|What's impressed me about Kellogg is the constant view toward innovation and the desire to bring a higher touch to every experience … That's a pretty unique approach, and it seems to be a part of the Kellogg DNA.
— Michael Malone
You've spent a lot of time working with business students over the years. What makes Kellogg different?
What's impressed me about Kellogg is the constant view toward innovation and the desire to bring a higher touch to every experience. That extends to students, alumni, recruiters and staff and faculty. That's a pretty unique approach, and it seems to be a part of the Kellogg DNA. It's understood that we will constantly look for ways to be more approachable and transparent. It's been great to observe that and become a part of it.
You have a broad and interesting background. Can you talk a bit about your own journey?
I would call myself a student-focused person and an educator first. I've spent about 18 years working with students in a variety of capacities. I've always looked for opportunities that give me a different connection point with students, whether in admissions and financial aid when I first started my career, or later, on the academic side, and with undergraduate activities and residential life. It helps me understand as best I can the person who is in front of me beyond what they're experiencing on the job-search front. For me, relationships are the major driver.
What sort of challenges do you see in the current job market, and how can alumni navigate them?
There's a lot of talk about the market being in recovery. I think in certain sectors that's absolutely true, but I don't think every industry is recovering at the same rate.
So alumni need to ask themselves: What do you like and what are you good at? And how does that match up with what's happening in the market right now? I would advise any job seeker that the primary driver of their search should be what they are passionate about — and then building and maintaining and growing a network that gets increasingly embedded in that passion area.
So it all comes back to networking.
There's a great story that I think really illustrates the value that the Kellogg network can bring. There's a LinkedIn group for Kellogg alumni, and there was a gentleman on there recently who offered to connect with any Kellogg alum who wanted to connect with him. That to me was a very Kellogg-specific notion — that because we share a degree, that's enough for me; let's see if we can work together in some capacity going forward.
The key to networking is taking people — like this gentleman — up on this kind of offer. Invite them to sit down for 10 or 15 minutes and talk about their journey. If what they say resonates, you can ask for that person's help to meet more people in this space. If it doesn't, that's great. People who come out of this program are good at so many different things. But being good at something doesn't always mean that's something you should be doing all day long, or forever. Often, the best diagnosis in a career search is knowing what you don't want to do. That opens the door to new opportunities — and with a network like this one, you're sure to find a connection that will help you reach the next step on your path.
— By Rebecca Lindell