A Little Luck and a Pacific Education Help COP Communications Major Land Great Job a Month After Graduation
Last year, Amanda Spellman, a student in the Communication Department in The College of the Pacific, was not optimistic about life after college. The news was filled with dire economic reports. Unemployment was at a record high. She heard stories of friends at other colleges who left school, couldn't find a job, and had to move back in with their parents.
She was panicking about her future.
"I was stressed," said Spellman, 22, a Gilroy native. "I started to have a life crisis about what I was doing and about my choices."
All of that angst has since melted away. Spellman, who graduated last week with a bachelor's degree, has landed a full-time communication job with CBS Outdoor - a national company that sells billboard advertising - with a robust salary, full benefits and other perks. She starts the job June 4.
Spellman said she couldn't have landed the job without her Pacific education, the help of Pacific's faculty and staff, and some solid advice from her mother.
"Everything turned around for me in October," Spellman said. "I was playing on the field hockey team and also working as a bartender at BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse at nights. Because of that, my Tuesdays and Thursdays were the longest days because I started my day at 5:30 a.m. with a team workout, had classes, team practice and then worked the bar until closing time."
Spellman said she clearly remembers telling her mother one night that she did not want to go to work, because she was tired. Her mother gave her a short lecture about responsibility and told her that she was lucky to have a job and that field hockey season was almost over so she would not have to be juggling school, field hockey and work all at once.
"That night, two men in business attire came in and we started chatting about stuff, including what I was studying at Pacific," she said. "One of the men, it turned out, was the vice president of CBS Outdoor. He gave me his business card and told me he had a job that was currently open. I emailed him my resume at 3 a.m. after I got off work."
One of the reasons she had a resume to send, she said, was because of the staff at Pacific's Career Resources Center, which encourages all students to build a resume during their first year in school. Deb Crane, an employee at the center, worked with her in designing and updating it, Spellman said.
CBS Outdoor called her for an interview a week later. During the interview, she used skills that she learned at Pacific. "I am so grateful that Pacific required me to take a public speaking course," Spellman said. "I just feel more confidant speaking in front of people because of that class."
She credits her professors for teaching her all the right talking points to raise during the interview, and for being available when she was struggling with her courses. She singled out Dr. Laura Killick and professor Randall Koper, who were always available to talk about everything from class assignments to family life.
She also credits Pacific's overall environment with her recent success. Her sister attends University of California, Berkeley, and said not many of the professors there know her name. "When I was looking at schools, I went to Berkeley and everyone there was plugged in to their iPods and looked down on the ground as they walked by. Then I went to Pacific where everyone smiled and said hello. That's one of the reasons why I chose Pacific.
CBS offered her a job the next day. Not sure if it was the right company for her, she asked if they had an internship she could do to see if she liked the organization. When her internship ended earlier this year, she was again offered a full-time job, which she gladly accepted, as she enjoyed working at the company.
"I owe this to a lot of what I learned at Pacific, as the courses and the personal attention really allowed me to grow as a person," Spellman said.