In this edition of Wildcats at Work we caught up with 2014 grad, Parker Houston, to talk about life as a student-athlete and landing his first job at TEKsystems.
Name: Parker Houston
Major: Business Management
Graduation Year: 2014
Current Position: Recruiter
OK, Parker, tell us a bit about your background and your Arizona experience.
I grew up playing all sports but decided to move forward with golf when I was 14. My parents both attended U of A, so when I would play tournaments in Tucson, my dad and I would always try to make it to a U of A basketball or football game, depending on the season. After attending those first few games, I knew I wanted to follow my parents and play golf there someday. U of A had a number of talented golfers from their program, and they had one of the best business schools in the country.
Were there any lessons you learned from UA that you can share with us?
As all student-athletes can most likely attest to, the biggest lesson for me was time management. I grew up an only child and I played an individual sport, so I was used to doing things on my own. Now, I was in college and part of a Division 1 college golf program. My coaches were pushing me to practice more, schoolwork called for me to study more, and my friends pushed for me to have more fun. It was a delicate balance that took a little time for me to figure out what combination was going to help me be successful in golf and school.
What was your first gig out of college?
I turned professional and played for just over a year. It was a great experience for me and something I’m very proud of. However, I decided that it was not a career path I wanted to take. I decided to start looking for jobs, and eventually ended up landing a job as an IT recruiter for TEKsystems.
How did you go about getting that job?
I actually found out about the company and the role from Ana Montoya, who played soccer at U of A. She said she loved it so she got me set up for an interview with one of our internal recruiters. A few interviews later, I received the offer to start with them.
What is a typical day like for you?
I usually get up at 5 a.m. to go work out so I can come back, eat breakfast and get to the office a little after 7. I jump right into work. I start with gathering a plan for my day and how I’ll need to attack it. I have a number of calls and meetings with IT professionals all over Phoenix. My job is to place the most talented IT professionals from around the country with our top Fortune 500 clients here in Phoenix. Typically, I’ll leave the office around 6 every night.
How is your work-life balance?
A typical week is between 52-55 hours, so time management and efficiency are the keys. On the weekends, I like to be outdoors and active. The hiking here in Phoenix is incredible, and I’ll try to attend some sporting events as well. I’ll still get out to play some golf, too!
Any advice for students wanting to break into your field?
The three words that stand in the front of our office at TEKsystems are: Selfless, Grateful, Hungry. Those three qualities are ones I try to live by and traits that will carry anyone pretty far in life. If those are three values that you see in yourself, then you can become an incredibly successful recruiter. TEKsystems has over 100 offices nationwide, and we are growing nationally, especially here in Phoenix! Check out our website if you’re interested: teksystems.com