Senior Tyler Stridiron turns summer internship into post-grad job

When Oglethorpe University economics major Tyler Stridiron '19 had lunch with a university trustee earlier this year, he never anticipated the impact on his future career.

Stridiron had his sights set on working for a large corporation, but knew getting a foot in the door would not be easy.

To make his goal a reality, he reached out to Oglethorpe's Atlanta Laboratory for Learning (A_LAB) for guidance, and participated in a number of Academic Success workshops to learn effective networking skills.

The A_LAB then helped him set up a meeting with Oglethorpe Trustee Jim Winestock, retired Senior Vice President of U.S. Operations at the United Parcel Service. Stridiron didn't waste the opportunity.

"Unbeknownst to me, I left an impression which led to him calling UPS on my behalf for an internship," said Stridiron. "From that point, I had to fill out an application and had a short interview with the supervisor of the Talent Acquisition team,"

Over the summer, Stridiron worked in UPS's Human Resources Talent Acquisition department and collaborated on a few major projects, including the creation of a career fair calendar for the team and short videos documenting the internship experience.

Stridiron attributes his success at the internship to his classes and leadership roles on campus.

"The most important thing Oglethorpe taught me was how to communicate with peers and superiors," he said. "Through various leadership positions and jobs, I have been able to connect with a wide variety of people, which helped me remain confident and poised when networking or holding presentations."

"My time at Oglethorpe has also taught me how to manage projects. Many times [at UPS], I was given a task with no details on how it should be completed, but various projects at Oglethorpe have honed my creativity."

Stridiron gained even more valuable skills on the job. "I think the most important skill I learned during my internship was to be intentional," he explained. "Most of the opportunitiesat UPS were because I asked about it or I stepped up to take it. In corporate America, nothing is handed to you but if you show the drive to lead, then that makes an impression on your colleagues as well as your superiors."

It worked.

At the end of his internship, UPS offered him a full-time job in Human Resources, which he will start upon graduation.

Stridiron doesn't take his early offer for granted, and continues to maintain communication and connection with the company.

"Having a job lined up takes away the stress of looking for a job my senior year," he said. "(But) periodically I check in with the team to show I am still interested in the work of the team and I am eager to rejoin them."

And for other students starting their internship searches? Stridiron recommends being "intentional."

"Apply for as many as you can and do research to set yourself apart. The best way to be recognized is to meet a representative of the company. Without a human interaction you are a name on a computer."

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