In today’s COVID-19 job market, job opportunities may look different than they did a few months ago, that’s why UNC’s alumni relations staff are proactively reaching out to hundreds of alumni from our Bear Network. Our hope is that the “Bears Hire Bears” campaign will help us gain industry insight, identify employment opportunities for alumni, and connect our recent grads to alumni insiders who can provide career advice.

Last week, our team chatted with alumnus Drew Errington '09, alumnus Tanner Mascarenas '17, Territory Manager at TTi, alumnus Edward Rossman '04, Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch, alumna Jenny Siegle '04, Producer for Altitude Sports & Entertainment, and alumnus Chris Vanderbilt '09, Director of Procurement at Alterra Mountain Company.

During our conversations, we discussed the impact COVID-19 may have had on their industries. Although the hospitality, and sports and entertainment industries have been most impacted, these five alumni are committed to helping their fellow Bears reach success, and a few shared available employment opportunities within their company. Those who didn’t have jobs/positions to share, offered advice for recent graduates on areas of growth or refinement.

A common theme shared from across these conversations, was to hustle, grind, reach out proactively, and have an openness to pivot industries when opportunities arise.

Executive recruiter Drew Errington began his post-UNC career as a staff accountant with Frontier Airlines and now develops a talent network to aid in recruiting and placing accounting and finance executives with his client companies. He encourages recent graduates to, "Open the parameters of your job search. Don't limit yourself to just your dream job." As a recruiter, Drew works with a lot of job seekers and companies looking for talent, providing invaluable insight for recent graduates just entering the job market. "If the position requires 1-2 years of experience and you just graduated, still apply for it. Take a bet on yourself."

As Tanner Mascarenas said, “There are jobs out there, and money to be made. Be open to new opportunities and be ready to hustle.” Although, you may not land your dream job or industry straight after graduation, a new opportunity can open many doors down the road... So can proactive outreach.

For Edward this “Might as well try”  attitude turned into a massive career step. After a chance meeting at the UNC Job & Internship fair, Edward reached out to the market executive from Merrill Lynch, and after a few conversations, this hidden network of leaders found him to be a good fit for the company. As Edward said, “Coming from a young person, sometimes you do not need a specific degree. Some of the most successful people in this business are the people who do what it takes to make it work. Companies will support employees who show promise.”

Alumna Jenny Siegle said, “Be open and willing to wear multiple hats. In this industry and in my company, it is very attractive for individuals to know how to write, edit and produce their own content.” This openness will allow you to grow and can help mold you into a well-rounded professional in the future. Jenny also share, “It is okay to have a niche but be open to learn new skills.”

Chris Vanderbilt has seen that, “Having advanced Microsoft Office Suite and basic enterprise software concepts is very attractive.” Having these skills in your toolbox will help you stand out among other candidates. Chris shared, “Finding a shining star can sometimes be difficult. I base my initial judgement on look and feel of their resume, this process helps me identify who truly put in the work to make themselves stand out.”

Don’t be afraid to implement these things. Instead, put your Bear Network to work, and reach out to fellow alumni. You never know what opportunities may arise from those interactions.

Current Employment Opportunities & Referrals

Thanks to Tanner Mascarenas for Sharing that as of June 05, TTi still has the following employment opportunities targeting recent and seasoned alumni:

  • Multi-Store Representatives- Arizona, North Carolina and Texas
  • Single Store Representative- California, Georgia, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia, and Washington
  • Three Store Territory Representative- California, Georgia and New York

Head over to Handshake 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 norma.juarez@unco.edu to schedule a conversation and get involved in helping Bears Hire Bears.