Arten Usanin, right, a 2012 Harbert College graduate, was recruiting student talent Oct. 3 for SunTrust Bank. / Image by Joe McAdory
Arten Usanin understands the students’ fears. He knows they are anxious to make a positive impression and hopefully land a job right out of college. He’s been there.
Usanin roamed these same halls last fall, working corporate recruiters one-by-one during the Industry Week job expo. He graduated in December of 2012 from the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business with a degree in Finance and is now a portfolio management analyst for SunTrust Bank in Atlanta. He returned to campus Thursday, Oct. 3, as a SunTrust representative looking for future talent.
“I was nervous before too,” admitted Usanin, who said he met with SunTrust representatives at last fall semester’s Finance and Corporate Accounting job expo. “Some of them (students) are nervous as well, but they are handling it quite well. I can definitely see myself (in the students). I was in the same place a year ago and now I’m on the other side, talking to the students. I’m asking them specific questions – trying to see their personality, what they know and what they are interested in.”
Usanin said SunTrust is currently offering students a 10-week summer internship.
“We are trying to see if we can find talented students from Auburn that are interested in our company,” he said. “We have met quite a few students and took their resumes. They are welcome to apply.”
Paulina Reynolds, a senior in Finance from Montgomery, was glad to have met with SunTrust representatives.
“I learned that SunTrust offers internships and full-time jobs,” she said. “I told them that I was looking for a full-time job and he said ‘put in an application.’
Usanin, who credited Frank Oprandy, Director of Graduate Career Services within the Harbert College Office of Professional and Career Development for helping him attain his exciting job, said SunTrust “has a great culture.”
“Everyone here is very supportive,” he said. “When you graduate, you learn that the real world is very different and you need as much support as you can get. Everyone is excited to help.”
Usanin also credited Associate Professor in Finance Keven Yost, whose class convinced him to pursue a career in the financial industry.
“When I took his Principles of Business Finance class, I decided to switch majors,” he said. “Thanks to him, I’m at SunTrust. Other professors like Jitka Hilliard, they helped provide me with the tools and the opportunity.”
Thursday’s job expo, dedicated to finance and corporate accounting, concluded the third round of Industry Weeks at Harbert College. Firms represented included SunTrust, Regions Financial, BBVA Compass, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, FINRA, Waddell & Reed, State Farm, BB&T, Thrivent Financial, AXA Advisors, and Republic Finance.
“The biggest thing I noticed about recruiters is that they love their jobs,” said Kaila Tiedemann, a senior in Ag-Economics from Salsbury, Conn. “Today has opened my eyes to a couple of things. FINRA was interesting because they seemed to be more fired up than I thought. They are fast-paced.
“I was also interested in State Farm because the things they sell are beneficial
for their clients and that they are also big into the community.
Reynolds said the expo was a great opportunity to get to know the firms.
“I’ve started to see what companies that I would have a good fit with and I also saw what kind of environments each company offers,” she added. “I learned about how to become an agent (with State Farm). What’s good about State Farm is you can transfer to anywhere you want.”
The second round of Industry Weeks, Sept. 23-25, brought representatives from 32 firms
in the supply chain, aviation and operations sector to Lowder Hall.
OPCD Director Jimmy Lawrence is very pleased with the turnout.
“We’ve had some new folks come on board,” he said. “Last week was the largest expo that we’ve ever had. We have a good problem – we have a lot of interest and we need to find more room to accommodate. The economy seems to be slightly improving as indicated by the participation of firms so far.”
The fourth and final round of Industry Weeks will be Oct. 14-16 when marketing, sales and retail firms visit. Tentatively scheduled to appear are PLS Logistics, POOL Corp., Ferguson, Frito-Lay, Brooksource, Sherwin Williams, Total Quality Logistics, Target, Republic Finance, and Waffle House.