Entering her senior year at Calvin, economics major Rebekah Kline ’13 knew that her focus would be on securing full-time employment for post-graduation. Therefore, she put a lot of time and effort into attending job fairs (such as the Calvin in Chicago Career Fair and Job Pursuit), meeting with career counselors, filling out countless online applications, writing cover letters, and passing along her resume whenever and wherever possible.
However, Rebekah found that the most effective job searching came through networking. In previous summers, she had interned with Federal-Mogul Corporation, an automotive supplier in Southfield, Michigan. These internships helped connect her to the automotive industry, which ultimately led to an interview with General Motors.
“When it all came down to it, it was my connections in the automotive industry that placed my resume in the right hands, landing me an interview with GM,” says Rebekah. “However, this is not to say that all my hard work went to waste. In fact, I believe the practice I gained attending job fairs and speaking with employers helped me to be more knowledgeable of the interview process and confident when attending my interview with GM.”
With her internship experiences and confidence in the interview process, Rebekah was hired as a Buyer at the General Motors Tech Center in Warren, Michigan. As a Buyer, Rebekah is responsible for sourcing and issuing contracts for the exterior moldings that are built on General Motors’ vehicles in current production as well as next generation vehicles. She also manages supplier relationships and ensures the achievement of cost and performance targets, as well as timing commitments.
“The core values instilled in me by Calvin faculty and staff have proved to be very important in my role at GM,” Rebekah says. “When interfacing with other buyers, engineers and suppliers, I have found that people respond positively to integrity and kindness. Above all, living by your values and morals will make you respected in the workplace.”
Not only have core values helped Rebekah in her position, but the skills she gained as a Calvin student have also been beneficial.
“Although what you learn in college is important, it is the ability to learn and adapt quickly that will make you very marketable to potential employers,” says Rebekah. “With this in mind, focus more on developing skills (such as those related to research, communication, and analysis) rather than accumulating knowledge. Who knows, you may get your degree in history and end up working in marketing. Cultivate the core set of skills that will allow you to succeed in numerous positions across different fields.”
Written by Meredith Segur, posted August 2013