Six Recently Hired Seattleites Tell Us How They Landed Their Jobs

From Starbucks to Zillow, these locals share how they snagged their dream jobs
Brent Downey, a senior manager at Zillow, the fast-growing online real estate marketplace, photographed at company headquarters in Seattle

Senior Manager, Client Engagement, Zillow
Brent Downey
Months on the job: 4
Previous job: Onboarding manager at Amazon
How did you learn about the job? LinkedIn
Why do you think you landed the job? Demonstrated bias for action in delivering results on customer engagement initiatives.
Where do you hope this job will take you? I hope to find innovative ways to delight our customers, providing the most favorable customer experience for real estate agents who advertise on Zillow.

Photography Studio Supervisor, Zulily
Meredith James
Months on the job: 7
Previous job: Photography producer, Studio N, Nordstrom
How did you find this job? I researched multiple companies for several months before applying. I knew I needed a creative studio environment and desired a young, thriving company, one filled with passion and purpose. I spoke to freelance contractors that had worked at Zulily, asking about structure, spirit and silliness. Zulily had all the components I was looking for.
Why do you think you were able to land this job? I came in confident, having worked in photo studios for many years, and managed multiple groups of creative types. I was thoughtful in my interviews, honest and up front. I told each manager I interviewed with that if I didn’t get the job I would be back week after week, applying with persistence until I was hired.
Where do you hope this job takes you? I love coming to work every day, inspiring the creative teams, connecting with our moms and kids and watching magic happen all around me. Rather than thinking about where this job is going to take me, I think where can I take this position and company?
(Photo: Meredith James supervises a photo shoot at the daily deal website Zulily, which went public last November. Photograped at the company’s SoDo offices)

Barista, Starbucks
Anna Carson
Months on the job: 8
Previous job: Homemaker, 15 years
How she did she learn about this job? Last year she moved with her husband and three children to the Seattle area and set her first sights on working for Starbucks. She began her job search by introducing herself and asking about jobs at a few downtown locations.
Why does she think she landed the job? “Persistence. I returned a couple times because that’s what my dad and mom taught me.”
Where does she hope this job will take her? Right now, she’s just happy to have the job and, in particular, the benefits that Starbucks offers to part-time employees. Her husband has his own business, so it’s a big help.
(Photo by Meryl Alcabes: Anna Carson outside Starbucks SoDo headquarters, where she is a barista)

Senior Product Manager, Expedia

Eric Brown
Months on the job: 3
Previous job: Running marketing and operations for an online financial services company (ValueAppeal).
How did you find this job? I had been following Expedia for a while. I was looking for an opportunity to build cool, innovative products on a global scale. It was important for me to work in an entrepreneurial and collaborative environment with smart and motivated people. When I saw this position posted on LinkedIn I was intrigued and immediately wanted to learn more.
Why do you think you were able to land this job? Having a good network, the right experience and skills are key. I think one of the main reasons that I was hired was that it was a great cultural fit. At Expedia, you have to be a self-starter and passionate about both travel and what you do. You can be the smartest person in the room, but if you don’t have passion it will be challenging to succeed here.
Where do you hope this job takes you? That’s a tough one. In the short term, I’m hoping to get up to speed on the company and the industry, and deliver some solid wins. Long-term the sky is the limit…literally, I know I will be using my travel perks. We’re in a trillion-dollar global travel market, and the opportunities are massive. Building innovative products with great people makes it exciting to come to work.
(Photo by Hayley Young: Eric Brown, who joined Expedia last year as a senior product manager, was one of 800 people hired by the company in 2013. Photographed here at Expedia in Bellevue)

Staff Nurse, Swedish

Lauren Munechika

Months on the job:
Previous job:
Graduated from school [Seattle University] in June 2012; started at Swedish in August.
How did you learn about the job?
I heard about the New Grad Residency Program at Swedish through a friend who graduated a year before me and went through the program. She had great things to say about Swedish, the residency program and her unit, and she recommended that I apply.
Why do you think you landed the job?
Although I was an excellent student, I think my friend’s personal recommendation to my manager was a major factor in getting an interview and eventually getting hired. Knowing someone in the system was a huge
advantage for which I’m very grateful.
Where do you hope this job will take you?
Eventually, I would love to go back to school to continue my education. For now, I love where I am, and I’m enjoying gaining experience at the bedside.
(Photo by Hayley Young: Recent nursing school grad Lauren Munechika was referred by a friend to her job as a staff nurse for Swedish Medical Center, photographed at the Swedish Orthopedic Institute on First Hill)

Salesperson, Nordstrom

Margo Kolpin
Months on the job: 5
Previous job: Legal assistant in a downtown Seattle bankruptcy law firm
How did you find out about the job? I’ve had many friends who have worked for Nordstrom, so I’ve been able to learn a lot about the company and its opportunities through them. The Nordstrom careers site was also an extremely helpful tool for me as an applicant.
Why do you think you were able to land this job? I have always wanted to have a career in sales and really wanted to be a part of a company that truly puts the customer first. I think I was able to demonstrate that in my interview. I also think my degree in communication studies from the University of Montana was really helpful.
Where do you hope this job takes you? I would love to grow with Nordstrom. So far, it has been an awesome company to work for. Working in a Nordstrom management position is my next goal.
(Photo: Salesperson Margo Kolpin dressing a mannequin in the men’s department at Nordstrom downtown)

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