Fall 2010 Issue

Features: Young, smart and fabulously employed

The interview king

Jerry St. Louis ’09 is pictured at Ryder System, Inc. Headquarters in Miami.

When accounting major Jerry St. Louis ’09 walked into his job interview at Ryder System, Inc., he went in with one thought in mind: ‘I am not leaving this job interview without a job.’

Nearing the end of a full year of job searching, St. Louis had filled out 150 job applications, completed 17 interviews, and returned for 13 second-round interviews. This time, however, he wasn’t going to take no for an answer.

I'd ask myself, 'How can I improve? How can I get better from this interview to the next?

So after landing the interview for a staff internal auditor position with the company that is known for being a leading provider of cutting-edge transportation and logistics solutions, St. Louis prepared himself by researching the company and his interviewers. In addition to that, he studied his accounting and auditing books until 3 a.m. for three days straight leading up to the interview.

“Jerry treated his job search like it was his full-time job,” says John Moriarty, assistant director of Career Services at Barry. “He tracked down every lead, followed up on every résumé he sent out and thoroughly researched every company that he applied to.”

Equipped with the names, titles, and hobbies of his interviewers, St. Louis shocked and impressed company execs, and even won the high esteem of the senior vice president of the department when he asked the vice president about his college alma mater. After confidently nailing each and every accounting question, he left the interview and promptly sent thank you notes to each person he had met.

He was hired that day.

Dr. Amy Diepenbrock, director of Career Services, says the offer came as no surprise. “After his initial interview with Ryder, their HR representative told Career Services that he was the most prepared interviewee he had ever seen,” she says.

St. Louis admits that his seamlessly smooth interview style didn’t come naturally, but rather it evolved as a culmination of all the tricks he picked up from the previous year of interviewing.

“I’d ask myself, ‘How can I improve? How can I get better from this interview to the next?’ ”

St. Louis says that he also gave himself an added advantage by making contacts in the corporate world through social networking events and groups, such as a Miami-based book club comprised of well-known business professionals. A fellow book club member personally recommended St. Louis for the job at Ryder after he learned that St. Louis had applied for the position.

“It’s not only what you know, it’s also who you know,” St. Louis says. “It takes a little bit of both.”

Although completing 150 applications was a tedious and time-consuming process, St. Louis says the support of his alma mater is what ultimately prevented him from becoming discouraged.

“Barry was a huge part of me getting this job,” he says. “From the professors to the Career Services department, the support of Barry put me at an advantage.”