OBHR Alum Dives Into Rewarding Career

Clark Anderson stood confidently on the diving board at the community pool in St. George, Utah. The eighth grader noticed the lifeguards talking among themselves and imagined they were discussing how skilled of a swimmer he was. He decided to prove them right.

Anderson leapt into the air with his hands clasped together and dove headfirst into the water. His liftoff was majestic, but his landing smashed his face into cement, leaving him with a scraped, mangled nose.

“I thought I was the strongest swimmer, but then I smacked my nose,” Anderson recalls. “How ironic.”

Anderson, now an OBHR alum, relates this story to his time searching for a job during his undergraduate studies at the Marriott School of Management. Though his confidence was hit hard at times, his experiences would lead him to his dream job—even though he didn’t know it at the time.

When Anderson came to BYU in 2012, he knew he wanted to study OBHR. With his energetic, outgoing personality, he had hopes to someday enter the rotational program for a top manufacturing company.

During his sophomore year, Anderson networked and built strong relationships with recruiters. He was offered an interview with a manufacturing company and had high hopes to get the position, but he was turned down for a second interview.

“I felt so comfortable about my relationships with the recruiters and even followed their suggestions,” Anderson says. “Why didn’t I get the interview? It was like I was jumping into the pool of what I thought was success, but I ended up smacking my nose on the bottom of the pool all over again.”

The experience caused Anderson to reevaluate the industry, and he realized that working for a manufacturing company might clash with his personality. He wanted a job that would enable him to excel and be himself.

Fate soon put Anderson back on a metaphorical diving board, and he jumped into his next opportunity after meeting an employee from Cisco Systems at a summer barbecue. This time, he didn’t smack his head. He contacted Cisco through his new friend and was accepted for an internship during his junior year, and the internship led to a full-time position.

“The tech industry fits my personality better,” Anderson says. “Working takes up so much time in your life, and the money you gain does not determine your happiness—it’s the culture, it’s the people you work with.”

Anderson is in his first of three nine-month rotations as a new hire at Cisco. He works in the HR rotational program on fitting teams together, hiring, and creating a culture to help people work together and be happy.

“There is absolutely no way I would have landed a job with a Fortune 100 company without the Marriott School; Cisco only recruits at top schools, and BYU happens to be one of them,” Anderson says. “I think it’s a very rewarding career.”