Week 10

Most Important Thing I’ve Learned

The most important and one of the most profound things I’ve learned is how around only ⅓ of how an applicant is evaluated can be reasonably attributed to qualifications. This chunk encompasses unique capabilities, experience, communication skills, and other aspects of an applicant that makes them qualified for a position. To me, this should be much larger because these are the objective indicators on whether or not they should be hired. A person’s skills and abilities are important in determining their level of performance and A-players, as the reading calls them, will show their worth and their capabilities.

However, what remains in the pie is mostly chance or random error. This is the mostly subjective part. While this is important because yeah, an applicant should fit with the company and get along with the recruiter/interviewer, it dominates the objective qualifications. I agree that applicants should have alignment in values or see things in a similar manner. The issue here is that the system breaks down because of personal biases. People naturally like to be around others that are similar to them. Maybe someone gets hired because they’re more charming, good looking, funnier, or even a fan of the same sports team, rather than their actual ability to get the job done.

I picked this particular topic because while presentation is important and getting along with the interviewer is crucial, it is too much of a factor in comparison to qualifications. Flipping that around to be more positive, it is key to nail that first impression, that handshake and eye contact, so that interviewers like you not for what you’ve done and can do, but rather because of you. This is a crucial consideration during the hiring process. It’s why diversity should be valued even more; more viewpoints can mean more objectivity. Sometimes you can get away with being under qualified because it is more important to sell you and your personal brand than your job-related abilities. I want to make sure that I am a great candidate truly because of why I am applying, but I will also know that being myself and being appreciated for who I am is more important, and in this case, more impactful. 

Week 9


What am I good at?

I excel at organization and am always on top of things. I like to keep track of tasks with to-do lists and sticky notes, and am always making sure everything I can control is tidy and organized. I work well in a team and am passionate about success as I’m a fierce competitor, but I also love to read, write, and continue learning.

What do I value?

Happiness and spreading joy make me happy. While overstated, I truly do want to make the world a better place and contribute to the success of others. I value family and doing the right thing, travelling and appreciation for other cultures, and accepting life not as it is, but how it should be.

How did I get here?

While Oregon State wasn’t my first choice, I got here because it made sense. It was closer to home and less expensive, as well as it came with friends and people I knew already. Being in the College of Business was not my original intention; I started undeclared, not knowing what I wanted to do. I ended up with Management because I made friends in classes, watched the Office, and started to see how I could one day change the world.

Where am I going?

I’ve made some pretty safe choices and been mostly boring along this path. I have an internship at a corporate office that starts in a few weeks and I could see myself interviewing for a position for after graduation. This is great in the sense that it’s secure and a seemingly normal way to go, with a house and one day hopefully a family to go along with that white picket fence. I’m not sure I’m happy with that though, as I want to travel a lot more and feel young for a lot longer too.

Week 7

IPIP Results and Reaction

I chose to take the shorter of the two tests, but still found the results to be around what I expected them to be. The test shows various levels and measures of several aspects of each personality trait. I scored moderately in extroversion, while avoiding excitement and large crowds. My agreeableness was pretty high across the board. My highest personality trait by far was conscientiousness, where I had especially high levels in orderliness and efficacy. Neuroticism was low, with a slight spike in anxiety. That makes sense because it’s college and Corona, so a lot going on. The last trait, openness to experience, was also fairly low for me besides liberalism.

Going deeper into the results, I think potential employers would look positively at the results of this test. A large strength that is easily observable comes from the high scores in all categories of conscientiousness. This is the trait that is most strongly correlated with job performance, and would demonstrate my ability to stay organized, remain motivated, and be highly efficient in accomplishing tasks. Another strength would be maturity or emotional stability, as my low scores in neuroticism show. Building off of that too is my agreeableness, as employers will value someone they can trust and depend on, who cares about others and cooperates well. Teamwork is particularly important in a work setting.

Potential weaknesses are demonstrated in the test results as well. A lack of creativity through a low openness to experience could be detrimental, depending on the job field and specific creative tasks required of me. Employers might also look for employees that have higher levels of risk taking or adventurousness, people that are going to come in and be innovative or entrepreneurial. Additionally, different employers could value extroversion at different levels. This is also very job dependent as more customer-oriented roles would naturally demand higher levels of extroversion.

Week 5

Typical vs. Maximum Performance

In considering the scenario, I would personally choose to hire Jaime. This is an essential role in the company and I value consistency a lot. There might not be huge fluctuations and spikes in performance, but I know that on a day-to-day basis, Jaime can get the job done and be effective. It’s something I wouldn’t have to worry about, as compared to hiring Avery, who would need a lot more support and accountability to get things done. I think having the individual potential to go big is important, but not as much as the known reliability; it is the safer option to go with Jaime.

A type of job that would favor hiring Avery would be a recruiter or salesperson. This is because these positions are highly dependent on maximizing performance and landing a big fish every now and then. While it would be important to have someone who did a solid job all the time, these roles place more of an emphasis on rising to the occasion when necessary. Because Avery has a higher ceiling and performs better than anyone when he is at his best, he can get the best talent and land the large sales.

A type of job that would favor hiring Jaime would be a receptionist or paper pusher. This is more of a repetitive position where the daily tasks don’t vary greatly. This plays to Jaime’s strength of consistency. He’s a solider and will always get the job done, but won’t necessarily be pushed outside his limitations. He won’t need to come in clutch because he won’t be put into that situation to begin with. More mundane positions like these with routine tasks favor that consistency over high ceiling.

Week 4

Critiquing a Recruitment Ad

My personal brand reflects my enthusiasm and efficiency. I love to get things done and I work hard to ensure the best quality and attitude while doing so. I aim to come off as passionate about my goals and process, because I really do get excited about the journey to success and the continual learning that comes with picking up new skills and working with others. I am dedicated and I am hungry. While I can sometimes tend to find myself overloading on projects or just saying yes to everything, I am working on prioritizing better and ensuring I can be 100% committed to the work that I can accomplish. I stand out with my humor and my smile and being able to integrate quickly into a team or workplace.

If I were to ever present myself in a novel and creative situation wanted ad visible to prospective organizations, I would want it to be funny. Not only does that grab attention easily, but it accomplishes an important goal of mine – to make others laugh. I could see myself communicating my strengths best through the form of a video. This would stand out from other ads because it shows how dedicated I am to improving my brand and spreading my situation to potential employers.

I’m picturing this video right now as very Michael Scott-esque, but maybe that’s because I am currently in the middle of watching the Office for the first time. I would want it obviously to be more professional, respectful, and informative, so maybe I would really just emulate some of the humor or “flair” he has. Regardless, I am confident a video where I could not only talk about my strengths and why someone should hire me, but show and demonstrate my capabilities would be a major success. This would be unique and drive hiring managers to pick up their phones immediately. It would also be very easy to spread and this increased visibility would only further help my status as someone searching for a job.

Week 3

Job Descriptions

When I applied for my current job working at the Graduate Business Programs office, the job description played a pretty big role in influencing my decision to apply. I wanted to find something close by and this was on campus, even the same building and college as my major. Looking through the different requirements, I found that my experiences didn’t exactly match all of the requirements. However, this was an entry-level position for a part-time job at Oregon State and it sounded like a really interesting opportunity to pursue. I wanted to apply partly because the job description did a good job at describing what I’d be doing, but I’d also be able to gain those skills that I lacked so that I would be more experienced in the future.

The biggest differences between my then current experience and the job description were mainly clerical or office-related tasks. This was going to be a desk job and I had only worked food service up until that point. Another difference was that the position would require me to work heavily in applications and programs like Salesforce, Outlook, and several cloud-based platforms that I had limited experience with. On the other hand, I had the core skills down – things like organization, communication, and professionalism. Making sure to highlight the positive customer service angle, I found similarities with how the work was conducted as the job required me to frequently interact with “customers” – this being prospective students, current students, and faculty members. My experience may have been different and not entirely aligned, but the guiding principles behind it helped qualify me for the position.

Week 2

Experiences with Discrimination

If a favorite company of mine was found to be discriminating against a certain group of people, my views on that company would change. I don’t know if I would go to the extent of “cancelling” them or not purchasing their products/use their services, but I would consider it if the population discriminated against was one I identified closely with. Honestly, I would mostly feel betrayed. Take any one of the top retail brands that we all have in our closets. I’ve got Nike shoes and Adidas shorts (never mix and match), H&M shirts, Levi’s jeans, the list goes on. I love what I wear and I make a concentrated effort to buy clothes or any other product for that matter that I enjoy and are of quality.

If any one of these large brands in this example were to do such a thing as discriminate against individuals of my race or culture, I would definitely question my priorities. There are tons of alternate providers for shoes and jeans and most other basic products. I don’t think I’d want to support a company that did not support me or people like me.

In terms of this affecting possible future employment, I wouldn’t want to work for the company either. Right now, I’m excited about the products I use and the companies behind them. I don’t think I could put an issue like discrimination aside to work for a company like that because I know the culture would negatively affect me and I would be opening myself up to being discriminated against personally.

Week 1

The Case for Recruitment & Selection

Organizations may decide to allocate more resources toward marketing or product design rather than employee recruitment and selection because of the increasing emphasis on the product and brand over people or individuals. While cynical, many corporations do in fact see employees as easily replaceable and just a cog in their business plan. A good example is the US economy, wherein a large portion of the workforce could see their jobs replaced in the next 5-10 years.

Automation and technology aside, many companies often care more about selling and creating products using a consumer-based view. Apple and Nike can always hire more people because of the brand they’ve built up; everyone wants to work there. They don’t need to focus too much on recruiting the best, because a natural rise to the top will occur for them looking at results and output. Good products need to be communicated to market faster and better because more people will buy than will be hired.

By prioritizing other aspects of business, a company would benefit from better R&D and market share, continual building of their brand, or any number of factors they choose to focus on. There’ll always be bodies to work for them and they can expand and profit more elsewhere.

However, a potential weakness in not prioritizing recruitment and selection is that they do get those bad employees. Dissatisfaction is contagious and it may adversely affect productivity and disrupt other processes.

Week 1

Job Application Experiences

I had first heard of Kroger’s summer internship through a friend of mine who had gone through the program herself and had nothing but positive things to say about it. I searched for the position online and ended up applying through LinkedIn. I made sure to tailor my resume and write a solid cover letter that showed how interested I was as well as my qualifications for the job. I wasn’t particularly anxious during the wait that followed; I had applied to many other positions for the summer. I was however excited to setup a phone interview and then an in-person interview afterwards.

I made sure to go over what I was going to cover on my resume and prepared myself by practicing answering questions with my roommates. It really helped to have gone through a couple of classes that focused solely on the interview process. When the day came, I made sure I was dressed professionally and prepared to WOW my interviewer. We ended up getting along really well, and I asked a lot of questions at the end. From these questions and the atmosphere of the interview, I was able to get a feel for the company culture and the importance of teamwork they stressed in the office. My interviewer was super excited for me and the other applicants, as she truly believed in the company, its core values, and how fun the summer would be for us.

This, along with the technical breakdowns of what I’d be doing and how the summer was structured, painted a pretty good picture of an amazing opportunity. When I received the official offer, I was excited to accept it. Everyone I had interacted with was so genuine and passionate about their careers and teams, and I could tell this was going to be a good place to work. The professionalism exemplified by the individuals I got to talk to made me feel like this was a good fit and I truly did feel informed before I had even started.