University of Oregon

Alumni Perspective: Business Student Finds Success in Southern California

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Brady WolfordBrady Wolford says his head was spinning with emotions as he approached graduation in 2010. Despite graduating as an honors student from the University of Oregon’s Lundquist College of Business, he was excited and optimistic, but also anxious and frustrated due to the tough economy and difficult job market for graduating students. “It wasn’t just one feeling; it was all of them,” he said. “But I tried to use them as fuel and motivation to continue pushing myself.”

After receiving his diploma, Brady used a strategic job search to locate opportunities. To set himself apart from other applicants, he incorporated quotes from his letters of recommendation into his resume. “You can praise yourself all you want, but when [employers] can read quotes from someone else who has interacted professionally with you, it takes things to a whole new level,” he said. He also employed tactics such as speaking directly with human resources representatives and arranging informational interviews that allowed him to connect with professionals outside of traditional interview settings.

During his job search, Brady tried to use all the resources at his finger tips. Perhaps most beneficial was the advice he sought from James Chang of LCB Career Services. James assisted Brady by polishing his interview skills, reviewing his resume and cover letters and offering advice to assist him in his career search. Beyond the advice he received, Brady also did his best to educate himself on the art of interviewing by reading books that discussed the topic.

Then, through sheer luck, Brady received a phone call from a recruiter with DEI Holdings, Inc., who found his resume on Monster.com. Despite Brady’s initial thought that the job was probably not what he was looking for, he agreed to interview for the position because he saw every interview opportunity as a chance to hone interview skills. Much to his own surprise, the job description was above and beyond his expectations. By the end of the interview, the Vice President of Finance had one question: “So, what will it take for me to get you on board?”

Brady is now employed as a Financial Analyst in Southern California. The last year and a half has given him the opportunity to work on a small team that’s responsible for monthly analysis and the presentation of business results and forecasts to the CEO, CFO and other senior officers of the company. “It took me a while to realize it, but the statement is true: you create your own luck,” he explained.

In the end, Brady offered this advice to graduating seniors and recent graduates: “You didn’t work hard for four years at the University of Oregon just to give up after a couple of months of looking for a job. A job WILL come to those who work for it, so don’t give up!”

Thank you for sharing your story, Brady!

If you would like to learn more about the art of interviewing, or for other career advice, give us a call today at 503.412.3701 or email us at careerpdx@uoregon.edu.

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Ayn-Marie Hailicka's picture