Hired from the Hilltop

A Blog by Career and Professional Development at St. Edward's University

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Alumni Spotlight: Micah Larroque ’18

Micah Larroque
International Business ’18

What company are you working for and what is your title?

  • HomeAway, Product Support Specialist

What was your major?

  • Business Administration/International Business, 2018

How did you hear about your current company?

  • While looking for vacation houses in San Diego 2 years ago

How did you prepare for your position while in college?

  • Career and Professional Development helped me with my interview preparation and resume skills. Also, some professors had us work on our professional skills such as networking. College did not necessarily prepare me for this specific position, but rather helped me succeed in whatever position I ended up in.

What types of projects are you currently working on?

  • I work with professional property managers who use HomeAway’s software for their business needs. This can be anything from helping them maintain their relationships with the property owners to helping them balance their books.

What skills have you learned or improved on since taking your current position?

  • Customer Service, note taking, clarification skills (extremely important in today’s world), emailing, maintaining a professional and efficient service level, etc.

What skills do you recommend students or potential applicants develop to work in your field?

  • Learn how to write/type/speak in full, efficient sentences. Being multilingual is a plus. It is impossible to guess what you are going to do before you start training for a job. Just be open and prepared to work hard and effectively. Learn how to adapt to a companies culture (as long as it is a respectful one).

Would you recommend this company?

  • Yes. HomeAway is truly a great company to work for. I would not recommend if it was not. I love to travel and learn about people. This is a place that inspires me to do so as much as I can.

What has been your favorite aspect of your role thus far?

  • The company culture.

What’s your best piece of advice for current SEU students?

  • Best piece of advice? Always be yourself while understanding and being comfortable with the idea that it is ok for to change. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. That is how you learn. I have no clue if HomeAway is my career or a temporary stop on the way, but I could not have asked for a better introduction to the world outside of college. The picture below is a group called toastmasters that I was in (before I was promoted and moved to another office) with other HomeAway employees. HomeAway pays for the membership and you learn how to publicly speak, best people around and it was a blast hearing these individuals speak their truths publicly.

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Alumni Spotlight: Jan Bisaga ’14

Jan Bisaga
Economics ’14

What company are you working for and what is your title?

  • American Airlines Revenue Management Analyst

What was your major?

  • BBA Economics 2014

How did you hear about your current company?

  • Online Search

How did you prepare for your position while in college?

  • Networking and chatting with current employees.

What types of projects are you currently working on?

  • Analytics, Data Visualization

What skills have you learned or improved on since taking your current position?

  • Business Intelligence tools, programming (SQL,SAS,R)

What skills do you recommend students or potential applicants develop to work in your field?

  • Learn SQL!

Would you recommend this company?

  • Absolutely!

What has been your favorite aspect of your role thus far?

  • Problem Solving.

What’s your best piece of advice for current SEU students?

  • Set up informational interviews to learn more about companies/positions you’re interested in and network with professionals.

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Alumni Spotlight: Jasmine Kim ’16

Jasmine Kim
Communication ’16

What company are you working for and what is your title?

  • Lifesize, Content Marketing Specialist

What was your major?

  • Communication, Summer 2016

How did you hear about your current company?

  • Indeed

How did you prepare for your position while in college?

  • While I was in college, I was active on campus. I was a staff writer and Co-Editor of Life and Arts for Hilltop Views, and soon after Editor in Chief for New Literati. I also participated in an internship at the Thinkery as a Development Intern. While I was concluding my college degree, I worked as a contractor for Lifesize as a Content Writer. I was soon hired on full time as a Content Marketing Specialist. I also networked with multiple St. Edward’s University Alum at Lifesize which is very important for better familiarizing yourself with the company.

What types of projects are you currently working on?

  • I oversee the Company blogs, internal assets, white papers, email writing, and product marketing assets.

What skills have you learned or improved on since taking your current position?

  • I have learned how to formally write for a B2B company. I’ve also improved upon my networking skills and professional work environment decorum.

What skills do you recommend students or potential applicants develop to work in your field?

  • Learn all you can about company branding and writing for niche audiences.

Would you recommend this company?

  • Yes.

What has been your favorite aspect of your role thus far?

  • I appreciate having a team that supports you. I have gained lifelong friends that have similar professional interests as myself.

What’s your best piece of advice for current SEU students?

  • It  can be hard to find out what you want to do with your life, and it’s honestly all about trial and error. Just because you might not excel at the beginning doesn’t mean you’re not a talented individual — you just have to learn to shape yourself into the person you want to become professionally.

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Alumni Spotlight: Caroline Jones ’14

Caroline Jones
History ’14

What company are you working for and what is your title?

  • Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Reference Archivist I

What was your major?

  • History (minor in Religious and Theological Studies), 2014

How did you hear about your current company?

  • Phi Alpha Theta speaker event from the State Archivist Jelain Chubb

How did you prepare for your position while in college?

  • I worked at the Munday Library during my time as an undergraduate. In addition, I was a Teaching Assistant for the Freshman Writing courses, and an intern for the CULF workshops.

What types of projects are you currently working on?

  • A big part of my job is answering reference questions sent to the archive and library. Typical questions involve school district histories, court cases and pardon information, Texas military history and genealogical questions on military personnel, and requests for state agency records and historic photographs.

What skills have you learned or improved on since taking your current position?

  • Critical thinking, researching, writing, computer skills, project management, public speaking, and customer service.

What skills do you recommend students or potential applicants develop to work in your field?

  • Writing, research skills, and computer competency are extremely important.

Would you recommend this company?

  • Definitely. I love my job!

What has been your favorite aspect of your role thus far?

  • Learning more about Texas and US history and making history more accessible to the public.

What’s your best piece of advice for current SEU students?

  • Push yourself to try new things. Even if you’re interest is in the humanities/liberal arts, take opportunities to strengthen your computer skills (database management, web development, etc).

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Alumni Spotlight: Chloe Moore ’13

Chloe Moore
Communications ’13

What company are you working for and what is your title?

  • Academy Sports + Outdoors, SEO Strategist

What was your major?

  • Communications: PR / Advertising; December 2013

How did you hear about your current company?

  • My current company has been a retail business for over 180 years and is a staple in the South. I heard about the SEO opportunity on LinkedIn, and a few days later, a recruiter reached out to me about the position.

How did you prepare for your position while in college?

  • In college, there were several classes where we learned the process of content building, editing HTML / CSS for my Entertainment Journalism website (lessismooreaustin.wordpress.com) and determining your audience’s needs through methodology and critical thinking. I was also the Executive Coordinator for the Multicultural Leadership Board during my time at St. Edward’s, which helped me to foster new relationships and learn the power of having a community. I also prepared for my position by working extensively with the Career & Professional Development office. I visited at least twice a month to edit my resume, review available opportunities and internships, and get career advice on how to leverage my college experience for jobs. Right now, I work with a diverse group of small to medium businesses to develop their SEO strategies. I publish my portfolio, results and findings to my MooreSEO.com website.

What types of projects are you currently working on?

  • At Academy Sports + Outdoors, my typical workday consists of meeting with marketing teams to determine campaign goals, reaching out to content writers to build quality links and traffic to the Academy.com website based on those campaigns, and work with the IT Department to make recommendations to ensure that Academy.com is technically sound and can be indexed by Google. Additionally, I specifically work on the Sports + Outdoors categories to ensure that they are optimized with the correct keyword targeting and phrasing that’s needed to help us perform online.

What skills have you learned or improved on since taking your current position?

  • Since taking on my current position, I have gained more in-depth experience with HTML / CSS, SEO Optimization, and Analytics. SEO is a field where we’re consistently experimenting and staying ahead of the Google algorithm. For anyone interested in SEO, the first skill I would recommend to develop is: building your website. And then use that website to experiment often with concepts you’re interested in. The second skill I would suggest is to read as often as you can about the industry.

What skills do you recommend students or potential applicants develop to work in your field?

  • In SEO, it’s imperative that we stay aware of trends and algorithm updates.

Would you recommend this company?

  • I would recommend Academy Sports + Outdoors because community is a focus for them and working with the company I have a fantastic opportunity to work cross-functionally with multiple teams which helps me to develop perspective and grow in my understanding of business.

What has been your favorite aspect of your role thus far?

  • My favorite part of my role is that I can answer a user’s question through search. I love having the tools to figure out what an audience is asking for and deliver that experience through content, links, and structure so that they’re able to find what they’re looking for.

What’s your best piece of advice for current SEU students?

  • Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. Most of my failures have, ironically, played a more significant role in teaching me something new. I have learned so much about who I am, what I like to do, and how to maintain what I love to do.

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Alumni Spotlight: Evguenia Gololobova ’18

Evguenia Gololobova
Communication ’18

What company are you working for and what is your title?

What was your major?

  • Communication – PR and Advertising focus, Digital Marketing Minor, Graduated in May of 2018

How did you hear about your current company?

  • I found out about it through LinkedIn, Indeed, as well as word of mouth.

How did you prepare for your position while in college?

  • I had a total of 4 internships. I attended multiple career fairs and networking events at St. Edward’s University as well as throughout Downtown Austin over the past three years. Additionally, I frequently visited the Career and Professional Development office to build up and strengthen my resume and cover letter. I consistently made sure my LinkedIn and resume were accurate and up to date. I had various professionals look over my credentials in order to receive feedback on how to improve my professional image.

What types of projects are you currently working on?

  • I am in charge of supporting my managers on various accounts associated with different brands and organizations around Austin, including managing budgets, attending client meetings, organizing creative briefs, and working with other team members of for company and client events.

What skills have you learned or improved on since taking your current position?

  • I have improved on my organization and time management skills, especially since we have multiple, high priority clients.

What skills do you recommend students or potential applicants develop to work in your field?

  • Time management and balance, strong work ethic, going the extra mile to prove that you are the right candidate for the job such as spending extra time on a project, showing up a bit early to work, etc., keeping track of your notes, projects, and tasks. Be creative and prepared for the unexpected when working with different clients.

Would you recommend this company?

  • Definitely yes!

What has been your favorite aspect of your role thus far?

  • My coworkers are very welcoming, intelligent, and creative. I also love the variety of work that I will be doing on the account side, as well as with the creative and P.R. teams. Being able to develop expertise in multiple levels of this field is something I am really looking forward to.

What’s your best piece of advice for current SEU students?

  • Start working on networking, your resume, and cover letter early in your college journey. It takes time to really perfect those skills and getting ahead of the game will make you stand out. It will also really make a difference in how you interact with employees on LinkedIn and in interviews. Putting in the effort is incredibly worth it!

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Alumni Spotlight: Anthony Ortiz ’04

Anthony Ortiz
Finance ’04

What company are you working for and what is your title?

What was your major?

How did you hear about your current company?

  • UTMB – Galveston is a large employer in my hometown. I had previously worked with the organization as a Financial Analyst back in 2006.

How did you prepare for your position while in college?

  • I learned about the position from a former professor who was a Healthcare Administrator. It’s all about maintaining your network.

What types of projects are you currently working on?

  • I am accountable for the operations of 3 clinics located in Antarctica. I provide and identify clinical equipment/supply needs in Antarctica, communicate with providers on Antarctic continent, as well as identify and address employee issues preventing them from performing their job functions.

What skills have you learned or improved on since taking your current position?

  • Time management and managing multiple funding sources and their contractual demands.

What skills do you recommend students or potential applicants develop to work in your field?

  • Understanding clinical operations despite not having a non-clinical education.

Would you recommend this company?

  • Absolutely!

What has been your favorite aspect of your role thus far?

  • Traveling to Antarctica for hands-on training.

What’s your best piece of advice for current SEU students?

  • Expand your network, it can never be too big.

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Alumni Spotlight: Jasmin Lazo ’13

Jasmin Lazo
Communication ’13

What company are you working for and what is your title?

What was your major?

  • Communication 2013

How did you hear about your current company?

  • After studying abroad in South Korea at the sister school Catholic University of Korea, I decided to meet the international students studying at SEU. We quickly became friends, and they helped me get my first job as a teacher in 2014. I started vlogging my experience in South Korea on a YouTube channel, and now it’s a way of income.

How did you prepare for your position while in college?

  • Working in two different IT areas, I learned about communicating well with people, using different types of software, and instructional technology. I also was given the opportunity as a student worker to attend the ACCESS U week to learn about different software.

What types of projects are you currently working on?

  • I am currently working on opening a Korean YouTube channel, re-joining the cast of Korean Bros Ent YouTube channel, and continuing to make videos as a Korea Tourism Ambassador.

What skills have you learned or improved on since taking your current position?

  • I have learned many editing skills as well as networking skills. Being a vlogger in Korea is very competitive because of the many opportunities foreigners get. Being a communication major, I learned to have good body language and a clear voice to keep an audience listening.

What skills do you recommend students or potential applicants develop to work in your field?

  • I would recommend playing around with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere. They are very fun software and you can create amazing things. I looked up tutorials on YouTube about using the software and learned to make more professional looking YouTube thumbnails and banners for my channel.

Would you recommend this company?

  • I would recommend both teaching English abroad and keeping a vlog of experiences. Many SEU students want to travel around and don’t know what it’s like. Having a vlog about the experience can help other students feel inspired to go abroad.

What has been your favorite aspect of your role thus far?

  • The best part of being a vlogger is the many opportunities I received in Korea. I was given the title of Korea Tourism Ambassador by the Korean government and was taken on many trips all paid for by the government. I was able to participate in festivals and meet so many vloggers.

What’s your best piece of advice for current SEU students?

  • My best advice would be to go abroad for a semester. It will open many doors for you. In every job I’ve obtained, I’ve been asked about my travel abroad experience. It stands out on your resume and you become more culturally aware. 

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Alumni Spotlight: Amanda Beck ’05

Amanda Beck
English Writing & Rhetoric ’05

What company are you working for and what is your title?

What was your major?

  • English Writing and Rhetoric, 2005

How did you hear about your current company?

  • Online Job Board

How did you prepare for your position while in college?

  • internship, campus leadership position, volunteering in student organizations

What types of projects are you currently working on?

  • I manage a small team doing marketing communications within a large nonprofit association. We oversee the TASB Risk Management Fund website, social media channels and blog; support training events; create marketing materials and advertising campaigns.

What skills have you learned or improved on since taking your current position?

  • I’m always searching for new strategies and creative solutions in marketing communications. In my current role, I’ve also been learning leadership skills and honing my presentation skills.

What skills do you recommend students or potential applicants develop to work in your field?

  • Effective writing for a variety of audiences and situations; relationship building; project management; analytics

Would you recommend this company?

  • Yes

What has been your favorite aspect of your role thus far?

  • Coming up with creative campaigns.

What’s your best piece of advice for current SEU students?

  • Do all the things. Join clubs, attend events and meet people outside your normal comfort zone.

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Alumni Spotlight: Joseph Filip ’10

Joseph Filip
Digital Media Management ’10

What company are you working for and what is your title?

  • Facebook – Business Integrity Team Lead

What was your major?

  • Digital Media Management – 2010

How did you hear about your current company?

  • Long time user of Facebook before I got hired.

How did you prepare for your position while in college?

  • I had some internship opportunities with U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar, the City of Seguin, and Mindbites.com, a start up company. I was also a Help Desk Technician at the IT Help Desk for St. Edward’s University, founded two different student organizations, and participated in multiple business plan competitions.

What types of projects are you currently working on?

  •  My team builds solutions for advertisers who have questions or problems with Facebook’s advertising policies. We have been launching many new policies and systems focused on elections transparency so my team has been very busy making sure advertisers know the expectations and rules in order to maintain compliance.

What skills have you learned or improved on since taking your current position?

  • Data analysis, strategic management, people management, project management, and digital advertising.

What skills do you recommend students or potential applicants develop to work in your field?

  • Statistics! Statistics! Statistics, with a healthy mix of some data tool experience in areas like SQL, R, Tableau, and Python.

Would you recommend this company?

  • Absolutely!

What has been your favorite aspect of your role thus far?

  • Making decisions that will have an impact on billions on people.

What’s your best piece of advice for current SEU students?

  • Try stuff! Start a company, host a YouTube channel, or participate in anything that will challenge you. Take it seriously and don’t be afraid to fail.

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