Guest Blogger: Owen Manahan, ‘10
Job Title: Management Trainee
Employer: Consolidated Electrical Distributors (CED)
1. You got your current job after attending a UVM Job Fair. What do you do and what do you like about it?
I was hired by Consolidated Electrical Distributors after meeting them at the UVM Spring Job Fair. CED is one of the largest electrical distributors in the country and is a Fortune 500 Company. I am currently about halfway through their industry leading management trainee program. This training program is unique and has offered me the opportunity to learn about every aspect of both CED, and the electrical industry as a whole. I really enjoy the day-to-day interactions with customers, as well as the in depth views of how such a company works internally. In the past two years I have also had to opportunity to travel extensively for trainings and have met some fantastic people in the process. It is exciting to know that within just a few years of graduating from UVM I will have the opportunity, and be prepared, to manage a multi-million dollar location.
2. What did you do to prepare for the Job Fair ahead of time?
Before the career fair I looked up most of the companies that I was interested in online, though I will admit I did not find too much about CED. We are a privately owned company, so there is not as much information publicly available when compared to other companies of this size. I also made sure I had my resume ready to go and a few questions prepared to ask.
3. Why do you think that you stood out to CED as a strong candidate?
I think some qualities that made me stand out to CED were strong communication skills, a sales oriented mindset, and the fact that I wasn’t just looking for any job right out of school. I was looking for a company that could offer a career. After the fair I followed up with an email, and was contacted a few days later for an initial phone interview.
4. What advice do you have for students looking for jobs and internships?
My advice to students heading to a career fair would be to take some time beforehand and look into who is going to be there to talk to. There are so many different types of businesses represented that it can become a little intimidating trying to find one where you think you will be compatible. Conversations at fairs are often very brief and surface level, so if you have a little bit of knowledge about a company going into it, you can prepare yourself with questions that will give you a better opportunity to dig deeper into what they are all about in just a short amount of time. That being said, if you don’t have time to do any background checking, or can’t find the information you are looking for, don’t be put off. A career fair is the first step in opening a conversation, so don’t hesitate to go up to anybody there and just start talking!
The Spring Job Fair is Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 2-5pm, 4th Floor, Davis Center