The Recruiting Challenge
About the author: My name is Nydia and I am a graduate of Pennsylvania State University. I am from outside of Washington, DC and I grew up playing a number of sports. I found my love and passion for volleyball entering high school and continued to play on the club team at Penn State University. I enjoy being involved and taking on leadership roles in anything that sparks my interest whether that be school, organizations or sports. I interned for Williams in the summer of 2013 in their Northeast Project Manager group and I have started my first year in the rotational program as a Project Developer.
Walking into the career fair as a student, I was always anxious and excited at the same time. My thoughts every year were that I was better than the last and it would be impossible for a recruiter not to see that. This year, going back to Penn State as a campus ambassador for Williams, I felt exactly the same, except my excitement was geared towards the possibility of giving a student an amazing opportunity. However, as the first student handed me his resume, I quickly realized this was going to be a lot harder than I thought.
Williams provided all of its campus ambassadors with training so we can find the best talent that can contribute to the company’s success. There were three reoccurring types of students that I met: the first was a student that fulfilled our academic/leadership criteria but didn’t quite fit our company culture; the second student was someone who did not have a great GPA, but had excellent leadership and would click with our company culture; the third was a student who did not have a great GPA or much leadership but was very eager to learn and was a great fit with our culture. Almost everyone I met had something that Williams would appreciate.
To make an impact, a student has to stand out and highlight the most important activities on his resume. To fit into the Williams culture, a student should be driven to learn and ready to bring his/her energy to ours. At the career fair, there are so many students waiting to be approached and behind them in line are at least five more students waiting …making it very difficult to decide who to interview. Through it all, I appreciate Williams giving me the opportunity to challenge myself as an employee, former student, and now a slightly more experienced campus ambassador.
Interviewing the Next Generation
About the author: My name is Elliot and I am a graduate of Pennsylvania State University I grew up in central Pennsylvania. I then had my first Williams experience, as an intern, working in Engineering and Construction for the Appalachian Basin Area. Upon graduation, I joined the rotational program as a Technical Services Engineer in Bloomfield NM. Most recently, I have relocated to Geismar, LA filling the role of a Maintenance Engineer doing a variety of inspections during a large plant expansion and rebuild. In my free time, you will find me playing lacrosse, swinging a golf club, or snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains. I pretend to fish every now and then as well.
Nydia and I conquered a number of “first-times” this past trip to Penn State – first time recruiting, first time interviewing, and most importantly, first time representing Williams alongside competitors. These experiences jarred me out of my comfort zone just as if I was a freshman walking into a career fair for the first time.
When I was first asked to interview the candidates, it sounded like something fun. But as the career fair got closer and closer, the more I thought about the responsibility I was given. This responsibility of interviewing the next potential generation of Williams talent, as well as providing my “yes or no” input, made me realize the impact of this job to be done. What if I was interviewing a future manager, vice president, or even CEO? That thought sat in the back of my head throughout the day.
My day of interviewing candidates started off eerily similar to when I was first being considered for an internship. I thought my first interview was at 9:30am so I get my alarm for 8:15am to give me enough time do my usual routine of watching “SportsCenter” and “The Jetsons.” Whoops. My first interview is at 9am in the heart of campus. Next thing you know, I am frantically power walking to my first interview – just like when I was a student. Some things never change, I guess.
Since this was my first time interviewing others, I had trouble coming up with my definition of a qualified candidate. Honestly, I thought I would be looking for candidates like me – those that had less than stellar grades, but a number of leadership roles. However I found myself most interested in those students that broke the norm, whether that be through international studies, an interesting personal accomplishment, or some other fascinating project they contributed to. In the end, it was pretty easy to determine which students had the stuff, their Williams culture shined through their personalities.