Podcast Transcript – Jordan Pankratz

Today’s podcast features an interview with UNT  alumni Jordan Pankratz. We asked him a few questions related to his program and to talk a little bit about his postgraduation career path. We hope you’ll stay tuned.

My name is Jordan Pankratz. My degree is Operations and Supply Chain Management. I just graduated in May and I just got a job as a procurement agent at Boeing.

When you started at UNT, what were your plans for after graduation? Have these plans changed, if at all?

Originally when I started at UNT, I didn’t really know what I was going to major in and to be honest it probably took me like two years to really figure out exactly what I wanted to major in. I ended up deciding on supply chain management and I guess my plan was pretty much always just to graduate and find a job as soon as I could, just so I could become independent and, you know, kind of relieve some stress on my family and just kind of go out on my own.

So, yeah, and that’s exactly what happened.

What advice do you have for current students as they decide their next steps after graduation? My advice would be definitely find an internship if you haven’t done that already. That can help a lot. It gives you a lot of experience and, you know, in school you’re learning about all these things. You’re getting a lot of information, but it’s kind of nice to get an internship and maybe something that you’re a little bit interested in, because then you can go and actually do it.

And it’s kind of like a test or like a trial run, I guess, for them and for you, because you get to see like. All right, well, is this something that I actually want to do when I graduate? Plus, it looks really good on your resume, of course.

Other than that, I would say definitely try to. If you’re up for it, try to find extra activities that you can do, that kind of interest you, but also make you stand out that you could put on your resume like I started doing in case competitions with supply chain management. Professors and other students like we went to Utah, which was a really cool trip, and I got to put that on my resume and I talked about that and pretty much all my interviews, I would definitely recommend doing something like that.

Besides, the fact that you can put on your resume is a really fun experience. And I got to travel as well, which was really nice. But I know that not everyone will be able to do that. But just try to do whatever you can after doing all of that. I would just say if you’ve already graduated and are just looking for a job. All I would say is just keep applying. Every day, you know, if you can obviously it can be a little emotionally degrading.

I definitely went through some of that. So, you know, apply every day if you can. But take some break days if you have to try to apply to 10 jobs in a day, if you’re feeling really good or just keep doing it consistently and you’ll eventually get lucky and at least get some interviews. How did your program at UNT  help you feel prepared for this role? The supply chain program, I think, was really good in general for sure.

I think there is a lot of really good professors. Michael Savoir Ojha was a great professor. He’s like an operation side of supply chain management. He is really nice. And I also got to do some competitions. The case competitions, like I was talking about before. Those were really interesting and I think they prepared me more for getting a job than. I mean, obviously, all the knowledge and information helps a lot, but I think having the case competitions as like an event that you can actually do and you actually get to interact and maybe a little bit more of like.

A group environment that’s like kind of more professional in a way. That’s definitely a really, really prepared me and I got to work with Michael Savoie Sudan on those case competitions, and that was really nice, as well as other students who were really cool people also. So I think, yeah, for all. I think it was great. Also the career center to shout them out. Of course, Brian Hirsch helped a lot with getting a job.

How did you find your current role? Because of Corona.

I basically had no opportunities to go to career fairs or anything like that. I mean, I know they have like webinars and stuff like that, but I honestly didn’t really take advantage of that. I just applied online through LinkedIn or indeed pretty much every day, not every day. But I try to be pretty consistent about it as much as I could. I what I would mostly do, actually, is because. I think that companies look at their website before they look at indeed or LinkedIn applications, so I would really just try to find jobs on LinkedIn or indeed, and then if I went to apply for it and it didn’t take me to the company’s website, I would just go to the company’s website and apply there, because I think that you have a higher chance of getting some kind of response if you do that, like I probably applied to like one hundred LinkedIn jobs through LinkedIn system or whatever, and I maybe got like.

Two responses or something, so but I think indeed is a lot better for sure, but I would say if you can try to go to the company’s website, then be my only advice for that. What was the toughest question you have been asked during an interview? The toughest interview question that I was asked was and I hadn’t thought of this beforehand, but they basically asked, what is a time that you made a mistake and how what like how did you fix it or how did you like.

Prepare your mistake or whatever, and, yeah, I pretty much just had to come up with something on the fly and I don’t know if it was very good, but. That was just one of the interviews I had, but, yeah, I would definitely try to at least think about an answer for that question, because I found when I was thinking of an answer, like in the middle of the interview, which obviously I had to think really quickly, I kept thinking of things that I thought could come off in a bad way.

So definitely think about that beforehand.

How has the career center helped you?

So the Career Center UNT helped me a lot. I would say probably the first thing you should do if you’re trying to find a job straight out of graduation is contact the career center. They helped fix my resume up, so it looked way more professional. They’re very helpful with that. Also, they helped with the one of the things is Brian Hirsch specifically.

He will have a meeting with you if you want, and he’ll just talk through your situation, what kind of jobs they’re looking for and kind of just walk through with you and figure out what your best next steps are. And that is really helpful. Also, he also mentioned that this mean green mentor program. So I signed up for that and it was really good. I think I talked to two people on their feet. Basically, it’s super easy.

You just connect kind of with people that are like similar fields is what you’re going into.

And then you can talk to them for a short amount of time. Just say your greetings and then usually you’ll set up some kind of meeting like a phone call or something like that. And I got to talk to two people for about an hour, maybe a little bit more. And that was really nice. I think it’s just really cool getting a chance to hear from people that are actually already have jobs. Kind of makes it seem more achievable in a way.

And you can ask them tons of questions about anything that you’re thinking about and they will gladly answer. They’re all very nice. And also, if you if you. Get if you like, match with somebody and have a meeting with them, but they’re not really directly in your area that you’re looking at, like, for instance, one of the people I talked to was a marketing a marketing employee. But obviously supply chain is not the same as marketing.

But she happened to know the manager of their purchasing team of their company. So she just helped set up a meeting with him, with me, which was amazing. And I got to talk to him for like 30 minutes, I believe. And he answered a lot of questions that I had. And, yeah, that was really awesome. So even if you feel like I mean, you should be able to get something out of pretty much everybody on that website, but I highly recommend doing that.

Do you have any extra advice to share to basically close out my advice for anybody watching this? I would just say. You know, I started off college not really knowing at all what I wanted to do and I ended up finding a major and now I’ve got a job, I guess I just say don’t give up. It’s looking pretty bleak right now with the environment that we’re in. You know, just keep trying and you’ll eventually get lucky. One thing I would say to close out is don’t limit yourself if you can.

If you’re not held down, don’t limit yourself to like Texas or Dallas. You know, apply to places outside of this area and you open up. Your possibilities, one hundred times, or maybe even more so, yeah, pretty much be my last advice. Just keep trying. Don’t give up and open your possibilities.