Kate Olender - Senior Manager, Global Impact Partnerships, Corporate Responsibility at Cargill
Cargill Fun Fact: Cargill offers interesting sustainability jobs, e.g., Sustainability Manager, Climate and Sustainability Lead GEOS North America
Kate’s Quick Tips:
- Think ahead: There is value in applying for things strategically even if you think it’s out of your league. This way, the organization will know who you are. You might later be remembered for something else. Kate shared a personal story about receiving rejections from Cargill — including on her 35th birthday! — before they hired her. The job she was certain she was going to get rejected her and then passed her on to another department. That’s the job she has today, and it’s the one she would have picked if she could choose from everything! Even rejections and challenges can result in good things!
- Check out the Tufts Friedman School LinkedIn group: They post fabulous jobs for the community!
- Look for growth potential: It’s helpful to look for organizations that offer ways to grow. Also, think about orgs that really value what you want to do, for example, organizations where sustainability is part of what they DO vs. an afterthought or an underfunded area.
- Assess organizational culture: When I’m in interviews, I ask what people do for lunch! It’s a great way to understand the culture of an organization without having to ask the question directly.
- Know the lingo: Look at the language from websites and job descriptions. If you’re switching sectors, e.g., nonprofit to private sector, there’s a whole different kind of framing that’s used, so it’s valuable to use their language. Present yourself through the lens that the audience will be using, and ask for help with deciphering jargon, if needed.
- Don’t apologize: Depending on where you’re applying, you may feel a bit like an outsider. Instead of apologizing, present the value that you bring in terms of your uniqueness, e.g., an objective view, a different way of thinking, a bridge to a different perspective. Focusing on being an outsider as an asset as opposed to a deficit is great.