Student, employers discuss job finding skills

Alexandria Kobryn

If asked how they found their jobs, half of the Kent State students answer with, “I knew someone.” While having connections with established employees puts one at an advantage to some extent, employers are not allowed to hire employees based solely on who they know.

Ami Hollis, associate director of student employment for Career Services, said employers have certain rules and regulations that are necessary to follow during the hiring process.

“We have to adhere to our equal opportunity laws and standards,” Hollis said. “But, I think certainly hiring someone that has been given a good reference or a favorable reference by another person that they know and trust, and who’s currently working there, would definitely go a long way.”

Junior nursing student Lyndsey Clapper describes the hiring process she went through for her donor center technician position at Grifols Biomat.

“I was looking for a job online, and (I) remembered the job I was looking at my uncle had years previous,” Clapper said. “After asking him about it, he told me he would put in a word for me with one of the quality managers he worked with … I got the call for the interview a couple (of) days later.”

Junior fashion design student Anneliese Beneze had a different job search experience, but similar outcome.

“I talked to my potential roommate about getting a job and she said she would reference me to work,” Beneze said. “She works at Ruby Tuesday as a waitress and got me a job as a hostess.”

This “trend” in hiring is not uncommon or new. Hollis makes a point of mentioning that “this is something that’s been going on probably for all of time.”

Beneze said her mother landed her first major job at Children’s Hospital because of knowing someone.

“My mom got her job at Children’s Hospital by babysitting an employee’s kids,” Beneze said. “She did that job for like 20 years and has met so many friends through that job.”

Trequan Miller, a sophomore physical education major, works at 157 Lounge in downtown Kent as a bouncer thanks to his roommate, who also got a job there through a third roommate.  

“He recommended me to his manager days before telling me, then I ended up with an interview that Monday night, and I started working the Wednesday of that week,” said Miller.

Mike’s Place in Kent is rumored to hire friends and family members of already established employees.

“Sometimes it’s easier to hire people that you at least have, you know or somebody knows, because it sort of gives you better history,” said Mike’s Place owner Mike Kostensky. “It’s a double-edge sword. You could get a good employee but what if that employee is a screw up? And then you hire a family friend and you gotta fire that family friend.”

Students are always encouraged to network with employers, alumni, classmates, professors and individuals who work in the field the student is studying. While networking is not solely for the purpose of getting to know someone to help with the job search, it plays a large role.

“I don’t think that’s the only reason for networking … Networking has a lot of other advantages,” said Hollis. “Just getting used to the sheer idea of talking with other people, being able to be eloquent and being able to communicate verbally in a nice succinct way.”

Regardless of what’s been heard and popular beliefs, in the end, and in Kostensky’s experiences and opinion, “It’s your interview … it’s how you come across. That’s what’s gonna get you the job, not who you know.”

Alexandria Kobryn is the jobs reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].