How I Chose My Career in Recruiting #MyCareerStoryMonday

Name: Ashley Fleming

Class Year: 2017

Major: Information Design and Corporate Communication (IDCC), with a minor in psychology

Position: Recruiting Associate

Company: AC Lion



I started thinking about my recruiting career when I was in high school. Every since my first job in high school at a doctor’s office, I’ve always had office jobs, so the same was true of my work experiences during college.  Two of my summer internships turned into part-time jobs throughout the school year, so by the time I graduated I felt as though I truly had full working experiences, instead of just short 3 month summer stints. Although the types of companies I worked for varied (fintech with Eagle Investment Systems, mechanical construction with TG Gallagher, and machine learning technology with Persado), I always had public relations, marketing, or communications titles. I loved anything that had to do with crafting an image and broadcasting it to the world, and was fortunate enough to work under three different amazing female bosses at each of my jobs throughout college.

(Fun fact, the recent Bentley Center for Women and Business & Eagle Investment Systems partnership was a relationship born out of a brainstorming session I was a part of while interning at Eagle!)

I became interested in recruiting from my involvement at Bentley. I had been applying for public relations, event planning, and marketing jobs, but when I thought back to the experiences I had in college that I loved the most, they included being a tour guide for Bentley and being part of my sorority (especially my heavy involvement in our recruiting and new member process). When I thought more about it, I also realized that the aspects that I liked best about the jobs I’d had – talking to people, representing a brand, helping others – were recruiting related. So I started applying for recruiting companies and ended up at AC Lion!

I find the most rewarding aspect of my position is being able to help people! Knowing that you can play a role in a candidate finding his or her dream job or a client discovering the perfect addition to their team is a wonderful feeling. And it’s the little things too – hearing the excitement in someone’s voice when they’re interested in an opportunity or simply getting a thank you note is always rewarding.

I find the most challenging aspect of my position is being able to put all the pieces together. We always have 100+ jobs open at any given time and thousands of candidates in our system, so I’m constantly trying to draw parallels to see where someone’s experience could align with the requirements of a role. As the most junior recruiter at AC Lion right now, I’m constantly learning about and attempting to keep up with the vast and ever-changing world of digital media (and trying to remember it all!).

The most helpful advice I have for someone preparing for this career is when you’re applying to jobs, check out recruitment coordinator roles in addition to entry level recruiter roles. A lot of recruiting firms employ a “sink or swim” mentality when it comes to hiring straight out of school, and that boiler room style is not the environment for everyone (I knew it wasn’t for me!). At AC Lion I was a coordinator for a year, which gave me the opportunity to learn about the digital media space and to be involved in everyone else’s processes so I could pick up strategies and styles from them before diving in myself.

The Bentley specific resources I would recommend to someone pursuing this career are IDCC356. Honestly I think everyone at Bentley should be required to take this course (Crisis Communications) because you pick a company and are presented with real-world type crises that the professor comes up with (examples from my class included a Spotify data hack and Crest White Stripes causing teeth to fall out). Throughout the entire semester you’re tasked with crafting press releases, putting together presentations, and answering impromptu questions at mock press conferences.   It’s a phenomenal class that forces you to step outside your comfort zone, communicate effectively with others, and learn how to handle uncomfortable situations – all skills that have served me well so far in this career!

The person that was most helpful in getting me where I am today was everyone at career services. Thank you for all that you do – there are so many things that Bentley does for students to prepare them professionally that we take for granted when we’re in school. As a recruiter, you’d be amazed how many rough resumes and LinkedIn profiles, limp handshakes, and awkward business conversations I see. When I think of all the career fairs, networking events, interview preps, and career development courses I had the opportunity to take, I realize how prepared I was to enter the real world and I’m super grateful for that. A big shout out to you Bentley!

If you’re interested in pursuing a career with AC Lion, or you’d like to learn more about the company click here. Also, be sure to connect with Ashley on LinkedIn if you want to learn more from her!

By Rachel Linehan
Rachel Linehan CareerEdge Manager