03: Moving Your Career Forward Through Face to Face Conversations

Career Growth as a millennial can be frustrating and tough. Not to mention, millennials have a reputation for avoiding face-to-face conversations. Millennial Rockstar, Rachel Gerrald shares with us how she used face-to-face conversations to get more opportunities and career growth.

Rachel Gerrald is the Internal Auditor at Valvoline. Valvoline Inc. (NYSE: VVV) is a leading worldwide marketer and supplier of premium branded lubricants and automotive services, with sales in more than 140 countries. Established in 1866, the company’s heritage spans more than 150 years, during which it has developed powerful brand recognition across multiple product and service channels. Valvoline ranks as the No. 3 passenger car motor oil brand in the DIY market by volume.

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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

The Transcript - Moving Your Career Forward Through Face to Face Conversations

AMANDA HAMMETT:Hey, this is Amanda Hammett, and this is the Millennial Rockstar Podcast. Hey, welcome to this episode of the Millennial Rockstar podcast. Today we have Rachel Gerrald who is an internal auditor at Valvoline, and although she's only three years into her career, she actually walks us through the importance of face-to-face conversations and how that can really move your career forward. So watch up and see what she has to say. Hey there, my name is Amanda Hammett, I am known as the Millennial Translator, because I help companies attract, retain, and engage top Millennial talent and speaking of top Millennial talent, today I am talking to Rachel, who is coming to us from Valvoline headquarters. Hey Rachel, thanks for coming on Millennial Rockstars.

RACHEL GERRALD:Thank you for having me.

AMANDA HAMMETT:Awesome, awesome. So Rachel, tell me a little bit about you and your career.

RACHEL GERRALD:So I'm a Buckeye, graduated from Ohio State, and started here in April 2015, so I've been in audit now for going on three years. Got a finance degree. Yeah, that about sums me up as far as my background

AMANDA HAMMETT:Awesome, awesome. Now Rachel, did you always know you wanted to go into finance, was that always the plan?

RACHEL GERRALD:I knew that I wanted to go into business just because I've always liked math and been good at that. I watched my dad go through business and he's been successful and kind of see that lifestyle so I knew it was either accounting or finance and when I got into the classes, I thought, finance is a lot more fun because you can put a lot more creativity and assumptions around that and it's about the future, not the past, right. So I really enjoyed that aspect of it.

AMANDA HAMMETT:That's awesome, I love it. I love that. So you know, I know that you are fairly new to the working world, I mean what, three years?


AMANDA HAMMETT: So is there, have there been any moments thus far or let's start with this…

What has been the biggest difference between what you thought about the workforce versus the reality that you have found now that you're in the workforce?

RACHEL GERRALD:I don't know that I had any preconceived notions as far as what it would be like. I would say for me in college I was a very serious student and I basically treated it like a nine to five job and told myself I'm going to be in the library studying if I'm not in class


RACHEL GERRALD:So I kind of transitioned very well through that. Yeah, I studied a lot, I graduated top five of my class.

AMANDA HAMMETT:And Ohio State's not small.

RACHEL GERRALD:No, it's not, it's not. So I kind of took that approach which translated well to the working world and I have to say I like the working world a lot better than school just because you get to see those real-life impacts that your work makes.

AMANDA HAMMETT:Wow, I love that. So tell me about what the process was like for you when you were leaving Ohio State and you were looking for that first job coming right out of college. Were there specific things that you were looking for, were there things that you were like I definitely know that this is not for me? Walk me through that.

RACHEL GERRALD: Well audit is like one of the best places to start and I would definitely recommend it to anybody who's coming straight out of college because you get just a whole lot of experience to a lot of areas of the business, so coming in with no experience other than the classroom, I was able to get a really broad view of this company, through stocks testing is where I started but I've also worked on projects ranging from supply chain and procurement all the way through finance and accounting. So audit was something that I was definitely interested in just because it gives you a very well rounded view.

AMANDA HAMMETT:That's really cool, that's so cool. Now what about, have there been any stumbling blocks thus far in your career, just things that you've had to deal with?

RACHEL GERRALD: I would say just, I think it's normal for everybody, you have to take charge of your own career, right, nobody's going to open those doors for you necessarily so you,

AMANDA HAMMETT:They don't do that?

RACHEL GERRALD:No! But I mean that's the same as it was growing up and in school but I think not everybody realizes that if you're interested in something or you want to learn more about something, you have to take that initiative and reach out and so I've done that. I've also come across areas where I need more challenge and I don't feel necessarily like I'm being challenged as much as I should be and I could grow more so that's something where you have to have that conversation and say I'm eager and willing to take on more responsibility and if you don't raise your hand, you'll never get that chance.

AMANDA HAMMETT:So Rachel, walk me through that conversation. So who do you have it with? Kind of set the scene for me, tell me about that, I love it.

RACHEL GERRALD:Well it's basically you asking for more opportunity with your boss and kind of weaving that into conversations because you don't want to come out and say hey, I want X, Y, Z and say I have some availability or I'm really interested in this side of the business, I'd like to work on a project here, I'd like to work on a new area because I've done this and I know it really well and I'm ready for something new. So basically, I just brought it up and we have trimester reviews here, brought it up then and said, you know, I really like my work here but I'm very interested in this one particular area and I feel like now's the time, I'm ready for some more challenge and responsibility and I'd love it if you could help me with that and help me grow my career.

AMANDA HAMMETT:So Rachel, I want you to emphasize this point. You said it but you just glossed over it, I want you to spell this out. Are these conversations in person?

RACHEL GERRALD:Oh, absolutely, 100% yeah. That's the way you have to do it and I'm probably not like most Millennials as far as that's concerned because I am somebody who doesn't really like to hide behind the email and the IM, I like to go talk to people.

But I think that's also part of audit because we're the auditors so we really have to work on that relationship and the only way you can really do that is by going and talking to people.

AMANDA HAMMETT:Okay, yeah, I think that's really great. One of the things that I see a lot is that Millennials who are ready and want to move forward, they work it into an email or


AMANDA HAMMETT:Or some sort of electronic conversation and I'm like


AMANDA HAMMETT: That's, this is where eye to eye contact is really important. You need to show that you are ready for that responsibility and that comes through building that sense of trust.

RACHEL GERRALD:Right, I 100% agree with that, yeah.

AMANDA HAMMETT:Okay, I love it. I love it and I love that you're taking charge and really not waiting for someone else because I speak to a lot of people and they're like well, I want my work to speak for itself and I said I get that. It's good that you want to do good work but sometimes you have to point it out, hey, boss, you got 12 other people you're managing, I just want to make sure that you know that I'm ready to move on


AMANDA HAMMETT:Do you think I'm ready, what am I missing.

RACHEL GERRALD:And I think they appreciate that honesty too and transparency, like I'm a super transparent person so if I feel like hey, I would love to take on this added responsibility and I'd love your support in that, I have no problem saying that and I think they appreciate that too.

AMANDA HAMMETT: Perfect, perfect. Oh, gosh, you're awesome. I just want you to know


AMANDA HAMMETT: I think you're awesome So, let's talk a little bit about your boss, again. So is there anything that your boss or maybe I know that you work in a group or any of your coworkers or maybe you have a mentor or an advocate within Valvoline, is there anything that they're doing specifically that really keeps you engaged and motivated and wanting to get out of bed in the morning and audit some different departments?

RACHEL GERRALD:I think communication is a big part and having those checkpoint meetings with them and having that two-way communication as far as what's going on. Training is also something that Valvoline's really supportive of which I think is awesome. So I recently got my CIA, which sounds really cool but it's Certified Internal Auditor. So I took three tests to become certified for that. And Valvoline was supporting me 100%.


RACHEL GERRALD:And then they also have continued training through not only for audit but also, they bring in people who talk to us about MBA programs and if we'd be interested in that, so there are definitely opportunities for continuing education here which I really like that.

AMANDA HAMMETT:That's awesome. Now I know that Valvoline has some different employee resource groups and things like that, is there anything that Valvoline is doing, whether it's perks or benefits, specifically you've mentioned a little bit about some further development, charity work opportunities, is there anything that they're doing specifically, Valvoline itself, like hey, I am gaining a sense of loyalty to this company because I feel a connection based on where they are and where I am going.

RACHEL GERRALD: Yeah, well Valvoline has a really strong culture and I think the people here really are what make it special. And Valvoline's always been a supporter in giving back. We have an employee giving campaign that I've been involved in, we do that every year. This year for the new headquarter building we actually have like a community celebration where we had a yard sale for all the things that we had from our old office building, and then we opened up our brand-new building to the public so I was one of the tour guides who was able to learn some cool facts about our building and give tours which is really cool.

AMANDA HAMMETT:That is cool.

RACHEL GERRALD:We've also done things like Habitat for Humanity as a group which is a great team-building opportunity so that's definitely a plus of working with Valvoline.

AMANDA HAMMETT:Absolutely, yeah. You guys have done a really nice job and it just, it's just a really friendly environment. I noticed there's not, everybody was just walking around with smiles on their faces, I was watching people just kind of walk by that desk in the front and I was waiting on someone towards the end of the afternoon and you know usually towards the end of the afternoon, you've hit that two o'clock slump feeling, but nobody looked just down and out, they were really kind of walking around, smiling, laughing about different stuff and I loved that, I thought it was cool.

RACHEL GERRALD:It's a really strong culture and I think too now that we've spun off from Ashland, that everybody has that energized feeling that good things are happening for Valvoline, the future's bright so we're all excited to be part of it.

AMANDA HAMMETT:That's commercial worthy, Rachel.

RACHEL GERRALD: Well it's true, I think you can see that, you saw it when you were here and that's the attitude.

AMANDA HAMMETT:I definitely felt it, it was, yeah, it was very much, palpable, so very good. I love it. Alright, so tell our audience here is there anything that in your mind or maybe your boss has told you since that really made you stand out in the applicant pool or in the interview pool when you were going through the process to join Valvoline?

RACHEL GERRALD: Right. I think what really stood out the most coming straight out of college is just my strong academic record. I graduated with a 3.9, which is not easy. And just hard work ethic and willingness and eagerness to learn and contribute everything I can to be part of the team. So I think that goes a long way.

AMANDA HAMMETT: I think that you might be right on that teamwork and collaboration


AMANDA HAMMETT:That's great. Now is there anything that you wish, I don't know this for a fact, but I assume that you did interview with other companies before you chose Valvoline. So I would imagine that you were probably courted by other companies with some attractive offers and perks, but is there anything that you wish that companies knew about hiring younger employees?

RACHEL GERRALD:I wish that we could kind of challenge the stereotypes of Millennials as far as, there's a negative connotation, I don't really understand why, because I think we're all just individual people. I know when you were here you mentioned something about you heard that Millennials don't make eye contact. Well, that's never really been a problem for me. So I think those stereotypes you really have to challenge them by being different from that stereotype. I wish that in the hiring process it could go a little faster because sometimes it can take a whole lot of time. I know that's like ideal world,

AMANDA HAMMETT: That's not a generational thing.

RACHEL GERRALD:No, that's just overarching, I know.But, I'm losing my train of thought here, but I did have another point that I wanted to,

AMANDA HAMMETT: Sorry, I interrupted.

RACHEL GERRALD:No, that's okay. Your question was on hiring, was there anything different. Probably just also recognizing that even though you don't have a lot of experience, somebody has to take a chance on you and allow you to grow and have that experience. So Will, who hired me, took a chance on me and I really appreciate that because you do come in with not a whole lot of experience but I do they should also recognize that you still have perspective and you still have things that you can add from the classroom and from your personal experience. So I think because a lot of the time the younger people get, well you don't have any experience, but nobody will give you experience. So that's kind of challenging. Yeah.

AMANDA HAMMETT: Okay, excellent, I think those are all really great points. And you kind of touched on this a little bit with the shorter hiring process. But is there anything that you wish that companies did to make the hiring process easier or better, besides shortening it?

RACHEL GERRALD:Besides the time? I think Valvoline could do a good job of recruiting further out. They do a good job recruiting here in Kentucky and UK, but I didn't see anything when I was at Ohio State, so I think that getting in front of those college students in career fairs and things like that is really important because that kind of sets the tone and gets you in their mind. So and that's what, all my interviews pretty much came out from contacting somebody at a career fair who I talked to so I think that's a really good way to meet good people.

AMANDA HAMMETT: Fantastic, I think that's great. Alright, well fantastic. Rachel, that is really all I have for you and that was awesome. You are actually a rockstar.

RACHEL GERRALD: Thank you, that's sweet of you to say.

AMANDA HAMMETT: Phenomenal and I really appreciate you being here and I'm just so impressed. I know that you are all of 25 years old but I am super impressed.

RACHEL GERRALD: Well thank you, thank you for having me. I appreciate it and I think what you're doing here is really cool.

AMANDA HAMMETT:Thanks so much for joining us for this episode of the Millennial Rockstar Podcast. If you are looking for even more information on Millennials and some free resources, visit my website at amandahammett.com, the link is below, it's amandahammett.com. There you can download a free Millennial employee engagement guide that will give you all kinds of tips and tricks on how to keep those Millennials engaged on a day to day basis. Because we all know that Millennials who are happy at work are more productive at work.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

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