Cruz is driven to succeed
When business major Julia Cruz, ’16, entered the Corporate Connections Panel last spring, she was looking forward to garnering advice from local businesses and making a connection or two. It was her day off, but she dressed professionally, sat in the front row and paid close attention to the discussion.
The panel, comprised of representatives from seven participating affiliates, included Kevin Kolb, the Atlanta director for Rick Case Automotive Group.
“When it was time for questions, Julia was the first to raise her hand. Afterward, she inquired about job opportunities for women in the automotive field. I was so impressed with her enthusiasm and resumé; I asked her to come in for an interview the next day,” Kolb said.
Cruz was hired as the Atlanta marketing administrator and led digital marketing and social media efforts. She quickly transitioned to a brand specialist position at Audi Gwinnett.
“I shifted from marketing to sales after falling in love with the automotive industry. I want to be front and center selling the product, rather than behind the scenes with marketing,” Cruz said. “Georgia Gwinnett College was critical for my preparation to go into the workforce. The professors and mentors provided me with amazing leadership, valuable advice and world-class education. Everyone at GGC truly cares about you as a person and motivates you to maximize your potential.”
Rick Case Automotive has supported the GGC Corporate Affiliates Program from the beginning.
“We have been so impressed with how motivated GGC students are to join the workforce, but equally impressed with the faculty of GGC and their commitment to helping the students succeed,” Kolb said. “We are so proud to be connected to GGC. Working together, growing our workforce and engaging students in the next part of their career is a priority for us. Julia is a prime example of how successful the program can be. She is a superstar!”
In the inaugural pilot of the Corporate Affiliates Program, more than 10 GGC students have been hired or interviewed with participating companies.
“I am a firm believer that every single person you meet represents an opportunity to learn and grow as a person,” Cruz said as she reflected on her experiences. “And boy, was I right!”
Read more about the college, its student and alumni in GGC's Engage Magazine.