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A Boilermaker who...utilized his transferable skills to avoid a desk job

Name: Bryan Grier Graduation Date: May 2012 Major: Management Current Position: Zone Manager at Ford Motor Company Location: Kansas City

What’s the transition from college to employment like?

The most difficult part, Bryan says, was moving to a new city. He compares it to coming to Purdue as a freshman, worried about making friends and what classes will be like. Only this transition entails more challenges, even simple things like figuring our where the nearest grocery store is.

An unexpected realization from this transition is that having a diploma doesn’t mean you stop learning. Beginning a new position at a new company in an unfamiliar industry has presented Bryan with a variety of new learning experiences and challenges.

The best part about being employed full time (besides the paycheck), Bryan says, is how clearly you can see the impact your work is having on others. In college, grades are the outcome of your work, and there is rarely a broader impact. Bryan has found that even in the short time he has been a part of the workforce, his everyday work creates an impact.

How is he using transferable skills?

We’ve all heard how important skills like communication, leadership, and initiative are to employers. For Bryan, communication and teamwork are the most vital in his work. Working in a large company means Bryan interacts with a variety of people on a daily basis, both on the phone and in person. Being an effective communicator, both on paper and when speaking, are imperative in Bryan’s work.

Teamwork is another important skill in Bryan’s work. As he pointed out, in college you have the ability to complete most work alone. In the “real world,” though, he says teamwork is the best (and often easiest) way to get things done. He has found that working on teams allows each individual to both contribute ideas and draw from other’s strengths.

How does he suggest building skills while in college?

It’s pretty simple: get involved. The more activities you take part in, the more opportunities you will have to practice and hone important skills like teamwork and communication. Bryan’s most useful experiences were as an ambassador for the CCO and as a Management Ambassador in Krannert, because they allowed him ample opportunity to meet and interact with new people.

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