The lives of two Baylor seniors changed forever as they were surprised by their corporate mentor with full-time job offers from AT&T in the middle of a class.
Caddo Mills senior Ashley Rich and Sulphur Springs senior Sarah Rost both interned at AT&T’s Dallas headquarters this summer in the HR department — Rich working with attendance operations and HR technology, and Rost as a member of the business partners program.
Scott Smith, a Baylor grad and the girls’ corporate mentor from AT&T, surprised them during their business class out of the blue on Aug. 31, first asking them to explain briefly what they did this summer and then inviting them to the front of the class to offer full-time HR positions at AT&T.
“AT&T is great — I love the way they treat and value their employees,” Rich said. “It’s been a weight lifted off my shoulders to know that I have a job locked down after graduation, especially a job at such an amazing company. This summer was an amazing experience, and I didn’t want to leave. The opportunity to go back to AT&T is an incredible feeling.”
Rich and Rost both met Smith at Baylor’s professional meet and greet HR event in the fall and sent him and other AT&T representatives thank you notes, a move that led the girls to build a relationship with the company and land internships with a valuable corporate mentor.
“Keep an open mind and value relationships,” Rich said. “Invest in your relationships and network with the people around you — your education can only take you so far, but your relationships will take you further. If no one knows that you have a skill set, they can’t put you in the right direction to use it.”
Rich hopes to pursue a career that would allow her to give back to others, and sees the business school at Baylor as a valuable part of what led to her success professionally.
“My dream job would be any position where I can give back to others and make an impact on someone else’s life,” Rich said. “There were several times this summer that my supervisor would be talking about something, and I would be able to relate that back to something I’ve learned in class. The business school did a great job preparing me with topics and trends in the workplace, and how to handle myself professionally.”
Rost said her internship with AT&T was an important practical, real-world experience for her, noting how she learned from working on personal projects, building relationships and asking questions of HR professionals and sitting in on meetings. She also expressed gratitude for how Baylor’s business school prepared her for this experience.
“When it comes to how to communicate professionally and how to go the extra mile with communication, the business school has done a great job helping with that,” Rost said. “Scott wouldn’t be my mentor if I hadn’t followed up with an email — I was literally in a class that semester that told me to send a follow up within 24 hours.”
Rost said her faith has helped her in choosing a career field that is the right fit for her and hopes to one day be a college recruiter for companies or in a position that allows her to give back to others.
“Scott changed my life when he walked in and extended a full-time job offer, so getting to do the same for other students would be awesome,” Rost said. “I would love to be able to do for someone what was done for me — I had dreamed of AT&T for so long.”
Rost encourages students looking to succeed academically at Baylor and professionally in the world beyond to value hard work and stay dedicated to what you’re passionate about.
“I really believe that all it takes to be successful is to put in grit and effort and hard work,” Rost said. “Naturally, I might not be the smartest person, but I’m willing to go however many extra miles it takes to be successful. If you’re willing to allocate your time effectively and study the way you’re supposed to and learn from people, that is the easiest way to be successful — it all comes down to you.”