Helping Gonzaga University Students and Alumni Clarify and Achieve Their Academic and Professional Goals

Month: December 2019

SAP Concur and the Seattle Trek

As we’ve mentioned before, the Seattle and Portland Treks are fueled by the Gonzaga Community from all over the workplace. Fellow zags Erica Overfield and Julia Donovan from SAP Concur are looking forward to the Seattle Trek to meet our career-searching Zags! Julia and Erica are not the only two Zags from SAP coming to the trek – they will be accompanied by 8 other Zags who work at SAP Concur! To read their trek and career advice, see below!


Fellow Zags Erica Overfield and Julia Donovan

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Q&A with Erica and Julia:

What are your job titles at SAP Concur?

Julia: I am the Corporate Social Responsibility and Diversity and Inclusion Specialist on the People Connection Team at SAP Concur – it’s a mouthful!

Erica: I am a Senior HR Business Partner

Who from your company is coming to the Trek?

We have 10 Zags total coming to the Trek day from SAP Concur. They are Stephanie Forsyth (’18), David deRecat (’11), Emily Nichols (’16), Colleen Fogerty (’14), Erica Overfield (’09), Julia Donovan (’18), Kennedy McGahan (’17), Megan Lombard (’10), Phil Gray (’14), and Evan Anderson (’11).

What should students know about SAP as they prepare to meet employers?

SAP is a tech company that drives innovation to help companies run at their best through a variety of software applications. SAP Concur is an entity of SAP focused on travel and expense software. Our original tagline was “The expense report that writes itself.”

Can you give a brief behind-the-scenes pitch for your company? Why should students be excited to speak with SAP at the Trek?

The best run businesses make the world run better, which is why SAP is rooted in helping customers and future clients succeed through our products. At SAP, there’s something here for everyone including a huge focus on giving back to our local communities, which we know is important to Gonzaga students. One of Julia’s favorite products is TripIt – an app that makes traveling simple and less stressful by giving you real time information and updates. Erica loves Concur locate – a software that helps keep Concur employees safe, whether in the office or while they are traveling.

What career and internship opportunities does SAP have for college students? What positions are you seeking to fill?

Every summer SAP hosts interns through the Internship Experience Program (iXp). There are tech and non-tech positions, and we do most of our hiring from January to March. Check out any postings  here! 

Why is SAP a good place to consider starting a career? 

SAP is a great place to start a career because there is a huge focus on career development for early talent. There are numerous resources available to employees from finding a mentor, to online learning sessions, and free professional coaching. Since SAP is a large global tech company, your networking opportunities are endless, and you can grow your career in many directions.


What advice do you have for students going on the Treks? 

Julia: “Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and stretch yourself to learn something new about a company or industry that might be outside of your scope of what you are studying at GU. Also, Zags help Zags! Lean on the network that you build here at the trek –Zag alums love to connect and can help you in your future career journeys.”  

Erica: “Bring your authentic self, because you don’t want to work somewhere that doesn’t align with your personal values. Take in every moment of the trek, even if that means putting away your phone and being present. You’ll get out what you put in.


Please add anything else that you have in mind that would be valuable to hear for GU students 🙂 

#GOZAGS and good luck with finals coming up!


Interested in meeting SAP Concur and other highly respected organizations? Click here to reserve your spot on the Seattle or Portland Trek?

Cambia Health Systems


As the Portland Trek approaches, the host companies are preparing to meet our students. Michelle Schwartz, the Manager of Diversity and University Programs, is excited to introduce Cambia Health Systems to our trekkers. So that students are able to come to the Trek fully equipped, Michelle sent in her set of networking tips and career advice for the Portland Trek. 


Q&A with Michelle Schwartz:

Who from your company is coming to the Trek?

 Former interns now working full-time and managers/leaders from different teams including Artificial Intelligence/Data Technology Solutions, Marketing, Accounting/Internal Audit, Strategic Communications and other areas of the business.


What should students know about Cambia as they prepare to meet employers? 

We are a not-for-profit organization seeking to transform healthcare. Our team members and leaders care deeply about the work we do and are excited to share how we are shaping the health care experience of the future. Cambia is a great place to learn and grow. We take pride in cultivating a culture of belonging.

Here is a blog of a summer intern’s experience you can review!


Interns of Summer 2019 at an annual Intern Innovation Challenge event


Can you give a brief behind-the-scenes pitch for your company? Why should students be excited to speak with Cambia at the Trek? 

Cambia Health Solutions, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, is dedicated to transforming health care. We are a family of over 20 companies that work together to make the health care system more economically sustainable and efficient for people and their families. Our solutions empower nearly 70 million Americans nationwide, including more than 2.6 million people in the Pacific Northwest who are enrolled in our regional health plans.


What career and internship opportunities does Cambia have for college students? What positions are you seeking to fill? 

We are seeking to identify candidates who are a match for both internship and full-time positions post graduation. We hire approximately 65 interns annually. On average, fifty of these internships tend to be full-time summer internships in our Seattle or Portland office.

With an internship at Cambia, you’ll have the opportunity to cultivate real-world experience in the workplace using everything you’ve got—from academic experience to life skills. You’ll collaborate with directors and participate in projects delegated by senior management, plus network with other interns on exciting assignments.

Engaging in challenging assignments is a given for interns at Cambia. You might formulate health care premiums, refine the claims process, develop training programs and software, engage in risk-assessment or develop customer-driven marketing solutions. One thing is certain: Your work will be crucial to the transformation of health care.

In addition to providing all interns competitive pay, we offer these extras:

  • Activities and networking events exclusive to interns
  • Personal interactions with senior leaders
  • Weekly Brown Bags headed by corporate management
  • On-site fitness center membership (Portland and Seattle only)
  • Career development through training opportunities


Why is Cambia a good place to consider starting a career? 

We’re not just working. We’re changing lives. Join our Cause to transform health care, creating a person-focused and economically sustainable health care system. At Cambia, we believe that diverse voices and perspectives drive innovation and the achievement of our Cause.

Why join the Cambia team?

  • Work with and learn from diverse teams building innovative solutions that are changing the way people experience health care
  • Earn a competitive salary and enjoy a generous benefits package
  • Take advantage of Career Development Opportunities
  • Give back by participating in community outreach programs supported by the company
  • Participate in our Award-Winning Wellness Programs
  • Connect with colleagues who share like-minded interests and backgrounds through our Employee Resource Groups


What advice do you have for students going on the Treks? 

Be prepared. Learn a little about the organization and ask questions. This is your opportunity to stand out to a potential employer as well as make sure an organization is the right fit for you. Make sure your resume reflects your personality as well as clearly outlines your experience and interests. It is your opportunity to brand yourself. Invest the time in making sure it is a good reflection of you.


Please add anything else that you have in mind that would be valuable to hear for GU students 🙂 

At Cambia, we value the communities we serve, our members and our employees. We are committed to attracting top talent to serve our consumers, bringing together individuals with diverse talents, skills, backgrounds and abilities. We recognize that our team members not only contribute to the success of our organization but also assist in our goal of transforming health care from the inside out.

One of the ways we are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion is through our community investments. We strive to break cycles of poverty through the support of programs like Bridge Meadows in Oregon, mobile dentals vans in Washington, or Community Action Partnership in Idaho. We partner with organizations to empower girls through the work of the YWCA of Utah, Mary’s Place in Washington, and Girls, Inc. and the Center for Women’s Leadership at Portland State University in Oregon. We also support organizations that highlight challenges facing specific minority groups like the LGBTQ, Hispanic and immigrant communities.


Interested in meeting Cambia Health Systems and other highly respected organizations? Click here to register for the Portland or Seattle Treks!

Hear What PACCAR Has to Say about Networking, Treks, and the Career Center!



Here at Career and Professional Development, we understand that networking with Gonzaga alumni is a huge resource in career advancement that can take students and grads anywhere! That being said, we focus on bringing Zag alumni to the Treks we host so that students may practice networking skills, and get familiar with the Gonzaga community in the work place. Of course, it is never too early to begin making connections, so we encourage all students to come to the Seattle and Portland Treks over winter break to start building their network!

PACCAR, a global technology leader in the design, manufacture and customer support of the trucking industry, is another Trek Host company that is full of Zags to connect with. Kelsey Olmstead, a senior recruiter at PACCAR, wrote in a Q&A that one of the best things about Gonzaga is the post-grad community that continues the Zags Help Zags mentality and work culture.  


Fellow Zags Erica Overfield and Julia Donovan

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Q&A with Kelsey:

What should students know about PACCAR as they prepare to meet employers?

 PACCAR is really passionate about our company history. Do your homework and come prepared with questions about our business! As a Sr. Recruiter, I love it when students ask me specific questions that I don’t know the answer to. There is so much to learn about the company, and I love when GU students ask educated questions!


Can you give a brief behind-the-scenes pitch for your company? Why should students be excited to speak with PACCAR at the Trek? 

PACCAR is a 114-year-old company with deep roots in the Pacific Northwest. There is more to PACCAR than trucks. PACCAR is a global technology company, a finance and leasing company, a parts distributor, and so much more! Whether you want to build the trucks, sell them, purchase parts, design the technology that goes into the trucks, support teams in an HR or customer service role, and beyond, the sky is the limit when it comes to career growth at PACCAR!


What career and internship opportunities does PACCAR have for college students? What positions are you seeking to fill?

 PACCAR offers Internships in all areas of our business, and throughout the US. If you are open to being mobile after completing your Internship, that is a huge plus! Our largest groups that we hire Interns are in our Purchasing and Accounting departments.  Other areas that we hire Interns are in Marketing, HR, Credit, Engineering, Sales, Truck Assembly, Legal, IT, Contract Administration, Supplier Quality, Facilities and the Environmental department.


Why is PACCAR a good place to consider starting a career?

 PACCAR promotes from within. I have never worked for a company that truly lives this like PACCAR does. Our division leaders design succession plans for top performing employees to develop them. Whether you want to stay in the same department, transfer divisions, take on an international assignment, or move throughout the US, our leaders listen and help employees grow and succeed. In my time with PACCAR, I have been promoted 3 times in less than 3 years, and have had the opportunity to travel to our plants and truck shops in Texas and Illinois! PACCAR is also supporting me as I begin studying for my Master’s in Organizational Leadership at Gonzaga.


What advice do you have for students going on the Treks?

 Be open to where the Trek may lead you! I first participated in the Trek as a Sophomore at Gonzaga. Through the excursion to Nordstrom, I was introduced by a Zag in HR to the Store Manager, who knew another Store Manager, who hired me as a salesperson at that store. I was then promoted to a Retail Management Intern, the Buying Office and Corporate Recruiting. Every job I have had since graduating in 2012 has been through networking with Gonzaga alumni.  Networking with a Zag led me to a job opportunity in San Francisco,  and back home to Washington through a Zag who worked at PACCAR, and here I am today! It’s normal to be nervous, but don’t be! It’s amazing how many seasoned career professionals and alumni (like myself!) want to mentor and hire Zags!


Please add anything else that you have in mind that would be valuable to hear for GU students 🙂 

Utilize the Career Center! They are super friendly and genuinely want to help you navigate your career and find your passion. It’s normal to try an internship and maybe not like it. No big deal – try something else! You will find your calling. Don’t be afraid to reach out to Gonzaga alumni. I truly want to give back to students the way alumni have given to me.


Interested in meeting PACCAR and other highly respected organizations?

Click here to register for the Portland or Seattle Treks! 




What Chinook Capital Advisors wants you to know before the Seattle Trek

Winter break is quickly approaching, which means the Seattle and Portland Treks are, too! Host companies all around are getting excited to meet our career-exploring Zags. 

Treks are career development and networking programs that create opportunities for you to connect with employers and Gonzaga alumni in the key metropolitan areas.

So, who are faces at these events, and how can they help GU students of all academic levels in their career development?

As students prepare their business attire, resumes and elevator pitches for the Treks, CPD is working to offer students personal accounts from the recruiters of our host companies.

Michael McIntyre, a Senior Analyst at Chinook Capital Advisors, was more than willing to share with students what to know about CCA before the Treks, and he is looking forward to meeting the students attending very soon!


Q&A with Michael McIntyre:

Who from Chinook Capital Advisors is coming to the Seattle Trek? 

Myself, John O’Dore (GU alum ’90) and Ed Kirk (GU alum ’90). John and Ed co-founded Chinook in 2017.


What should students know about CCA as they prepare to meet employers?

Chinook Capital Advisors is a leading M&A advisory firm serving the needs of Pacific Northwest business owners. Our clients depend on us to lead them through successful business transitions, primarily full company sale and recapitalization events.  We also provide other trusted advisor roles, including advisory board leadership, valuation services, and transaction planning and preparation services for business owners – often years in advance of a transition. We serve many of the key industries that drive the PNW economy, including consumer products, business services, aerospace, and more. More information can be found at our website:


Can you give a brief behind-the-scenes pitch for your company? Why should students be excited to speak with CCA at the Trek? 

If you are looking for an internship or career path that is ambiguous, meaning that no two days are the same, you should learn more about investment banking and visit Chinook. The investment banking career path attracts people who are high achievers, attentive to detail, and have a critical finance, reading and writing background. Students who are looking for opportunities in finance and investment banking should visit Chinook!


What career and internship opportunities does CCA have for college students? What positions are you seeking to fill?

a. We bring on multiple interns during the summer who are rising seniors (meaning they are between junior and senior years). As an intern with Chinook, you will work closely with the team on every stage of the M&A process. The internship is fast-paced, and the learning curve is steep; it is expected that the ideal candidate is hungry to gain valuable experience and exposure to many aspects of the investment banking industry. Depending on your performance, the team may choose to extend a full time offer after graduation.

b. We only consider candidates who can demonstrate adherence to our five core values:

      1. Passionate, about serving our clients; helping them to achieve their personal and financial goals by closing transactions.
      2. Team Dedication, commitment to the success of the team; caring; helpful; respectful; humble; approachable; transparent; good communicator.
      3. Integrity, do what you say you will do; accountable; trustworthy.
      4. Detail Oriented, professional and accurate in all things; producing our best work always.
      5. Hungry, continuous learning and improvement; reaching our best potential professionally and personally; never settling for the status quo.

c. Each year, we open up our application on Handshake. Application for summer 2021 will begin late August/early September. 


Why is CCA a good place to consider starting a career?

a. I started my career at Chinook in June 2018, about a month after I graduated from GU. I have loved every minute of my time here. Each day is different – you can walk in the door one day and have to “fight fires”, meet with business owners or professionals in the Seattle area, or something completely different to what you were thinking about as you were driving into work in the morning!

b. My internships in college were at larger companies in the Spokane area with over 200+ employees. After a week of being on Chinook’s team (only two W-2 employees), I quickly realized that I loved working on a small team. We work in close proximity so we are constantly asking questions, providing instant feedback, and having fun! In addition, every employee and intern gets a seat at the table. We have a team meeting every Monday where everyone gets to contribute to the discussion and ask questions to the co-founders. I cannot think of a better way to start a career! 


What advice do you have for students going on the Treks? 

Professionalism Matters! Remember that you are making a first impression on employers. Prepare for at least two hours in advance of meeting each employer. Visit their website, check out their LinkedIn profiles, read any news/press releases on their firms, and also read any articles on their website.


Please add anything else that you have in mind that would be valuable to hear for GU students.

a. Over 90% of applicants for our internships do not prepare enough to meet us for the first time. Most do not even visit our website or our LinkedIn profiles! If you put in the preparation, you are already in the top 10% of candidates. Think about that!

b. Network with Gonzaga Alumni – use LinkedIn! There are over 30,000 GU alumni on LinkedIn – almost 8,000 in the Seattle area. There are alumni, like myself, who have helped GU students look for internships and jobs. Take advantage of this!


Interested in meeting Capital Chinook Advisors and other highly respected organizations?

Click here to register for the Portland or Seattle Treks!