer career tips

Elise McClure, left, and Eileen Frack, center, listen as Angelina Lusetti addresses the audience.
Elise McClure, left, and Eileen Frack, center, listen as Angelina Lusetti addresses the audience.

A trio of executives, all College of Business graduates, spent an hour Monday afternoon fielding questions and offering career tips to about 40 students during a panel discussion in the Austin Hall Events Room.

The panel included Angelina Lusetti, a human resources business partner with Target; tax attorney and retired Starbucks vice president Elise McClure, and Eileen Frack, director of executive management development for Daimler Trucks North America.

The session started with suggestions for applying and interviewing:

  • Find a way to make your interview answers stand out from everyone else’s.
  • Be aware that prospective employers are looking at the entire resume, not just grade-point average.
  • Research the organization you’re interviewing with before you go in for the interview.
  • Say you really want the job and why you’d be great at it.
  • Hone your face-to-face communication skills and writing skills, both of which can suffer from too heavy a day-to-day reliance on text messaging.
  • Take pains to come across as a good, friendly person, since many organizations have a strict no-jerks hiring policy.

The talk then shifted to how to establish yourself in your career and move it forward, and the array of tips centered around one key theme: “Manage your own career and compensation,” said McClure, meaning it’s up to you to try to make things happen regarding advancement and raises, because if you don’t, likely no one will.

Other thoughts from McClure:

  • “Don’t be afraid to move.”
  • “Understand the culture of your company.”
  • “Be willing and able to ask questions.”
  • “Be open to what comes,” as in, don’t become hidebound by the career plan you’ve mapped out.

Frack stressed the importance of learning how to say no and trying hard not to work for bosses you don’t like or respect. She also urged students to “find what feeds your soul” and to establish a healthy work/life balance, including serving on boards of volunteer groups, both for community benefit and to develop leadership skills.

Lusetti emphasized balance too, noting that she puts personal activities on her calendar as a means of holding herself accountable to actually doing them. She also told students to be willing to step outside of their comfort zones as a path toward learning and growth.

The Career Success Center organized Monday’s event. For more career advice, drop by the center, Austin Hall 102, and follow it on Facebook,

About 40 students attended the panel discussion.
About 40 students attended the panel discussion.

Employers, BIS students get together

Organizers Dustin Fernandes, left, and Aaron LaVigne flank speaker Matthew Kaiser.
Oberto Brands booth
BIS student Sukhpreet Singh, left, speaks with Oberto Brands representative Felicity Pau.

Business information systems students and representatives from 23 private- and public-sector organizations came together at the CH2M HILL Alumni Center the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 3, for their annual Meet the Firms event.

Meet the Firms is a networking opportunity for Oregon State’s roughly 150 BIS students and potential employers from around the state.

The College of Business’ Career Success Center hosts the event.

Participating organizations were Cambia Health Solutions, Con-way Enterprise Services, Daimler, Deloitte & Touche, Huron Consulting Group, IBM, Jive Software, KPMG, Mu Sigma Inc., Nike, Northwest Evaluation Association, Oberto, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Rubicon International, Providence Health Systems, Samaritan Health Services, The Standard, TEC Equipment, TKW and Zones, as well as the city of Portland, the Oregon Legislature and OSU.

Ojes Athyantha and Thomas Keough were two of the approximately 100 students in attendance. Keough was interested in Daimler, where a cousin had interned,  whereas Athyantha gravitated early on toward Mu Sigma.

“They kind of do their own kind of consulting, do their own thing with big data and business analytics,” Athyantha said. “It looks interesting. I’m going to take a look.”

Meet the Firms provides students a chance to sell themselves to potential employers, including telling them about projects undertaken through OSU’s Students of Information Management Club. SIM Club aims to provide real-world problem-solving opportunities designed to make them profession-ready upon graduation. SIM Club meets at 6 p.m. Tuesdays in Austin Hall 270.

For more information about BIS, contact program coordinator Rene Reitsma at Byron Marshall,, is the faculty advisor for SIM Club.

For more on the Career Success Center, drop by the CSC office at Austin Hall 102, or visit

BIS crowd.
About 100 BIS students turned out to meet with representatives from 23 organizations.