Just-In-Time Job Search – Brooke Hitchins, Viacom

Eller PDC Coordinator Alumni Stories

Brooke Hitchins (Marketing ’18) is a Client Service Representative in Ad Sales at Viacom in Los Angeles, California. Viacom is the media company behind MTV, Nickelodeon, BET, Paramount and more.

How did you feel Spring semester knowing you couldn’t even start looking?

No lie, it is frustrating and uneasy to go into graduation thinking that there’s no clear path of where you are heading. I spent my entire college career building myself up, knowing the next steps and how to make it there. When it came to applying for a just-in-time job, it was the first time I was completely unsure of what my future was going to look like. It wasn’t easy, however, it’s all about perspective. I knew what industry I wanted to apply to and what city I was chasing those dreams. I truly was able to enjoy my Spring semester, knowing that my career is all about timing, and my timing was not right then. I was able to appreciate my final year of college not stressing about settling on a job, or worrying if I made the right decision. Instead, I left my application process to my own timing, allowing full focus on making the right choice in my future career.

How did you navigate applying for jobs?

I started searching for jobs in May, post-graduation, and applied through early July. Just-in-time jobs will typically open up immediately after someone leaves a role or a company, and the position may be available for a month or two before it becomes filled. The best advice I ever received was to be the first to apply, setting the precedent of that go-getter attitude that your future employer is looking for. With this in mind, I made sure to keep my eyes peeled daily to see if new jobs would be posted. I used LinkedIn, searched company websites, utilized connections, and browsed Indeed.com for about a 2 months on and off. As a big believer that everything happens, I persevered and made sure to have a positive attitude throughout the process because every company and application can be very different.

Tell us about your desire to travel after graduation.  How did that affect your timing?

Traveling is my all-time favorite hobby, and I would have never known how passionate I was about it unless I had explored the opportunities given to me while in college. Following graduation, traveling was the best thing I did while transitioning into a new phase of my life. I would highly recommend it as it is a great way to share one final hoorah with your best friends while allowing yourself to explore the world before committing to a corporate role. I’ve gathered advice from many professionals, and each of them had either highly recommended or had incredibly wished to have traveled before going into their first job. It’s a once in a lifetime experience at a young age to share with friends or family who have no obligations for a short period of time. Plus, it’s the type of memories that would last a lifetime. If you desire to travel the world like I do, now is the time to do so! My traveling did occur while I was hunting for jobs, and I actually did a Skype interview from London for a role in which I ended up receiving an offer. It didn’t conflict directly with my job hunt, but because I had started searching prior to my trip, a few interviews were scheduled within a week’s time, landing the dates of my time abroad. If you’re okay with the possibility of having this happen, it’s alright to apply before a trip abroad, but keep in mind that just-in-time jobs want to hire immediately, so you are on their schedule, not your own. If that doesn’t appeal to you, consider applying after your time abroad.

Tell us about your interview process.

Just-in-time jobs typically mean that the employer is looking to fill the role as soon as possible. However, the Human Resources department has a big role in this timeline, as well. Most of my application timelines would last within a month on average, from application submission to job offer. Some could be as quick as within 1 week. My job I accepted at Viacom was offered to me 7 days after my first interview. I applied to the role online at the company website and received my first call for an interview within 2 days. This phone screening interview with Human Resources was where I then scheduled a second interview at the Hollywood office to meet with the team that would be hiring me. As I was job hunting, all of my interviews took place in the city I did not live in at the time, but planned to reside in within the next few months, so I traveled back and forth to Los Angeles to ensure I was able to secure in-person interviews. My first in-person interview with Viacom became a collection of back-to-back interviews with the direct team, the Vice President of the department, and fellow CSRs which would be within my level. These three interviews were all held within one day, and I received the job offer a few days later. Because most employers are looking for candidates that are willing to start immediately, I had to accept my job offer within 3 days. This is common for many just-in-time roles. After accepting my job, I was given a start date to begin within one month.  Though it was a quick whirlwind of interviews and job hunting, the process itself was quick and painless. I was able to hear back from my potential employers with a fast response rate on their decisions, and I was able to land a job before my ideal start date. If you’re willing to take that leap of faith and chase after your dreams, it’s all worth it in the end when you get that feeling of satisfaction and gratefulness for getting the job you deserve!