Do you remember your 1st job after graduating university?

Do you remember your first job out of college?  More importantly do you remember your first manager?  Yes that  person who decided to give you a chance.  I was on vacation during the July 4th holiday weekend in Maine and had a chance encounter.  This young person named Pat R., who was working the concierge service, was off in the corner being quiet on a slow night.  My wife Ellen and I along with our gang of three Michael, Michelle and Mikayla (are all versions of the name Michael) were the only guests having an early evening snack.  So I struck up a conversation with Pat.  I asked him if he was from Maine and was this his summer job, to which he said yes to both questions.  I also found out that he was entering his senior year at Colorado College.  I asked Pat what was his major and he replied Computer Science.  Bingo... my wife and kids were probably thinking: "we are going to be here for a while..."  I told Pat I worked at Sun Microsystems and then he started talking about Java, Java and more Java.  Pat admitted to being a Xbox 360 heavy user, especially at college.  My son really liked this part as I pester him for his diligent practice of his  Xbox dexterous skill.  My son enjoyed that Pat was a Halo 3 and Call of Duty player as well.  As we left to go back to our room I wished Pat good luck and we agreed to keep in touch via Facebook or Linkedin since he is a member of both networks.  Even though I only interacted with Pat for a short period of time I sensed he was well rounded and envision him doing well in his future.

There are many stories throughout the world from people who speak of remembering that first chance that “someone” gave them.  Through all walks of life from business, entertainment, sports, cuisine, medicine, etc. there are instances of people not forgetting that initial opportunity that started their climb in life.  I was in New Zealand recently and was told a story by my driver of his friend. His friend is the sole provider of beef in New Zealand for a large U.S. based fast food franchise.  Many years ago this gentleman responded to a small local newspaper advertisement.  He eventually won the contract over much larger companies in New Zealand because the decision maker had a good instinctive feeling about him and was willing to give him a chance.

I've been fortunate to have given several college graduates their first chance in their career and it is one of the most satisfying parts of the job.  To be able to watch young college graduates transform into seasoned industry veterans is similar to watching your own children grow into adults.  Listening to graduates from all over the world tell their story of what education has enabled for their lives is humbling.  It reminds me of the stories of my grandparents when they immigrated to the U.S. They too got that first chance which eventually led to my own first chance in the working world here in the U.S.

As an engineering undergraduate I had to complete 2 years of full time work experience in order to graduate from Northeastern University.  In 1979 Tom Seiker gave me my first cooperative education job at AVCO Research Laboratory in Everett, MA.  I also completed cooperative education at the Mitre Corporation in Bedford, MA.  Bob Preuss, Dr. Greg Robertshaw, John Roberts and Dr. B.N. Suresh Babu all gave me a chance at Mitre.  In fact, Bob Preuss made me do an official daily written status report that was logged and filed as part of the company record.  As you can imagine few engineers enjoy writing words, myself included, but because of his insistence writing became much easier for me.

My cooperative education was  mostly working on classified projects that required a secret clearance, so I naturally interviewed with the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).  I decided that the commercial industry was right for me.   Ten companies wanted to give me a chance and I picked Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC).  Bob Raspallo, Jim Scott and Mike Pennington gave me my first chance at DEC.  Thank you, I have not forgotten and continue with what you started with me.

Blog is available also at:


With the economy as it is, many students' best bet at getting summer jobs rely heavily on the social and professional networks they have developed. Everyone needs help getting a leg up sometime.

For these students, I recommend talking to family and friends about job opportunities. The current job market is incredibly competitive, but finding a job where you may already have your foot in the door can make the search a lot easier. Here's an article with some tips:

The current economy has made perseverance in a job search one of the most important qualities a job seeker can have. Definitely keep at it, as something is bound to work out. Here's an article from on marketing yourself to potential employers:

If nothing else seems to be working, check out this article about rethinking how you're going about getting a job:

For more information related to job searching, interviewing or anything related to employment, check out the Tips and Advice tab on the Office Live Students Facebook Page:

Best of luck!
MSFT Office Live Outreach Page

Posted by Kate on July 24, 2009 at 06:09 AM EDT #

The first job in concierge service is great , its a great experience with quick learning and satisfaction .

Posted by Personal Concierge on August 10, 2009 at 07:11 PM EDT #

Personal concierge are in demand with changing time and competition , today the lifestyle of every individual is hectic and busy , hence concierge is an obligation .

Posted by Personal Concierge on September 06, 2009 at 09:58 PM EDT #

so busy people.!

Posted by basketball shoes on October 23, 2009 at 08:18 PM EDT #


If you put on air jordan shoes ,you'll become brilliant,and have very attractive.
Air Jordan 1 Retro Shoes
Air Jordan 1 Men's Shoes
Hot Sale Air Jordan Shoes
We also have air jordan 1 sale,air jordan 3 for sale,nike air jordan six rings
Nike Air Jordan 7 Women's High-heel Shoes with Free Shipping,Non Tax!

Posted by Hot Sale Air Jordan Shoes on October 28, 2009 at 02:35 AM EDT #

That's really a good advice.

Posted by uggs on November 27, 2009 at 07:28 PM EST #

As time is changing and competition is increasing there is big potential market for personal concierge and as everyone's life is busy so personal concierge is the best solution!

Posted by Personal Concierge on February 08, 2010 at 08:55 PM EST #

Great post.It really contains valuable information.Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Job posting search on March 07, 2010 at 06:32 PM EST #

Post a Comment:
Comments are closed for this entry.

The blog of Bob Porras - Vice President, Data, Availability, Scalability & HPC for Sun Microsystems, Inc.


« July 2016