This post is part of the Career Center’s bi-weekly roundup of alumni success stories. Check out Matt’s story below, and find more SuCCess Stories here!
7 Questions with Matt Lopez ‘14
Major: German Literature
Grad Year: 2014
Current Job Title, Organization: Associate Director of Talent, Atlas Preparatory School
What did you do after graduation?
ML: I began working full time with Atlas in my senior year.
What are you up to now?
ML: I’m in Colorado Springs, involved with my downtown community and my church community. I’m watching the city I’ve been in for 10 years change right before my eyes, and it’s very exciting to be a part of the civic community right now, especially downtown.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
ML: I love introducing people to Atlas Prep and getting them excited about the community of professionals here. There are many schools in Colorado Springs, but I know that what we’re doing here is quality and different than what many other schools are doing. To be on the vanguard of change, lasting impactful change with students that most organizations aren’t serving or are underserving, is very energizing.
Recruiting is more than just cajoling people into working for your organization; it is an intimate and intuitive understanding of what a person needs in their professional journey and how your organization might foster that.
What does your typical day look like?
ML: My schedule is somewhat flexible as recruiting ranges from early phone calls with people on the east coast to recruiting trips out of state, but typically, I’m scouring networks for talent, engaging a number of professionals, and organizing interviews for the few candidates I think fit our organization. I’m a full-cycle recruiter, so full cycle here often means from morning till night and every time in between.
Has your career path changed at all from graduation to now? If so, how?
ML: I absolutely fell into recruiting, but now that I’m here, I love it! It was at a CC a cappella after party where I heard of a fellowship position with Atlas through another CC student, and although I had no idea the scope of what “talent acquisition” meant at the time, I most definitely do now.
What are the transferable skills you took from your liberal arts education?
ML: The ability to explicate different and varied subjects like liberal arts students do on the regular is key to quickly and dynamically approaching recruits from various professional backgrounds. The general tolerance and appreciation for diversity is also key to building an effective and progressive workforce no matter what organization you staff.
What advice would you give to students looking to find a job in your field?
ML: I think seeking to understand an organization’s needs is step one to learning how to recruit for said organization. Listening is a recruiter’s greatest communication skill, listening to leadership’s employee needs, listening to recruits, etc. Once you’ve listened, only then can you find the right people for the positions you’re trying to fill.
People skills are paramount in importance and cannot be emphasized enough as a recruiter or HR professional. Your organization and colleagues stand only to benefit when you communicate in a way that everyone is not only valued but also understood.
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