May 20, 2016
I remember learning during recruitment that there would be a vast amount of networking opportunities as a member of Kappa Delta. Now as a senior, I cannot express how true that is.
What started out as an ordinary day my junior year became the first step toward a career. As I was finishing up a long day at Industrial Roundtable, a large multiday career fair at Purdue University, I glanced at a few more booths. I wasn’t having much luck. The companies were either not hiring for my major, computer science, or I simply was not interested.
The last booth I came to was for Garmin International. I was familiar with their products – my family had been using their portable navigation systems in our cars for years – and they were looking for computer science interns! The fair was beginning to shut down for the day and most students had already left, so there wasn’t anyone in line for Garmin. It was perfect timing.
I walked up to the woman standing behind the table and introduced myself. We talked about the company, positions open and Kansas City, where Garmin headquarters is located. It sounded like a great opportunity and fit for me, so I agreed to sign up for an interview the next day. As I set down my backpack to take out a pen, the woman from Garmin noticed my Kappa Delta button, one that I had received during my freshman year at Washington University in St. Louis. Before I attended Purdue, I was a founding member of the Theta Beta chapter, and although Purdue did not have a Kappa Delta chapter at the time, I was so excited that one would be established the following fall. I explained this to her, and she told me that she is a Kappa Delta, too!
After talking with her for a while, I left feeling more optimistic than I had all day. Looking back, I think it was because of our Kappa Delta connection that I felt more comfortable and less nervous going into the Garmin interview than I did going into other interviews that semester. Ultimately, I ended up receiving an offer for a summer internship. That summer in Kansas City flew by, and I ended my internship feeling sad to leave a place that had begun to feel like home.
Soon after my internship ended, I received an offer from Garmin to start as a full-time software engineer following graduation. I am looking forward to reconnecting with friends and co-workers, and I have already reached out to the Kansas City Alumnae Chapter to meet other Kappa Deltas in the area.
Had I not gone to the Kappa Delta interest session my freshman year at Wash U, my story would be very different. Kappa Delta not only helped me make a connection to land the job, but it also gave me the confidence to pursue my dreams. I am thankful for the opportunities I’ve had by being a founding member of two Kappa Delta chapters and all of the amazing women I met along the way. For most of my life, I had felt nothing but worry and stress about what I was going to do and where I was going to go after graduation. Now, I am so excited to begin my journey. Kansas City, here I come!