In an interview for a PACCAR internship, Jake O’Leary was asked how many gas stations he’d passed on the drive there.
“They didn’t ask a lot of the normal questions,” the former business administration student says. “That one really threw me for a loop.”
Thankfully, Jake had been practicing his interview skills at the Center for Career and Calling, which gave him the confidence to be successful. “I had felt really embarrassed after totally blowing an internship interview in the past and knew I needed some help. I knew I had to sign up for a practice interview, even though I didn’t really want to.”
Practice paid off when Jake landed the internship at PACCAR the summer before his senior year. He stayed in contact with his supervisor and had an insider lead when a job opened up the following March.
“I know it can be almost annoying how much the CCC talks about networking,” Jake says, “but that really is the best way to get in at a company. Meeting people through the mentorship program and internships will get you the foot in the door you need.”
Jake began working for PACCAR after graduation and recently received an increase in responsibility within his department. He’s an inventory planner who looks at seasonal trends, lead times, and forecasts to order stock to meet PACCAR’s demand.
“My job involves a lot of freedom,” he says. “And a lot of what I do is what we learned in my favorite class at SPU, ‘Operations Management.’”
Jake’s advice for peers looking to land the perfect job combines a little of both. “Take advantage of the Center for Career and Calling for the simple reason that it is free! At the very least, take one of the classes the CCC counselors teach, 'Internship & Career Strategies' or 'College to Career Planning'. Each time I learned something that would help me after college.”