December 28, 2011
When they receive their degrees, few B&E graduates know exactly where their educations will lead.
Some have a vague goal of owning their own business, but such was not the case for Holly Metz, who received a marketing degree in 1986 and today owns Key Staffing Solutions, a recruiting firm in Rockville, Md.
Shortly after graduating, she became manager for a women's clothing store in Tysons Corner, Va., then joined Snelling Personnel in 1988. She liked recruiting, but in 1996 the company changed hands and Metz decided going into business for herself simply made sense.
"I never considered or had any thoughts of getting into recruiting until I was recruited to be a recruiter, but I love what I do," she said. "Every day is absolutely different. I'm communicating and meeting people every day. I especially enjoy recruiting and assisting college graduates with their job searches after they graduate."
These are times that try recruiters' souls, however. With the continuing economic slump, many are finding job placement to be rather challenging. Metz has turned to social media to sharpen her competitive edge. She is using LinkedIn, Facebook and other Internet sites.
"Hiring became a lower priority for our clients when the economy crashed in 2008. Since then, the clients hiring are very selective and have raised the bar," she said. "The interview process is much longer, for example. I've had to become more creative with marketing my business and recruiting qualified talent. So, I'm networking with WVU alumni through LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, which has saved my business."
Metz joined LinkedIn Groups related to WVU and WVU Alumni to connect with alumni potentially interested in her recruiting services. After successfully finding new clients, she constantly joins new groups related to the job or industry of the client she's assisting, and then networks with the members and finds qualified talent.
Metz said her education at WVU "set the foundation for me to open my own business," and recalls that her professors "were very engaging, knowledgeable and shared life experiences."
"I use my B&E degree every day as a business owner by marketing, managing, and overseeing finances," she said. For her, a great day is when she has found the best candidate to match the requirements of her clients, especially during a period of economic sluggishness.
Metz has been a member of the WVU Alumni Association board of directors since 2009, she is past president of the board of directors for the National Capital Area Chapter, and she is a member of the Mountaineer Alliance.
She advises today's students to be focused about their careers. "Start thinking about your career as soon as you start college," she said. "Many employers require a minimum overall GPA, internship/work experience, and well-rounded candidates. Therefore, study hard to make the best grades, be proactive and start interning or working during breaks or part-time while in school, and join clubs, membership organizations and volunteer. And, most importantly, connect and stay connected with WVU Alumni."