#STINGDAILY: Deep Peek into the Executive World

Aug. 3, 2012

By Jon Cooper
Sting Daily

No one will ever accuse Yellow Jackets Pierre Jordan, Daniel Miller and Brandon Reed of not knowing what it takes to be a leader.

Certainly not after this summer.

Jordan, Miller and Reed not only found out what it takes to be executive material but did their part to help some of the most successful companies in the country find them.

It was all part of their internships at Barton Executive Search.

“What we did there was basically learn about all the top-tier companies from Procter and Gamble all the way to Coca-Cola to Kraft,” said Jordan, who has one more year to go before completing his graduate degree in building construction. “Then we did a lot of searches using different software like LinkedIn and Encore. Just finding candidates and uploading them into the system. Basically uploading and updating information, where they are now and so on.”

“We weren’t like picking the candidates for the job but we would research people and give the head man, Mr. Barton, what he needed to know so he could make his decisions,” added Miller, a junior Management major. “Everything factors into the equation. They have to work hard starting off at a younger age. Some people have really good jobs by the time they’re 25, 30 years old, but not many. So you always have to work hard.”

Jordan, Miller and Reed showed they were willing to work hard as they put in their 20 hours a week at BES in addition to their workouts. None of them had any complaints in trying to balance basketball workouts with their Barton work.

“There really wasn’t any difficulty because Barton Executives was fair enough to work around our workout schedules,” said Jordan. “So some days we’d put seven hours of work in or five hours a day, just whatever it took to get those 20 hours.”

“I don’t think it was that difficult because the guys at Barton Executive were pretty flexible with the schedule,” agreed Reed, a redshirt junior majoring in Sociology. “They always told us that basketball comes first. So basically we worked 20 hours a week. It wasn’t too strenuous or anything too difficult.”

The relaxed atmosphere at Barton as well as working together — they also worked side-by-side with Yellow Jacket football players Omoregie Uzzi, Jeremiah Attaochu and former player Julian Burnett — helped.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Miller, who credited Jordan with being ‘his alarm clock.’ “It kept things interesting, laughing a little bit in the office. We got to eat lunch every day and we could ride over together right after workouts and make sure we were back together all at the same time.”

Much of the work Jordan, Miller and Reed did involved on-line research into potential executive candidates’ backgrounds, but, on occasion, they also had opportunities to listen in on interviews with the candidates. That look into the world of Fortune-500 executives provided some valuable insight into what they’ll need to do to someday make their move up the corporate ladder.

“Being in those meetings and sitting in on telephone calls I basically learned how to have that edge in conversation,” said Jordan. “The language that is used is different from a day-to-day conversation you would have with, say, your best friend, a significant other, or a family member. So we learned a lot in that aspect. What it taught us was what recruiters were looking for from candidates and basically how to handle yourself in a business-like structure.”

Reed found these meetings brought back memories of his days right after high school, when he was being recruited, but from a different perspective.

“You have to be confident and know what you’re talking about and try to convince [candidates] that the job they’re recruiting for is better than the job they’re at right now,” he said. “Basically, you have to have a recruiting pitch. It’s almost like college coaches when they come in and recruit high school kids. I thought it was pretty interesting that a job like that is similar to recruiting. It brought back some memories that I had.

“What I took from it is being confident in what you’re doing and know what you’re talking about,” he added. “Because if you’re confident in yourself the other person, that may be unsure, will be more confident in making the decision.”

“It was a good experience,” added Miller. “It was the first time I had a real job, so it was a little eye-opening.”

Jordan will likely be the first of the trio to put into use what he learned at Barton over the summer and expects the experience he gained to pay off.

“It was great,” he said. “Just learning and meeting new people, basically just networking for my future and also for the betterment of me and my family. So it was great.”

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