Bill Kochmar, Class of 2011, Management Associate, BMW North America HQ

2012-kochmar-bill-bmw-jobseekerstory.jpgHow did you find out about the job?
Networking with professionals in the field & LinkedIn (sent over 3000 personal messages to everyone in the auto industry to get my lead)

What previous experience proved useful as you moved through the steps to secure this job?
Ridiculous persistence, having diverse experience (internships and “real” jobs)

What challenges did you overcome in your pursuit of the job?
I was denied by almost everyone I talked to.  It’s a numbers game, so keep trying.  Every time you hear a no, you’re that much closer to hearing a yes.  No matter what you’ve heard, it’s easy to find a job in today’s economy with your major…but it’s difficult to find a job in the company/specific field/position you want.  You might have to work years at going to where you want but it’s only a few years to set up your entire lifetime.

What were your biggest assets in your job search?
Persistence, passion, enthusiasm, follow up hand written letters.

What was your step by step process?
I went through this process several times, but.

  1. Drink beverages every day after class while messaging thousands of people on LinkedIn in the field of my choice.
  2. Follow up with the few who respond with enthusiastic and compelling letters about where I want to be and asking for their help.
  3. Score an interview after networking and getting pointed in the right direction.
  4. Prepare with Career Services and everyone you think would be a good mentor for the interview process (includes putting all of your work so far into one binder so you have your entire college work/internship/real job work in front of you during the interview to serve as proof and examples of what you did, how you did it and what happened, etc.
  5. Interview.
  6. Write hand written thank you letters to everyone you meet during your interview process (minus limo/cab drivers, security, etc).
  7. Hope and try to forget about all the work you just put into something in case they say no you’re life isn’t over.
  8. While waiting for interviewer’s response– repeat steps 1-6 All day every day.
  9. They said yes?  Pursue the next steps with the company while preparing (When you think you’ve prepared enough, you’re wrong).
  10. More thank you letters after those next interviews, try building a relationship with anyone you can in the company while in this process.
  11. More waiting. 
  12. Repeat previous steps to drum up more interviews.
  13. Use information from previous interviews to round out weaknesses in interview questions, use their feedback to your advantage to prepare in the future.
  14. Get job offer.
  15. Negotiate, if you don’t they’ll question your ability to negotiate in the future for their company.

What strategies helped you interview successfully?
Career Center. Previous Experience. Positive attitude. Go-get-em personality.

Along the way toward this goal, who at Wright State helped you prepare and how?
Jim Munch – professor. Lisa Duke & head of dept. A bunch of the people at Career Services. Tons of videos from YouTube, googling all sorts of topics on interviewing, etc.

What Career Services or programs were helpful to you in your overall job search?
Mock Interviewing. Résumé review. Start Smart salary negotiation training. Other Career Services workshop on a job search topic. Co-op or internship position. Advice and information on Career Services website.

What would you do differently if you were doing it again?
I would not have banked so hard on the idea that BMW would of taken me.  I would of balanced 3-4 dream interviews for every 20-30 non-dream job interviews.  It’s really important to “blitz” or rush to get as many offers in a small amount of time as possible because you will only have a small offer time window for a position and ideally you will want to compare apples to apples for all the positions at once to make a good decision.

- Submitted October 2012

Chris Kershner, Class of 2000, V.P., Public Policy & Economic Development, Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce

During Regional Summit 2012, Chris delivered a videotaped message describing how his internship at The Washington Center, in Washington, D.C., contributed to his career success.