Using a temporary position at Yoh to launch my career: Guest post by undergraduate student Evan Leonard
This is the first of a three-part series of testimonials from young workers that were employed at Yoh during summer 2012.
In a tough talent market where companies are fighting to employ a small pool of highly skilled workers, many individuals struggle to find opportunities because they are told that they need experience. Enter the Catch-22: How does one get experience?
In May I was searching for a temporary employee to cover for a six-week leave of absence on my team. While interviewing individuals to fill the role, I was referred to an enthusiastic college student named Evan Leonard. While Evan did not yet possess direct workplace experience, he was eager to demonstrate his relevant coursework and confidently expressed his conviction that he could quickly assimilate into the role.
It was clear that Evan possessed the raw aptitude and, even more importantly, a keen desire to learn and develop his skills. I quickly decided that he was a good fit for the opportunity.
From a hiring manager’s perspective, I think that it’s easy to get caught in the mentality of seeking an exact fit for a job description as opposed to investing time to develop an individual with the capacity to succeed. Evan quickly flourished in the short-term assignment and was subsequently snatched up by another department for the rest of the summer.
Below you will find Evan’s comments on his time at Yoh. He eloquently encapsulates how contract opportunities such as his provide valuable experience and act as a launching pad for future career endeavors. Remember that focusing on a candidate’s aptitude and desire (regardless of an individual’s particular level of workplace experience) and allowing for a small investment in development will allow you to hire more quickly and discover valuable employees for your team.
Is It That Time Already?
August is almost over. Seriously? Where has the summer gone? Sitting in my cubicle with a couple of weeks to go, I’ve been thinking about the past two and a half months. I couldn’t put a price on the knowledge and experience I’ve gained since my first day at Yoh. For the first time, I’m not ready to go back to college.
This fall I begin my senior year at Penn State University, where I’m working toward a marketing degree with an added concentration in finance. In the spring of my junior year, I began searching for professional opportunities to build my resume and complement my studies. I wanted to join a reputable company with a fast-paced and competitive environment. When I came across an offer for a six-week assignment with Yoh, I was open to the opportunity even though it was very short in duration. Working for a large, renowned company was just something that I couldn’t pass up.
The rapid transition into the workplace couldn’t have gone more smoothly. Everyone was very welcoming and supportive, and helped me get acclimated to my recruitment media administrator position. I was given more responsibility and respect than any other summer job or internship I’d held before. My responsibilities included editing and approving job postings for various career search websites, and then I was trained to recruit job candidates in the heath care and life sciences industries. Additionally, I gained experience in the development of professional social media content for Facebook and Twitter.
To say I built up my resume this summer would be an understatement. After a couple months, I felt like an asset to the company, and I gained new skills every. Specifically, I sharpened my communication skills by working in a team environment and speaking with job candidates over the phone.
Some of the most valuable experiences didn’t take place in my cubicle. Rather, the lessons stemmed from the leap I took in terms of commitment to the job. Undergoing my first commute to Philadelphia, managing time, making sacrifices, and increasing my work responsibilities were all a large part of the learning experience. The summer at Yoh taught me that taking on a new challenges can pay off in different ways and can even open up a new career path. I have been asked by members of my team as well as other colleagues if I’d consider coming back after graduation. Are you kidding? I’d be crazy not to.
I also realized that my situation was very similar to the contract roles that we continuously offer to our job candidates. Positions similar to mine can give you the opportunity to learn and build your skills for permanent opportunities down the road. Look at how my six-week position turned out!
Spending the summer of 2012 at Yoh has been nothing but a positive experience. It was a great opportunity to get my foot in the door with a trusted company and will propel me toward my career. Yoh gave me the opportunity to prove myself in the workplace, and I did just that.
Evan Leonard is a senior at The Pennsylvania State University pursuing a degree in marketing with an added concentration in finance. This summer he worked at Yoh as a recruitment media administrator.