Joshua Schostak, MM '15
For many students with a passion for the arts, sciences, or engineering, a lack of business education can make the difference between landing a good job and a great one. Combining a creative background with the Ross MM Program gives students like Joshua Schostak a clear path to their dream career.
Joshua’s entrepreneurial spirit sparked in high school, when he ran his own business, a bagel delivery company serving dozens of his neighbors in Huntington Woods, Mich. After graduation, he earned a certificate in entrepreneurship but devoted his bachelor’s degree to political science, with the goal of continuing his education in law school. However, Joshua’s passion for entrepreneurship persisted, and the MM Program emerged as his new next step. “It was a really great opportunity to complement those business skills I didn’t receive in an educational setting, and I thought they would prove very valuable for me in the future,” he says.
When it came time for the job search, Joshua looked within himself — and mostly off-campus — to identify what he wanted out of a great career and how to land it. One of his key takeaways in that process was the power of selling yourself. “Leverage your personal network, and be your own best advocate. No one else is going to be able to advocate for yourself more than you can.”
Joshua also can’t overstate the importance of preparing for recruiting season. “Identify what companies you want to work for, and the functions within those companies that best complement your skill set and will allow you to be your best. Once you start in the summer, you don’t really realize how fast recruiting season comes.”
On the recruitment front, Joshua received multiple interviews and offers in the consumer packaged goods industry, from giants like Kraft and PepsiCo to new ventures like a cold-brew coffee startup. Ultimately, he chose to join the Management Development Program at E. & J. Gallo Winery, which provides a foundation in consumer goods sales and sales management as a lead-in to a career in field marketing management. “Gallo is the No. 1 leader (in wine and spirits), and their training is second to none. You’re being trained by the best in the industry, it’s extremely dynamic, and there’s a real career path carved out. I know when I’ll be promoted, and if I work harder and faster, then I’ll get promoted even faster.”
In contrast to his self-directed career search, the cohort-based classroom experience of the MM Program was a unique highlight for Joshua. “You interact with 40 to 50 other students in the exact same position as you, in a non-judgmental, less competitive environment because we all come from a non-business background. I think putting (my non-business) skills to use along with everything I’ve learned and the people I met will be really invaluable in the future.”