If it seems like a pretty cool place to work, that’s because it is. Revolving around the surf, skate and snowboard culture, the local Orange County riding company — Volcom, has a casual work atmosphere that is definitely on brand with what they are selling. That’s not to say their employees aren’t working hard, but this company started out with a “youth against establishment” mentality, and after 28 years of business, they haven’t sold out.
Which is probably why when Wilkinson Career Advisor, Erin Berthon, reached out to students about a Volcom excursion, the list quickly filled up and a wait list was created. “Working at Volcom is one of my dream jobs,” said Creative Writing major Elle Chapman (’20) when she RSVP’d for her spot on the bus. The visit included a tour of the facilities (which has its own skate park) with Chapman Alumna, Isabel Vandemoer (’16) and a meet-and-greet with the company’s CEO, Todd Hymel. Oh, and did we mention a visit to the on-site Volcom retail store where (almost) everything is 50 percent off!
“I’ve learned that a lot of Wilkinson students really want to work in a business that allows creativity,” said Berthon. “I knew the Volcom excursion would draw a lot of interest among our majors and minors.”
Eager to dive-in and start learning everything they could about the company, questions poured out immediately; Vandemoer and Hymel were more than happy to oblige.
Vandemoer talked about how she started out as an intern at Volcom during her undergraduate years at Chapman, and eventually advanced within the company to land a position in her area of interest.
“I worked so hard and asked a lot of questions,” Vandemoer said. “You shouldn’t [overlook] an entry level position, you have to start somewhere.”
Every season Volcom hires paid interns throughout the company and they receive hundreds of applicants. If you want to stand-out from the competition, Vandemoer suggests that you take the time to write a personal, thought-out cover letter.
“Tell me what you are learning and how that will help you with what you are actually applying for. Don’t just list classes you are taking, that doesn’t help,” said Vandemoer. “With so many applicants, details do matter.”
Also, no typos!
Attending Chapman Career Fairs (mark your calendars for March 3, 2020 Spring Career Fair) will also help your chances at landing a position at Volcom.
“When a student comes up to talk to me at the career fair, I appreciate an enthusiastic attitude and a genuine interest in our brand and mission,” said Vandemoer.
In the past Vandemoer has jotted down notes on who approaches her booth and engages in conversation with her. When those cover letters and resumes pop up in her inbox, and she comes across a Chapman student or alum, she grabs her notes from the Career Fair.
As for the CEO, he commitment and a good work ethic. “A hard worker will always stand out,” Hymel said.
Yes, the culture at Volcom is causal and fun, but employees are also dedicated to each other and their work. It’s not just about the paycheck.
For more information about future Excursions and Career Resources Wilkinson has to offer, please contact Wilkinson’s Career Advisor Erin Berthon.