Employer Profile: Quicken Loans

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Employer Profile

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Author: Nikita S. Petrovskiy
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     Quicken Loans is rapidly becoming one of the nation’s largest mortgage providers and has played an integral part in boosting Detroit’s job market growth. Their company culture is truly one-of-a-kind, placing emphasis on interpersonal relationships and innovation at all levels. GTRI was able to secure a particularly informative Q & A session with one of the company’s brightest University Relations Managers, Jordan Truesdale. She gives valuable insight on the Quicken Loans hiring process and outlines personality traits that lead to success within this organization, so be sure to take note!

N: How long have you been working at Quicken Loans?

J: I’ve been working at Quicken Loans for just over two years. Before starting full-time I interned with the company, and after my first summer internship I went back to school as one of our first Campus Ambassadors in the fall of 2014. I helped pilot this program, which was an amazing experience and really speaks to the culture at Quicken Loans that encourages ideas and innovation from everyone, regardless of experience or tenure.

N: What do you think is the main quality/attribute that got you hired?

J: I believe that my curiosity and obsession with finding a better way were huge factors – these are qualities that are valued by Quicken Loans and ones that I’ve always identified myself with.  

N: What is the biggest challenge your job entails?

J: My job has a lot of moving parts so organization and prioritization are key. Everyone has the same amount of time available during the day, so it really just comes down to how you prioritize your day and how efficiently you get the work done.

N: What are the main benefits of a Quicken Loans internship?

J: An internship at Quicken Loans provides you with empowerment first. My largest takeaway, and perhaps biggest surprise, from the program was that I was treated like every other team member. As a recruiting intern I went on all off-site career fairs and meetings, I screened candidates over the phone after training, and was expected to give the same amount of insight in team meetings as other team members.  The internship truly prepares you for the position and provides you with other resources for professional development that you could use anywhere in the world. If I needed to brush up on Microsoft Excel, there was a class for that. If I wanted Emotional Intelligence or Public Speaking training, there was an option for that. I also had the opportunity to shadow any position within the company.

N: Does an internship with Quicken Loans increase the likelihood of gaining full-time QL employment in the future?

J: Successfully completing an internship at Quicken Loans significantly grows your chances of gaining full-time employment. The internship shows us how you work, think, and act in certain settings. We’re an insistently different organization – we don’t just look for skills, we look for a certain kind of person that fits our culture and will be a creative and collaborative team member. We don’t subscribe to corporate norms and we detest any sort of corporate bureaucracy that stifles innovation and that’s part of the reason interns are so valued at Quicken Loans – they’re opinions matter and their ideas can get implemented.

N: Please describe the most important qualities you look for in a QL candidate overall (personality, uniqueness, diversity, etc.).

J: Quicken Loans looks for creativity, curiosity and passion. We hire folks from a wide variety of backgrounds – we want diverse opinion and thoughts in our organization and we always look for people who are obsessed with finding a better way to do anything and everything.

N: Please describe the most important qualities you look for in a QL candidate specifically related to the 2017 Technology Internship.

J: We often refer to ourselves as a technology company that happens to do mortgages, so our IT team is extremely important at Quicken Loans. We look for students who have shown creative problem solving skills through projects that yielded innovative outcomes, whether that be within their studies or within their peer groups. We also want a candidate who works well with the existing team – our technology team operates much like a 1,500 person family and we’ve been named the #1 Place to Work in IT by Computerworld for the past four years.

N: If not selected for a QL position, how can candidates increase their competitiveness for a better chance next time around?

J: I didn’t get hired for an internship my first time around but I tried again (as a freshman) and I got it. I did more thorough research and formed a passionate story about my “WHY” as it pertained to Quicken Loans and my interest in the position –  by connecting their story to my own. I also revised how I communicated my past experience on my resume and in conversation by explaining how my contribution impacted the business instead of simply listing my duties.

N: Is there any other information you would like to add regarding QL hiring initiatives?

J: We are simply looking for top talent who owns their opportunity and wants to make a difference within a quickly growing and ever-changing FinTech company.
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GTRI NEWS: Navigating the U.S. Job Market as an International Student

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GTRI NEWS: NAVIGATING THE U.S. JOB MARKET AS AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT

Author: Nikita S. Petrovskiy

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“The American Dream is still alive, but it has evolved.”
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Theoretically, the whole “get good grades, go to college, get a solid job” system should still be perfectly intact given the 4.8% unemployment rate as of last January. What the Bureau of Labor Statistics cannot measure, though, is how much students stray from their areas of study to simply obtain entry-level employment. Even with STEM majors, the market has become so oversaturated that Master’s degrees have become the standard, and ENTRY-level jobs are beginning to require multiple years of prior work experience. As a result, the most abundant option for many graduates is to begin their professional career with a position in sales as this field hires continuously and is often not degree-specific.

Here is the problem: for as much time universities dedicate to studying complex, in-depth material, shockingly minimal effort is put towards coaching students through the art of the job search. Hunting your next professional venture should be a subject in and of itself as students can only master it through ample practical experience, trial and error, and stone cold patience. The American Dream is still alive, but it has evolved. No longer can we expect to waltz into the local PNC bank and ask to be a teller. Convenient online job boards are becoming flooded with prior applicants, forcing only resumes that hit on “buzz words” to be selected. I even remember not getting hired by McDonald’s in high school because I lacked “prior food service experience”. But still, this does not warrant settling for less or getting discouraged; you must adapt by changing your tactics.

I have heard the expression “it’s all about who you know” countless times throughout my career but stubbornly denied the idea of a biased American job market. In reality, the market is incredibly biased, but not necessarily in a bad way. People will be people, and friends will always help friends. Once you have earned someone’s trust, they will be willing to assist you exceedingly more than another individual even if they have more impressive credentials. But that begs the rebuttals, “I can’t just magically become friends with the CEO of McDonald’s,” or “How am I supposed to get ahold of Joe Jones from that Ford plant in Kansas?” You’d be surprised what you can find on the internet. You can literally look at yourself, reading this article, from the lens of a space satellite, using the internet. So, what’s stopping you from sending Joe Jones an e-mail of interest, or looking up his other contact information on the company website? Always strive to add a personal touch and an element of humanity. Shoot them an essay you wrote in college relating to the person’s field. Ask the person a professional question, or seek their advice on how to break into that particular field. Talk to as many individuals as you possibly can because, believe it or not, most people have a career and started it in their own unique way. In other words, there is always a lesson to learn from somebody more experienced.

On the other hand, we can’t discount the traditional importance of a bang-up resume. The key attributes of such a resume, aside from obvious experience, are concision and, most importantly, relativity. That is, a candidate must tailor-fit their resume to each specific job. You can think of a resume as a more technical form of a persuasive statement. For example, “manager at IHOP” will not gain much traction for a career in medicine. Instead, address those hypothetical managerial experiences to similar aspects found at hospitals: here, customer service experience can be applied to patient relationships, management of personnel can show the same type of leadership found in medical shift supervisors, and the art of multitasking is just as important in medicine as it is in the restaurant industry. Draw these parallels and you may have a decent chance at getting an interview when taking all other qualities into account. Accordingly, keep your document under two pages, roughly five bullet points per job, and avoid lengthy sentences; employers spend an average of six seconds reading these, so make each word count.

On a more individualistic level, a point must be made about personal mindset and professional drive. Job seekers also have to take into account that chasing “dream jobs” is unhealthy and one will likely face a certain degree of tribulation and compromise along the path to their own definition of success. Rather than pinpointing an ideal position, narrow down a handful of more general goals such as having a leadership role in the engineering sector, helping those less fortunate, mastering a type of medical practice, or opening a business. With these aspirations in mind, focus on the smaller steps necessary to build credentials in that direction, and your idea of a satisfying job will evolve. Throughout this journey, keep a strong base of social support for motivation and make time for physical activity to maintain confidence. Remember, job hunting is itself, a full-time job.

Nevertheless, we must acknowledge some very real impediments that could have lasting socioeconomic consequences. The present wave of immigration restrictions and pressure on H1-B Visa holders have made some international students visibly nervous: “I knew this administration would have an impact on my livelihood in some capacity, whether it be through my background or my daily experience, but this is just not something that I had anticipated,” says a Somali immigrant at Michigan State University. Still, international students are not powerless, and should stay up-to-date on current regulations in relation to their professional or educational activities. It is important to note that the United States is a proud immigrant democracy, and many organizations, businesses, and individuals are putting forth a significant effort to keep our country inclusive. At the moment, the most productive course of action is to continue prioritizing education and career prospects, while also developing alternative plans that can still maximize your chances of success should the status quo change.

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Student Profile: Adedotun Ojelabi

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     In December of 2014, America gained a remarkable new friend named Adedotun Olawale Ojelabi. This student independently emigrated to Detroit for the purpose of studying Computer Information Systems and obtaining his Master’s degree. Adedotun is proud of his Nigerian heritage and is committed to spreading cultural awareness throughout his campus community by engaging in on-site employment opportunities. Adedotun expects to complete his education in April of 2017, allowing him to accomplish his goal.

     When it comes down to applying for jobs, Adedotun acknowledges, “There is no perfect working formula.” He has utilized online resources such as Google and LinkedIn, but he also values the importance of personal referrals. He stresses that human connections will always hold value in the job market regardless of one’s technological expertise. This being said, Adedotun is a perfect example of an expectedly resourceful international scholar.

     Adedotun’s skillset makes him incredibly competitive on the job market for Computer Information Specialists; he is able to handle any customer-related situation, pays close attention to the needs of clients, can handle and organize large amounts of virtual and verbal information, and can orient his schedule in ways conducive to optimal productivity. He credits GTRI for giving him a great deal of confidence when navigating the American labor system and now has all the necessary tools to enjoy a lasting career in the technology realm.
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Student Profile: Arjun Venugopal

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Arjun Venugopal, a talented international scholar, recently spoke to GTRI about his experience in the U.S. Arjun made his way to America in August, 2015 from his native country of India. While this journey was made alone, his resourcefulness and adaptability lead to an exemplary performance at Wayne State University where he approaches a Master’s Degree. Arjun’s education places a special emphasis on Manufacturing Engineering and we look forward to his future innovations in the STEM world.

Arjun is proud of his current OPT position at ZF-TRW Automotive. He obtained this position by “attending multiple job fairs, and more importantly attending networking events.” He also emphasizes the importance of “contacting companies that are open to hiring international students,” specifically since a student’s OPT status should be appropriately disclosed. Finally, his most profound words of wisdom for international students are that “one good job referral will outweigh one hundred job applications.” Such references are only achieved through ample community engagement and active friendships, according to Arjun.

This student believes that personal interests/non-curricular experience and employment are not mutually exclusive; his partnership with the Venugopal family business allowed him to gain valuable entrepreneurial and managerial expertise, meanwhile adding a personalized element to his resume. On his path to success, Arjun credits GTRI as an invaluable facilitator of professional connections, and personally thanks Director Gracie Xavier of  LilyBridal for her infinite efforts. He also gives a special mention to Mrs. Chue, Mr. Dada, and Mr. Clay from his first job at PCI for their continued support and dedication to Arjun’s professional development.
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