Resources for Success in Turbulent Times

PROVO, Utah – Oct 28, 2020 – Every year, BYU Marriott School of Business students and recent graduates use resources available through the school’s Business Career Center (BCC) and alumni network to find jobs. While these resources always provide invaluable help for students, they became particularly important this year with the economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an unprecedented time, students have relied on the strength of the BYU Marriott alumni network to find work and internship opportunities.

This year presented unique challenges for students who were looking for jobs; some students actually lost full-time job offers. In addition, many internships were either canceled or changed to shorter remote experiences. “The job market contracted significantly, especially in industries directly impacted by the pandemic, such as travel and entertainment,” says Sam Dunn, career director of the MBA program. “Students who had focused on companies in those sectors had to redirect their efforts and explore new options.”

Luckily, faculty members and students could reach out to BYU Marriott alumni to help students find opportunities that would utilize their skills. “Alumni networking has been the single greatest asset to finding job and internship opportunities for our students. Our BYU alumni stepped up to identify options for our students to consider,” says Dunn.

The BYU Marriott National Advisory Council (NAC), comprised of alumni and friends of the school, also mobilized to create a  program for students whose internships were impacted. “The Business Career Center in conjunction with the deans office created a summer experience program,” says Brian Voigt, career director of BYU Marriott’s School of Accountancy in the BCC. “We solicited jobs from members of the National Advisory Council, and they found project-based work that lasted four to eight weeks. Students who participated in those projects were paid for their work.”

Programs such as these allowed many students to participate in internships, hone their skills, and take advantage of new opportunities that otherwise may not have been available to them. “I’m pleased that all first-year MBA students secured internships, some through the summer experience program,” says Dunn.

Kyle Finneman, a recent master of information systems management graduate, used BYU Marriott resources to hone his professional abilities while looking for a job. He worked for the Utah Jazz throughout the past year, but he was furloughed when the NBA shut down its season. “My wife and I had two kids, and we’d just bought a house in Lehi [Utah],” he says. “I couldn’t sit around and wait to return to work, so I needed to find something.”

As Finneman reached out to his network and posted his job search hopes on LinkedIn, he also worked to gain new technical skills. “Reid Grawe in the Business Career Center reached out to me when he found out that I’d been furloughed. He provided me with resources, including professors whom he knew,” says Finneman. “While I was furloughed, I spent time working on my technical skill set. I reached out to my professors and continued learning as I applied for jobs.” Finneman eventually found a job as a senior business intelligence analyst at Aptive Environmental.

Katie Hart, a  graduate from the school of accountancy, also made use of BYU Marriott resources to network and secure job offers. “The biggest two resources who helped me find internship opportunities were Jennifer Maroney, alumni director of BYU Marriott’s School of Accountancy, and Brian Voigt, career director of the School of Accountancy” she says. “Jenn taught me how to be successful in my recruiting efforts, and Brian guided me through the interview process and helped me understand how things worked with the firms.” Hart was able to complete internships with Deloitte and PwC, and she received full-time offers from both companies.

Like many other students this year, Hart witnessed the impact of BYU Marriott on her career success. “Being a student at BYU Marriott in the accounting program sets us up for success like no other place,” she says. “Between the professors who care about more than just numbers and the opportunity we have to recruit with the top firms in the country, I believe any student can be successful if they utilize the resources available at BYU and BYU Marriott.”

Two people working on a document together
Students have used the resources available to them through BYU Marriott to find work opportunities. Photo courtesy of Gabrielle Henderson

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Kenna Pierce