When employees and guests enter the spacious lobby of Tech Data’s home office in Clearwater, motivational posters tower overhead.
Those messages – EXTRAORDINARY begins today and Go after it! – greeted St. Petersburg College students earlier this month.
The students got a first-hand look at what it would be like to be one of the more than 9,000 employees working worldwide for Tech Data and 26 other local companies during SPC’s National Job Shadowing Week, Feb. 2-6.
Ryan McNulty, Talent Acquisition Partner, for Tech Data’s Campus Relations department, works behind the scenes to make events like this happen for students from colleges and universities throughout Florida.
“The best part of working at Tech Data is that I get to be in a real corporate environment with access to a lot of executives and important decision makers that you don’t get in other companies,” he said.
Events like these often help students confirm a career path or area of study.
“After this experience, I am convinced that Human Resources is where I belong,” said Carol Hill, after job shadowing at Tech Data. “I am glad I was provided with an insight in Talent Acquisition Partner/Campus Relations. I was also grateful to have learned the Human Resource Generalist role and to have had a chance to take the tour of Tech Data.”
Tech Data is one of the world’s largest distributors of IT products and services, ranking No. 111 in the 2014 list of Fortune 500 companies. In addition to their massive corporate home office in Clearwater, Tech Data has six district offices in the U.S. with international operations in Europe and Latin America.
Claudia Iacobescu, an ESL student at SPC
Claudia Iacobescu, an ESL student at SPC who earned a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting in Romania, was excited to shadow at Tech Data due to their international reach. She spent about three hours shadowing Karen Robinson, a supervisor in the accounting department.
“I was curious how their accounting department was working,” said Iacobescu. “She explained all the duties in every day. They work together like a team. I was very impressed.”
Prior to the job shadowing experience, Iacobescu explained that she had only seen the inside view of large companies like Tech Data in the movies.
“It was the first time I saw something like this,” she said. “Now I can see my dream with my own eyes.”
Other students had similar experiences at other leading local firms.
Tarpon Springs Campus student, Kane Magnuson, shadowed the Vice President of BB&T.
“He was very professional and extremely informative,” she said. “He gave me valuable tips; it was an eye-opening experience. It gave me a totally different view of the banking system.”
SPC student Alyssa Renee job shadowing at Nielsen Media Research
Alyssa Renee shadowed in various departments at Nielsen Media Research.
“I was excited to take advantage of the opportunity to shadow at Nielsen, said Renee. “Two of the most important lessons I gained from this experience were networking and saying ‘yes’ to everything. Virginia Lee, a software engineer, advised us to ‘start in the trenches’ by taking an entry level job as a chance to learn your weaknesses and to ‘fill the gaps’ by working on your weaknesses to define who you want to be as a leader.”
Some students, like Ronnell Montgomery job shadowed at St. Petersburg College. She tweeted about her experience shadowing at the St. Petersburg College Foundation with Jane Parker and Frances Neu.
Ronnell posted her thoughts on Twitter:
“Overall, our first National Job Shadow Week was extremely successful,” said Rosaria Pepitone, one of the Career Outreach Specialists that helped organize the event that gave 32 students a memorable experience. “We were ecstatic to hear all the positive feedback from the students and employers who took part in this opportunity.”
The following companies opened their doors and shared their time and knowledge during this year’s event:
- A+ Tax & Accounting Services, Inc.
- AIG Financial Network
- American Strategic Insurance (ASI)
- Bank of America
- BB&T Bank
- Bouchard Insurance
- City of Largo
- Clearwater Chamber of Commerce
- CPA Partners LLC
- Doug Mayer Insurance Agency, Inc.
- Goodwill Industries
- Hertz Corporation
- Hilton Worldwide Call Center
- ING Financial Partners
- Nielsen Media Research
- Pinellas County Sherriff’s Office
- Prudential Insurance
- Raymond James Financial Services, Inc.
- RumFish Grill
- Seminole Chamber of Commerce
- Suncoast Credit Union
- Tarpon Springs Police Department
- Tech Data
If you are interested in having an SPC student job shadow or intern for your business, please contact an SPC Career Specialist.