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A Selling Combo: Communication, Marketing, and Personality

April 26, 2016

The three women agree on one thing: it’s a dream job. 

Sadie, Stefanie, and Kaiyah.

Seizing the Day 

The three women agree on one thing: it’s a dream job. “Working for Microsoft is the start of a new beginning,” Kaiyah says.

Stefanie agrees. “This validates our hard work and education. We are going into a skilled and competitive industry, which we believe will provide us with endless opportunities," Stefanie says.

Three UMD seniors have got what it takes. Sadie Ostwald, Stefanie Ziebell, and Kaiyah Ocana landed jobs with the global company Microsoft and will start just weeks after they wear their caps and gowns. 

Meeting Microsoft 

For Stefanie, majoring in marketing and minoring in communication, it happened when she was talking about her job search to John Kratz, a UMD marketing instructor. “He forced me to meet the Microsoft recruiters,” she says. “He kept insisting that I leave the room right that second and talk to them." The recruiters were in the LSBE atrium, near the classrooms. "I went right up and razzle-dazzled them,” Stefanie says.

Sadie, a communication major and film studies and business minor, and Kaiyah, majoring in communication and minoring in business, met the Microsoft recruiters in their organization behavioral management class. “We met with them after the presentation and talked with them,” Kaiyah says. “We could tell they took notice of our personalities and ability to present ourselves.”

Three for Three

Sadie, Stefanie, and Kaiyah have three things in common: communication skills, marketing knowledge, and personality. And, they were the only three people from UMD to receive Microsoft job offers.

Their backgrounds also led them to their success. 

Stefanie worked for Southwestern Advantage selling educational books. “I was a door-to-door salesperson. I became really good at talking and communicating with different people,” she says. She didn’t stop there, though. Stefanie worked for a Duluth property management company as an intern and then was hired as a marketing and operations coordinator.

Sadie and Kaiyah were RockStars, the students who put on Welcome Week for incoming students.

“I was the team lead coordinator,” Sadie says.  “I ran a program for 2,000 people and worked with businesses to make it happen.” The experience taught Sadie to be more confident. “I wasn’t sure I could manage everything at first, but I did, and I did a good job at it.”

Kaiyah took what she was learning at UMD and made it global. “I had an internship in Florence, Italy doing social media for Cucina Lorenzo de' Medici cooking school. She also spent a summer in Chapel Hill, North Carolina as a sales and marketing intern.

What The Future Entails 

Come June, Stefanie, Kaiyah, and Sadie will pack their bags and head to Fargo, North Dakota. “Our job title is Sales Development Specialist (SDS). We will be responsible for IT software sales dealing with three products: Azure, CRM and Microsoft 365,” Kaiyah says.

Find out more about UMD's Career Services program.

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