Career Services Student Highlight: Stephanie Miranda

Stephanie Miranda

Stephanie Miranda is a senior business administration with an emphasis in human resources management major at San Diego State University. Her participation and interaction with San Diego State Career Services helped her land an internship with American department store retail chain Kohl’s. Miranda will graduate this spring semester and already has a job as a manager-in-training with the same retail company before graduation. Take a glimpse at this student’s success and how she utilized Career Services to help her achieve her career goals.

SDSU Career Services: What is your major and what industry did you want to break into? What influenced your academic major decision?

Stephanie Miranda: My major is business administration with an emphasis in human resources management. I will be working for Kohl’s in the retail industry and striving to become management. There were many things that influenced my academic major decision; however, the one thing that contributed the most was my role as a Resident Advisor. I love helping people develop into their best potential and helping them grow to become better students academically and personally. This love for helping people led me to major in a field in which I can train, educate and develop individuals in a business setting.

SDSUCS: How essential to student life is it to utilize Career Services as a student or current student?

SM: I believe it is essential to utilize Career Services as an SDSU student. Their workshops promote networking, help to foster internships, and provide tools needed to become successful in the business field. I utilized Career Services after my first year after attending the Career Services Etiquette Dinner. I attended the event thinking I was simply going to learn proper dinner etiquette; however, I also networked with Kohl’s executives. Not only did I leave the Etiquette Dinner with new dining skills, I left receiving an interview for the Kohl’s Management internship. I received the internship through the networking opportunity Career Services promoted.

SDSUCS: Did you learn any new skills through internships? How were you able to acquire these internships?

SM: I learned significant management skills through my two internships with Kohl’s. I was able to utilize what I learned in school and implement that into “real life”. I learned how to manage a diverse group of people, read reports, manage the sales floor, motivate associates and so much more. I believe having an internship really gives you the opportunity to see if a field is right for you. For me, retail and Kohl’s fit perfectly. I was able to acquire both the intern 1 and intern 2 internships through Career Services.

As stated previously, I attended an Etiquette Dinner that was hosted by Career Services. I sat at the Kohl’s table and interacted with Kohl’s executives and they explained how to apply for their internship. I went to Career Services Job Fair and submitted my resume( which I learned how to do through the Career Services hand out) and waited for a call for an interview. I received both the first interview in Career Services and a second in store. After both interviews I landed the first internship! After a summer of intense learning and growing I was offered a second internship. After completing the second internship this past summer, I was offered the manager-in-training position. I am now employed after college even before my senior year has started.

SDSU CS: How did Career Services prepare you for the job market?

SM: Career Services helped me with creating my resume multiple times. I remember coming in with a mess of a resume and they worked effectively with me to create a resume that stood out to employers. They also notified me about events for networking with other students and businesses. As in any business, networking is key and Career Services really promoted that at all of their events.

SDSUCS: What resources did you use to prepare and land your new job? What specific workshops, networking events etc.

SM: The specific resources I used to prepare for landing my job with Kohl’s was the Resumania, scheduled appointments, the Etiquette Dinner, the attire workshop and the social media workshop. All of these helped prepare me for the job market.

SDSU CS: Is there anything you would have done differently during your academic years at SDSU?

SM: I can wholeheartedly say that I have enjoyed my time here at SDSU. I have gotten involved in different clubs and organizations, attended numerous Aztec Nights events, went to various sporting events, and have met so many people that I truthfully would not change anything. I love SDSU and I am so proud to be an Aztec.

SDSUCS: What advice would you give students that are looking to find jobs in their field? Or what helpful resources should they look into?

SM: The advice I would give students that are looking for an internship or job is to start searching early. I feel most people think they should get an internship junior or senior year. Some internships will consider you even if you are a sophomore. I was accepted into the Kohl’s internship as a sophomore so it does happen. Also, I would tell them to utilize Career Services! The staff and the events are phenomenal. There are so many resources offered through Career Services and I feel all students should utilize them.

 

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Aztec Mentor Profile: Allen Sliwa

allen sliwa cropped headshot

Allen Sliwa, Class of 2004, currently works in the Sports Marketing department for ESPNLA. He is responsible for generating revenue for radio broadcasts, specifically for the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and the USC football program. Allen is part of the Aztec Mentor Program (AMP), which places juniors, seniors and graduate students in one-on-one mentorships with established alumni/professionals in San Diego. We are currently seeking students to match with Allen as part of this program. We asked Allen about his career, and how his experiences will benefit his fellow Aztecs:

SDSU Career Services: What motivates you to be a mentor for the Aztec Mentor Program?

Allen Sliwa: I’m an alumnus of San Diego State and would like to help where I can. I feel my path of how I got to where I am can be beneficial to share with current students. When I was a student, I could have used advice, tips, etc., on how to properly prepare for life after college. I feel it’s my duty to give back, especially to students from San Diego State University.

SDSUCS: What industry do you work in and what is your job?

AS: I work in the Sports Media Industry in Los Angeles for ESPN. My job is to generate revenue through sponsorship sales which includes our Radio and Digital Division for Southern California. I am responsible for selling our Los Angeles Lakers, USC Football Trojans & Anaheim Angels Radio broadcasts. In addition, our local sports talk shows on 710AM and our local website, ESPNLA.com. My day to day is on the ‘Business’ side of the industry.

SDSUCS: What is the best part of your job?

AS: I work in the sports industry for ESPN and the Lakers radio broadcast; that alone is the best part of my job. I grew up a Lakers fan and always wanted to be a part of the ‘sports industry’ and have now spent the better half of 10 years in the business. There are also a lot of perks which include hosting clients at Lakers and USC games, etc.; those are always fun. I also am prideful when I bring in a new account that’s never been a part of ESPN. I enjoy that the company depends on people in my position to generate the revenue.

SDSUCS: What qualities do you think a mentee should have?

AS: DRIVE. I think it’s the most important tool. A mentee needs to have something that drives them to succeed. Does not matter what it is, but it has to be something they are passionate about. Anyone can get a 9-5 gig, but a job that will motivate you to ‘excellence’ is the challenge. Do not settle; settling is the easy way out. A job that challenges the mind that one genuinely enjoys is more valuable than any dollar amount can provide. In addition, if you’re the ‘best’ at your job because you ‘love’ it, money will follow.

SDSUCS: What do you hope to learn from being a mentor?

AS: I look forward to learning about the students and their perspectives. It’s a different mindset that will be a fresh breath of air. I think I can learn a little more about myself, reflect a little on when I was in college, how much I’ve learned since I graduated, etc. I anticipate it being a great experience for all parties.

Any students interested in mentoring with Allen or any other Aztec alumni, please visit amp.sdsu.edu. The application period is August 18 – September 15. Program space is limited on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Meet Rebecca Stoody

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Meet… Rebecca Stoody!

Rebecca Stoody

Rebecca is the District Marketing Manager at Federated Insurance, a leading provider of business insurance. She trains and hires outside sales reps for Southern California.  Rebecca is currently looking for candidates who would like to become a part of the Federated Team.  We asked Rebecca about Federated and what she looks for when hiring:

SDSUCS: What is your position? And can you explain what you do?

RS: My Title is District Marketing Manager. I am responsible for hiring and training outside sales reps for Southern California. I have 9 sales reps on my team that spread out from San Diego up to Long beach.

SDSUCS: What do you look for when considering candidates for a position?

RS: I look for impact. Let’s face it; insurance is not the most glamorous and exciting topic. The individual who will succeed at Federated has to be passionate and be able to keep a business owners attention when talking about one of the most boring topics in the world! A successful Federated marketing representative has impact, is passionate, is intelligent, competitive and has a fear of failure. Federated marketing reps are the best of the best in the insurance industry and everything else they do in their lives!

SDSUCS: What kinds of positions are you recruiting for this Spring/Summer/Fall, and are there internship opportunities for students?

RS: Unfortunately we do not offer any internships. I am hiring for full-time positions only. I am currently looking for one candidate to send to our upcoming October training program and our February training program. This is a 7 month training program back in our home office in Minnesota. You will be in class with 30 other Marketing Representatives from around the country learning how to sell Federated to the businesses we insure. You will be paid $46,000 while in training. Once you have “graduated” from the training program you are offered a territory where you will have a salary of $50,000 plus commission and bonuses. We have three training programs a year and I will only hire one individual a class

SDSUCS: Can you tell me what candidates should expect to be doing if hired?

RS: Bottom line this is an outside sales position. You have to like selling. If you don’t this is not the right career move for you. You will inherit a protected territory that no other Federated marketing rep can go into. You will be responsible for growing and retaining business in that territory. You will be calling on business owners. This is not a “friends and family” type of insurance sale. We insure auto dealers, lumber yards, oil, contractors, machine shops, print shops and other types of business. You also will be selling life and disability insurance as well as figuring out their estate planning needs. A Federated marketing rep wears many hats. You have to be disciplined and well-organized! It is a VERY challenging position!

SDSUCS: What are the benefits of working for your company?

RS: The culture at Federated has got to be one of the best I have ever seen in an organization. We really care about our employees and their families. You have unlimited income potential that is directly reflected from your efforts in the field. Federated employees get a 401k and a fully funded pension as well as health insurance, vacation and paid sick leave. We are a family driven organization with only 6 CEOs in over 104 years. That’s unheard of for a $5.5 billion dollar company who has been in business as long as we have. We are safe, stable and sound. When the economy tanked we kept every single employee. Every business owner needs insurance and Federated knows how to protect their business.

SDSUCS: Is it possible to work up within the company?  And how does one go about doing so?

RS: Yes – we only promote from within. We will never hire someone off the streets to be your boss and who has never done your position before. Our current CEO hired me he started off as a Federated client, went to the training program, then Marketing Rep, then District Marketing Manager, then regional Marketing Manager, then Director of field operations, then VP of Marketing and now CEO.

SDSUCS: Is there anything else you would like to share with students about working for Federated?

RS: This is not an easy job. It’s not worth working here if you are not making a 6 figure income and winning all of our incentive contests. If you do not win our yearly sales trip which is called Chairman’s Council, big hitter award and every other contest we have you will hate this job. When you win these incentive trips you will be making the income you want to make and it makes the job fun. We ask a lot from our marketing reps and we give them a lot. It takes a certain individual to be able to do this job and do it well. I only hire 2-3 people a year because we have such a low turnover rate. I will be putting you through 9 separate types of interviews to make sure you know everything about the job and I know all I can about you. We don’t like hiring the wrong person for the position. It’s not fair to us and it’s not fair to you. If you are looking for a home, a company you can retire with then Federated is a company you should be interviewing with!