When Jarin Straatsma showed up to one of his business classes as a junior at Barry University, he never anticipated that the class period would be a life-changing event. As his professor played a video illustrating the diverse work culture and famous employee perks of Google, Straatsma decided that from that day on, he would make it his life mission to secure a job at Google and become part of the multi-billion-dollar company, which earned the No. 1 spot on Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work for” in 2013.
“It was a dream of mine to work at Google,” said Straatsma, who graduated from Barry in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. At that moment, I knew that this was the place I wanted to work.”
Every day, for two months, Straatsma sent his resume to human resources at Google via mail and email. Although he didn’t secure an interview, he did not get discouraged. Instead, upon graduating from Barry, he secured work as a security guard and later went to work for Aerotek, a leader in the recruiting and staffing industry.
Straatsma continued to make Google his goal during his time at Aerotek, and after nearly two years, his efforts paid off when Google contacted him in February 2013 through LinkedIn and offered him an interview as a technical recruiter, a position responsible for identifying elite software engineers from around the world. After one phone interview and five video interviews, Straatsma was offered the job. Two weeks later, he moved to California, where Google is headquartered.
“If you put your mind to it, you can do anything, Straatsma said. “A little sacrifice goes a long way.”
In addition to his strong work ethic, Straatsma credits his success in the job market to his time at Barry, which represents a turning point in his life, he said.
“Barry saved my life,” he said. “Before college, I was headed down the wrong path, and there is no telling where I would be right now."
As an undergraduate student, Straatsma was attracted to Barry’s diverse culture and the small size of its classes, he said.
“I learned a lot better in that kind of environment,” Straatsma said. “I wasn’t another number … I’ve learned to accept other people’s beliefs and cultures. I’ve learned to connect with people who aren’t the same as me. That really helped me to excel in the business world. It taught me how to relate to people.”
Barry’s Career Services also played an important role in preparing Straatsma for the job market, he said, by helping him secure an internship during college, reviewing his resume with him, and offering him interviewing skills.
“Career Services was huge,” he said. “I owe a lot to them for that.”
In addition to using the resources available at Barry, Straatsma also advises students to pursue their passions – regardless of what they may be.
“Find that something you’re passionate about, whether it be video games, sky diving or whatever it is,” he said. “And then set a goal. For me, I wanted to work for Google.”
Today, Straatsma remains an active part of the Barry community as a member of the Barry University Alumni Association – something that he recommends all Barry graduates become involved in.
“Being a part of the Alumni Association helped me to network and meet a lot of Barry people who are vested in the future,” he said. “It’s a very unique caliber of people … That’s something I cherish.”
For more information about Barry’s Andreas School of Business, Career Services or Alumni Association, visit the following links: