Young Professional Spotlight: Chris Gamcik

The future looks bright, we promise!

Here at pittstopblog, we understand how frustrating and confusing life out of college can be. When your post-college plans don’t go exactly as you imagined, it can be tempting to give up hope. For that reason, we are reaching out to young professionals who inspire us and asking them to share their stories and advice for all of you out there trying to start your careers.

Check out our Q&A with Chris Gamcik, a University of Pittsburgh alumni beginning his career as a Merchandising Trainee at Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Name: Chris Gamcik

Age: 22

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Education: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) from the University of Pittsburgh. Major in Finance and minor in Economics

Interests & Passions: Sports, Business, Music, Working out

Occupation: Merchandising Trainee at Dick’s Sporting Goods

PS: How did you find out about this position?

CG: A few older friends that I made at Pitt were actually hired at DSG in the same position or in various other capacities. They would always tell me how great of a company it was to work for and how much they loved it there, so I decided to research available positions. I went to an on-campus recruiting event to connect with some recruiters and it’s all history from there.

PS: Tell us about the interview process.

CG: The interview process began upon first contact I made with a recruiter at the on-campus recruiting event; you must make a good first impression and make the recruiters remember you.  From there, I kept in touch until I got my first interview, which was on-campus. I made it to the next round of interviews, which was a two-day process.  All of the final candidates stayed at a hotel near the headquarters and went out for dinner, including a tour of Pittsburgh. The following morning consisted of two interviews with upper level associates and a guided tour of the headquarters with an associate in the job that we were interviewing for.

PS: What do you think you did to make them want to hire you?

CG: I think that my hard work in school and strong resume were definitely factors. However, I feel that my fit with the company was the most important factor. DSG is a company filled with young, highly motivated individuals that are passionate about sports. My passion for sports/business fit what the company is looking for in young professionals and ultimately led to me being hired at DSG.

PS: What have you learned in your first few months in the real world?

CG: It has only been three months but I have already learned enough for a few years.

  1. Arrive early.  The saying “15 minutes early is on time, and on time is late” is more relevant now than ever before.
  2. Be respectful and polite to everyone. You are constantly making an impression with your peers and coworkers. Perception is reality, so be sure they perceive you positively.
  3. Building skills takes time, so don’t get frustrated when you don’t know everything your first day. You got the job, so the company obviously has faith in you.  Just act like a sponge and soak up as much information as possible.
  4. Find your work-life balance. Yes, work is extremely important. However, so is finding the time to hang out and relax with your family and friends, old and new.

PS: What made you want to begin your career in Pittsburgh?

CG: I have lived in Pittsburgh my entire life. To quote Andrew Carnegie, “Pittsburgh entered the core of my heart when I was a boy and cannot be torn out.” My passion for the city and the opportunity at DSG ultimately combined to create the ideal starting point of my career.

PS: What are your professional goals?

CG: My first professional goal would be rising through the corporate ranks of DSG. Following that, I would love to venture out on my own and start a financial advising company for athletes (think The Rock in “Ballers”) or return to Pitt and work in the athletic department there in some capacity.

PS: What advice do you have for other young people trying to start their careers?

CG: The most important advice is to get involved in college. Nowadays, everyone has good grades and other typical resume fillers. Get involved with something that will differentiate you from the crowd. For me, that thing was being a manager for the Pitt Men’s Basketball team. Pursue something that you are actually passionate about and do not get discouraged. Finding a job is intimidating and difficult. You will most likely get a few job declines and even no responses before you are hired. I was not hired at DSG on my first attempt, but I kept trying and maintained contact. A few months down the road, my persistence paid off and I finally got the job. If you really are passionate about the job/career that you are pursuing, do not get discouraged and keep plugging away. You never know when the opportunity will present itself, so always remain positive and be prepared.

To learn more about Chris, connect with him on LinkedIn.

Do you know an inspiring young professional we should spotlight? Drop us a line!

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