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A cultural key to the corporate world
January 5, 2012
|"I heavily advertised my language and cultural experience during the interview," says Knutson. "Best Buy was very interested in how I could apply my experience with Chinese culture." Photo by Jenna Mahr '14.|
In his first year at St. Olaf, Tim Knutson '12 decided to study Chinese — in part because he thought knowledge of the language would open up career opportunities.
His forward thinking paid off. Knutson's experience with the language and studies last spring in China him helped him land a job this fall at one of Minnesota's Fortune 100 companies.
After graduation Knutson will begin working as a demand planning analyst at Best Buy, a position he says he was offered thanks to a well-rounded education that included his semester spent abroad on St. Olaf's Term in China program.
"I heavily advertised my language and cultural experience during the interview," says Knutson, who is majoring in economics with a concentration in Chinese. "Best Buy was very interested in how I could apply my experience with Chinese culture because of their sourcing abroad."
Knutson found the analyst position through Ole Recruiting, St. Olaf's job and internship database. Intrigued by the company's offerings, he attended the fall recruiting session with Best Buy hosted by the St. Olaf Center for Experiential Learning (CEL).
"I knew I had to be proactive," Knutson says. Before submitting his application through Ole Recruiting, Knutson used the CEL to review his cover letter and resume. His preparation paid off.
The position with Best Buy that he'll begin this summer integrates his interests in consumer electronics with "an ideal career in business," he says. "Best Buy will place me in a specific product category like home audio or games, where I will manage and analyze that product's inventory."
In addition to a zeal for electronics, Knuston also will bring to his new job the experience that he gained last summer during an internship with Target Corporation — another opportunity that he landed with the help of resources available in the CEL.
Knutson hopes to earn an MBA and is excited for the opportunity for upward mobility available at a top-tier company like Best Buy. "At that size, there are endless opportunities to move up," he says.