How often can anyone say that they are working at their dream job? Minnesota School of Business-Richfield (MSB) accounting alumna Kristina Selting can.
Kristina graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree (and honors) from the accounting program last year. Her first full-time position was with JH Larson Electrical Company. Although Kristina enjoyed working in her field, she felt that there was not much room for advancement in her position. Not content to rest on her laurels, Kristina pursued other opportunities.
Cargill had been on Kristina’s radar since she was a sophomore in college. She was visiting the company’s website reading about the work they do and the communities they serve.
“The more I started reading about Cargill and their products, the more I really wanted to work for them. They really care about their people and it shows. They care about the environment, they give back to the community—that means a lot to me,” Kristina says.
So when she discovered an opening that matched her education and experience, Kristina leapt at it. Her application led to a telephone interview, then an in-person panel interview, a one-on-one interview with the person who would be her immediate supervisor, and finally a job offer. The whole process took about two months.
Now Kristina is a credit coordinator, assigning lines of credit up to $100,000 and monitoring credit profiles for businesses. At Cargill, there are plenty of opportunities for Kristina to advance her career: “I can move into credit analyst, senior credit analyst—there are many different avenues I can take, which is exciting,” she says. “I’m excited to get up every morning—it is my dream job,” Kristina adds.
After graduating high school, Kristina spent about 10 months at a local community college before dropping out. “I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. [Going to college] was what was expected of me,” she reflects.
Kristina spent the next several years working in bars, restaurants, and in administrative position until she was laid off. That’s when she decided to go back to school.
“I’d heard some good things about MSB. Everyone I met at MSB really genuinely cared about how I was doing. The teachers made me so thankful about what I was doing. Some of my best experiences took place there,” Kristina states. “I knew that as a nontraditional student, I’d have to work twice as hard to be marketable—but I just got down to it,” she adds.
When it came to her interview skills, Kristina wasn’t terribly anxious. “One of the things that made me more confident was my previous job interview experience. I wanted interview experience before I got to Cargill, and that’s what I had. Put your best self out there—you are going to be nervous,” she advises.
During her initial telephone interview, her phone dropped the call about 30 minutes in! “I thought I blew it,” Kristina says. But her interviewer called her back, and Kristina impressed them enough to bring her in for an interview in front of four people. “I thought, ‘This has to be banging!’ I triple checked my resume, found my best outfit. A friend said, ‘They wouldn’t have called you in if they thought you couldn’t do the job.’ I remembered that and told myself to just be myself,” Kristina says.
After the panel interview, Kristina felt confident, but she didn’t want to get too excited. After she hit it off with the woman who would become her immediate supervisor, she allowed her confidence meter to rise. When Cargill made the offer, Kristina could no longer contain her enthusiasm: “I told strangers I got the job,” she exclaims.
Kristina extols the virtues of Career Services. The mock interviews, tips on job leads, and resume polishing were indispensable to her. In fact, Kristina landed her first job after a company spotted her resume on the Career Services website and emailed her about the position.
Kristina would highlight Career Services to any current or prospective student. “The encouragement, the positivity, the different ideas—I know some people don’t have access to the same tools that I did, and it’s a big advantage that MSB offers,” she states.
Kristina encourages everyone to pursue their passion. “Don’t second-guess yourself. If you have a plan, an idea or a dream in mind, go for it. Everyone has something they were meant to do, but people tend to second-guess their decisions. Sometimes you have to jump in head first and figure out the rest as you go along,” she says.
For students, Kristina stresses engagement: “The main thing I would stress is don’t forget to explore the opportunities on campus—service learning projects, Collegiate DECA (Kristina went to the state and national finals with DECA while she was in school!), mock trials—it really motivated me at that time. I always felt like there was someone on my side, helping me stretch out, and I’m really glad I did,” she says.
What great advice and insight from a talented and thoughtful alumna. We couldn’t be happier for you, Kristina—you’ve made us proud!