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Bears Hire Bears: Building Social Capital

Black Alumni Panel

Cristóbal GarciaCristóbal Garcia
June 15, 2020

In an effort to identify employment opportunities for alumni, engage alumni experts to provide industry insight, and connect recent graduates with alumni insiders working in the companies they want to work for, the UNC alumni relations team has been proactively connecting with hundreds of alumni from across the Bear Network as part of our "Bears Hire Bears" summer outreach campaign.

Last week, our team chatted with alumna Tanya Amrine '09 of New Mexico's Central Consolidated School District 22, alumnus Brad Darby '99 of CINTAS, alumnus Quinston 'Q' Daugherty '97 & '00 of Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial, alumna Kaycee Dolan '10 of Deloitte & Touche LLP, alumnus Dana Hagood '81 of USAA, alumnus Chad Nash '05 of  The Real Estate Doctor, alumna Carolyn "CJ" Renaud '91 of Greeley-Evans Schools, and alumnus Dennis Trujillo '14 of UFPI- Windsor.

Our conversations focused on employment opportunities, impacts of COVID-19 on company processes, and industry networking opportunities. Although all of the industries our alumni are working in had been impacted by Coronavirus, our alumni seemed optimistic about company changes and employment opportunities.

A theme shared across our conversations was the importance of accessing networks you've already built, and the strength social capital provides job searchers and industry changers.

HR Coordinator, Tanya Amrine '09 shared the many job openings available for the coming school year with New Mexico's Central Consolidated School District 22, which is located in the 4-Corners region. Among the communities served, the district supports the Navajo Nation, which presents great opportunities for recent graduates looking to serve a diverse student population. And while the district may be remote compared to an urban district in Denver or Albuquerque, Tanya is proud of the training and professional development support that her district provides; a great bonus for recently graduated and licensed educators and a selling point as she aims to build stronger recruiting relationships with UNC trained educators.

CINTAS Service Manager, Brad Darby '99 provided an important perspective for individuals hoping to join companies with limited opportunities. Brad and his colleagues are often on campus attending networking and recruiting events. It is from these events that his company often identifies the management trainees they hire. Although CINTAS does not have a current opening in the Greeley branch, Brad shared that he is are always looking to connect with talented young people. 

Modern Woodmen Financial Advisor, Quinston Daugherty '97, '00, spoke to the importance of leveraging the Bear Network and thinking of networking differently. "A network is simply a group of people who share similar beliefs or passions, and care about your success." 

Kaycee Dolan '10, Senior Manager at Deloitte, spoke to the effectiveness that can come from working remotely; sharing that this has been one of the most efficient quarters her team has experienced. In hiring, Kaycee provided insight on traditional practices accounting firms participate in, like "Meet the Firms" where employment is offered in the spring. Although the firm isn't hiring recent graduates on a large scale, some positions needing more experience may come available throughout the year. 

Dana Hagood '81, executive director of human resources at USAA in Colorado Springs, shared that the company still plans to expand with new hires this year, although the hiring, on-boarding and work may continue remotely. Dana also shared what his team and the company are doing to open conversation regarding diversity and inclusion in the workplace.  More information is available in the "Employment Opportunities" section at the bottom of this blog.

Alumnus Chad Nash '05 spoke to the peaks and valleys that already come with working in real estate; seeing challenges around COVID-19 as opportunities to update business practices. He also spoke to the major opportunities recent graduates have if interested in entering the field right now: A) Familiarity with Technology-  So many parts of the business have gone online. Navigation of online content, industry software, and constituent management platforms will be vital for future real estate professionals. B) Online Influence- A strong social media following, and built social capital/trust with those who follow you, can be the foundation on which you start your business. C) Creativity- If you can leverage sites like Pinterest, TikTok, Instagram, and others, you can help your clients see the opportunities homes can offer. 

District 6 Business and Community Partnership Administrator, CJ Renaud '91, spoke to the challenges COVID-19 has presented to the education industry. Sharing that the district was forced to make around $14 million in cuts, and that only about 30% of her students were placed in internships because of the uncertainty Coronavirus brought families, businesses, and local government agencies. Although the district is not currently hiring, she suggested recent graduates always have their resume's ready, and never stop looking for opportunities. "You can’t lay down and do nothing. Take a second to process, get up, and start by talking to your network.”

Senior Product Manager, Dennis Trujillo '14 shared that Universal Forest Products Industries (UFPI) will be hiring in the near future due to an increase of demand in the industry. Dennis also gave advice on networking as an opportunity when looking to enter an industry or a specific company.  “It never hurts to let the company know that there are alumni working there already, or that you know someone that works there. That’s how I gob my job at UFPI.” 

Connect Today!

UNC offers various resources and relationships to aid your career development. Put your Bear Network to Work by connecting with fellow UNC alumni on LinkedIn, joining one of our many alumni groups, or reaching out to alumni relations staff for support.

Current Employment Opportunities & Referrals

A big shout out to our alumni for sharing the following employment opportunities available a their places of employment. 

Visit UNC's Handshake platform to search for additional open opportunities.

Share Your Opportunity & Insight

We want to talk with any alumni who are willing to help. Please email me at Chris.Garcia@unco.edu to schedule a conversation and get involved in helping Bears Hire Bears.