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Set Himself Apart in the Job Search

Chase West '13  

Chase WestMajor: Finance
Came to The Space to Prepare for: Resume and Networking Assistance
Result: Found a Great Job in a Surprising Industry

8 questions for Chase:

Q1. Where do you work? 

I work for Ahold USA. It’s a grocery store chain with locations all over the East Coast. We have four divisions, which are Giant Landover, Giant Carlisle, Stop & Shop New England, and Stop & Shop New York. We have 773 stores spreading from Virginia to Massachusetts. Last year we were ranked 6th in sales, out of all US grocery store companies.

Q2. What is your current position?

I’m a Demand Forecast Analyst. I forecast the amount of products we need to cover current ads and to cover products that are not on promotion. Each grocery store will send out an ad circular every week, and that will have multiple promoted items or sale items. I take those items, and I manually forecast what I believe the items will sell, depending on last year sales, current and past promotions, weather, and other variables. I forecast non-promotional items using the same method but at the category level instead of the item level.

Q3. Did your major affect your employment?

I was a finance major, and I also completed all of the pre-med requirements. I really thought I wanted to do medicine, but the finance courses became more interesting. Finance was my major, but what set me apart most was having those pre-med courses.

Q4. How long have you worked for Ahold USA?

I started January 6th, so I’m still fairly new, but it’s going very well.

Q5. How did you get your job?

I’ve applied for variety of jobs. I tried to get into banking. I was in the final stages with Wells Fargo. I applied to retailers, Nike and Macy’s. I applied all over. I decided to apply to Ahold USA because it was in my hometown. It was a good reputable company, and I would be able to save money by living at home. I applied for a different position, and they contacted me for my current position, based on my resume and being a statistics tutor at Wofford.

Q6. How long did it take you to get your job?

I started looking for internships last fall. That’s when I started my resume. For jobs, I had my resume finalized in July. A lot of the major programs I applied for, like Wells Fargo, you have to apply in August, and the applications are only open for less than one week. I would say six months to nine months is the general timeline for landing a job. For students, you need to be starting now if you’re trying to get the big job for next year. I would plan on spending at least a year working on your resume and networking.

Q7. How did The Space help you?

I had a couple meetings with Jennifer Dillenger for my resume and for advice on networking. She was very good with the networking piece explaining how you should tackle the mass data on LinkedIn and how to pick out people that you should contact in your desired industry. The Space definitely helped to get me where I am today.

Q8. Do you have any advice for current students?

Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Apply to jobs that interest you and things will work out. Also, take a variety of courses. I know if I was just a business or finance major, I would have been limited in today’s job market. Taking a variety of math and science courses really sets you apart when you’re looking for business jobs.

Q&A edited by Addie Lawrence ‘16