Overcoming the Competition for OBHR

Erin Hildebrandt left her fifth and final interview and collapsed into a nearby chair. Now all she had left to do was wait and hope. Hildebrandt, a senior in the OBHR program at the Marriott School of Management, was undergoing an extensive application process for a full-time position with Goldman Sachs.

With the company’s high reputation, Hildebrandt knew there would be intense competition for the job—but that was nothing new for her. She grew up playing three sports, volleyball being her favorite, but had been told from a young age that she would never play competitively because she was too short. But then, in 2011, she became the volleyball team captain at Mesa Community College.

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Volleyball occupied most of Hildebrandt’s time, but it wasn’t the sport that thrilled her; it was the people. As team captain, Hildebrandt handled the mentorship and communication between her teammates and athletic directors in order to build and unify the team into a powerful group of talented individuals.

“I loved making sure that we were doing everything together, that we were cohesive and worked well as a group,” Hildebrandt says.

Hildebrandt soon discovered that just like she was working with teammates and athletic directors to improve team play and efficiency, human resource representatives work with executives and employees to improve employee satisfaction and company growth. This parallel drew her in, and she set her heart on OBHR.

“Helping people be satisfied in the work they are doing and knowing they are constantly becoming their best selves, that’s when one becomes truly happy because they’re becoming better,” Hildebrandt says. “Being in OBHR, you get to be that person who helps people accomplish that goal.”

Hildebrandt came to BYU in 2015 after hearing about the many opportunities the Marriott School’s OBHR program has to offer. She worked with an auditing and consulting firm, networked with professors, and reached out to top companies she wanted to work for—including Goldman Sachs.

On a Thursday afternoon in November 2016, Hildebrandt could hardly refrain from jumping up and down when she got off the phone with a Goldman Sachs representative. Her wait was finally over.

“I was beyond excited to learn of my offer,” she says. “Goldman Sachs was and is everything I was looking for in a first job.”

Just as some people had told Hildebrandt she wouldn’t be able to make it as a volleyball player, others had told her she would never reach her academic goals. But as with volleyball, Hildebrandt overcame the criticism with a “Why can’t I?” attitude and focused on those who had faith in her—including the powerful mentors she met in the OBHR program.

“I have never met a professor who wasn’t willing to help or talk outside of class, who wasn’t quick to set aside their own personal time to help me become the best that I could be,” Hildebrandt says. “There’s always someone you can talk to who will lead you wherever you want to go.”