Trolling the UGA Career Center’s job board sparked a chain reaction that turned a summer internship for Jason Schwartz into a full-time job with Marathon Petroleum after graduation.
“After seeing it on DAWGlink [UGA’s job board], I went to the Marathon corporate website and researched the company,” he says. “The company brings a lot of corporate responsibility to the places where it operates. For example, Marathon is trying to help eliminate malaria in Guinea, and it’s made a huge impact there. It really shows that it's a company committed not just to dollars but committed to people.“
Buoyed by his research, Schwartz applied and was selected for an on-campus meeting to interview for a summer internship.
“I asked them at the end of the interview, what’s the typical turnaround time for a response, and is there anything else I can do to help push myself through the door?” he says. “They said it was typically a few weeks.’”
Schwartz later learned that he had been recommended for the internship within a day and received his offer within a couple weeks.
Schwartz was based out of Marathon’s southern territory office in Duluth, Ga., where he was a Brand Marketing intern. His responsibilities included working on the website, developing a billboard advertising campaign, and developing a coffee promotion campaign. His job also included cold-calling prospects.
Nothing he did to open those initial doors was all that different from the typical internship experience, but the level of initiative Schwartz showed on the job made an impression that led to his job offer.
Schwartz says his manager had told him on the first day of his internship to bring forward any good ideas he comes up with on any topic. He took him at his word.
“They are an incredibly inclusive, open-minded organization,” Schwartz says. “The whole micromanagement thing doesn’t exist in the company.”
Part of his internship experience had him working with the company’s “gridding” process, which involves analyzing existing gas stations under consideration for conversion to the Marathon Petroleum brand. It includes gathering competitive intelligence, which normally means working in the field to review competing gas stations nearby and reviewing the physical attributes of the individual station under consideration for conversion.
”Prior to my initiative for a gridding procedural change, each district conducted their gridding differently,“ he says. Schwartz helped standardize the gridding process and even crafted a procedural guide, which Marathon has since adopted.
Schwartz said the “everyone matters” concept is ever-present now that he is a full-time employee. Schwartz graduated at the end of fall semester 2010 with a double major in marketing and French and went straight into a management training program. After a recent companywide employee meeting, Marathon’s senior vice president of marketing called him out by name.
“He was like, ‘Oh, how was graduation at the University of Georgia?’” Schwartz recalls. “This is a family company. It really is, and you‘re not going to find that at too many other companies.”