If you work in an office, have a home computer or have used a computer in a public place, chances are that you used Dell equipment.
One of the largest providers of technology products and services on earth, Dell employs over 100,000 people worldwide.
One of those people is Brittany Podolak (’98, MSBA) who joined the company in 1999 and currently serves as the executive director of talent acquisition in the Americas.
Podolak came to SDSU seven years after earning her bachelor’s degree in marketing from Southern Methodist University.
“I always knew I would go to graduate school at some point,” Podolak said. “In 1995, I was offered the opportunity by Computer Task Group to come to California to lead staffing for their West Coast office. I’d always thought highly of SDSU and after researching the program and its engagement with the local business community, I moved to San Diego and applied to SDSU.”
During her time at SDSU, Podolak excelled — she joined the SDSU chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma international honor society and landed a plum internship with Cox Communications.
This internship project was headed by former SDSU management professor, Dr. Jai Ghorpade and Jerry Edge, who was a human resources manager at Solar Turbines. After graduation, Podolak applied for and accepted a position as a human resources (HR) generalist with Solar Turbines in San Diego.
After being there only one year, Podolak was recruited by Dell Inc. to work in their corporate headquarters in Austin, Texas. How they learned about her or came across her resume is still a mystery. “I’m not sure how Dell came upon my resume,” said Podolak. “It was 1999 — long before the days of prolific social media and LinkedIn.” Nevertheless, Dell interviewed her for two positions within the human resources department and within a week, she was offered one of those positions.
After 13 years and several moves up the corporate ladder, Podolak leads a team of over 200 HR professionals who source, recruit, screen and hire approximately 8,000 — 10,000 new employees for Dell each year in the United States, Canada and Latin America.
She attributes her success within the organization as “being open to new experiences, embracing change and keeping an ‘outside-in’ perspective”
Podolak goes high-tech when offering advice to today’s SDSU student: “Embrace and be an expert in social media,” she said. “If you determine something is worth doing, then it is worth doing badly at the beginning. Set your destination points and celebrate your milestones, but submit to the fact that the journey never ends.”
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