Each month, Julia Levy '93 writes a new Career Zone column, focusing on another important aspect of career development and growth.
Julia explains, "I am very excited to be able to give back to the Drexel community with this monthly column. I will cover topics such as résumé development, salary negotiation, social networking and personal branding. I hope to address a variety of concerns and challenges the alumni community may be facing."
Julia encourages alumni feedback and welcomes questions, comments and suggestions for future topics.
Julia has a passion for recruiting and helping find the right people for the right job. Currently, she manages Talent Acquisition Operations for TIAA-CREF, a Fortune 100 financial services organization. At TIAA, she is helping to transform the recruiting function by optimizing processes, implementing creative tools and technologies and developing innovative talent strategies.
With more than 15 years experience in Human Resources, Julia believes that job seekers need to be educated on how employers think in order to be successful in finding a job or advancing in one's career. On the flip side, employers need to think more like a job seeker in order to find the best candidates and retain them.
Professional development is an ongoing process; whether or not you're looking for a new job, there are always opportunities for growth and improvement. Julia's column will touch upon broad topics which range from résumé-writing, to networking dos and don'ts, to how the latest technology can be used to enhance your personal brand.
Previously with MetLife, Julia had developed and implemented innovative sourcing strategies, programs and branding to acquire top talent and increase the visibility of MetLife in the marketplace. During her tenure there, Julia helped increase recruiting effectiveness and saved millions through the development and implementation of a centralized staffing strategy. She also managed relationships and negotiated contracts with external outsourcing, search firms, job board and advertising partners.
In her off hours, Julia's passion for travel has taken her to lands near and far. She lives in New York City and loves to play on her co-ed softball team Who's On First.
Julia Levy '93 realized early on that she wanted to go to college somewhere other than where she'd grown up in Florida, and that wherever she went, she wanted structure to help her stay focused on her education.
Julia knew she had found her fit when she learned about Drexel and its curriculum, which features the unique co-op experience. In fact, Julia liked what she found out about Drexel so much she made the decision to enroll without even visiting the campus.
While studying psychology, Julia found that she had a real interest in the career counseling classes that she took at Drexel.
"My co-op classes about career development really appealed to me and with my interest in psychology, I began thinking about going to graduate school and becoming a career counselor to help others find career direction," Julia said.
It was during her graduate studies at Georgia State University that she found she had a particular liking for business courses. Once again, she began thinking about how she could combine all of her interests into the perfect career choice for her.
Shortly after graduating from Georgia State, Julia started the company Employability, a consulting firm that specialized in recruiting and HR projects.
With Employability, Julia advised organizations on recruiting best practices and sourcing methods. Her company helped mid level organizations develop recruiting strategies and train their recruiting staffs. One of Julia's clients was so impressed with her strategic ideas that they asked her to join their team to help them take their human resource initiatives to the next level. This was the beginning of Julia's corporate career.
After a string of other positions specializing in staffing, consulting and human resources, Julia took a position with MetLife as a Senior Strategic Staffing Manager.
"In my position, I partnered with senior executives to develop sourcing strategies to find top talent for key corporate positions. I also revamped and managed our recruitment vender relationships which helped save the company millions of dollars," Julia said.
During her time in the position, Julia started working with the corporate employment brand. First, she updated the corporate career section on the external Web site. Julia began to realize that she had a true passion for branding and communications. She embraced this realization.
"I began looking for projects that enabled me to focus on communications and branding because I was really interested in it," she said. "In a sense, I began to recreate my job."
Julia did this by indentifying needs, and suggesting solutions. By focusing on recruitment branding, employee communications and marketing needs, Julia stayed within the realm of her human resources position, while at the same time incorporating her passion for communications.
For example, Julia took charge of how the company communicated to external candidates. She rebranded and revamped the corporate recruiting materials and created a CD that can be handed out to candidates instead of utilizing printed materials. She also developed an enterprise-wide employee referral program (ERP) which enabled employees to refer trusted friends for difficult-to-fill positions. Julia created a contest to help launch and brand the program, further developing her communication skills.
Eventually Julia changed positions at MetLife and became a Senior Communications Manager. In that role, she worked within the MetLife enterprise to provide strategic communication counsel, project management, writing and marketing expertise.
One project she was extremely proud of was the launch of MetLife's Green Resource Center, an internal Web site she created to educate employees on corporate green initiatives and to give employees ideas on how they can live and work 'green'.
In 2010, Julia was laid-off from MetLife. She used that time to practice what she preached and some of her job search experiences are documented in her Career Zone articles. She now manages Talent Acquisition Operations for TIAA-CREF.