Air Force Veteran Receives Life-Changing Advice from Career Center

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Carlson School offers lifelong career development support for alumni, no matter how many years removed they may be from graduation.

Young John

“We have strong relationships with our alumni, and we love to see them back in the school. We allow alumni to schedule an annual appointment, where we can assist with a resume refresh, LinkedIn profile review, job search strategy, and other career-related needs,” says Mindy Deardurff, director of the Undergraduate Business Career Center.

In 1973, John Henrickson, ’68 BSB, returned to the United States following a five-year tour with the U.S. Air Force with plans to begin a career in marketing. To get a refresher on the do’s and don’ts of the job search, he met with Jan Windmeier, an advisor from the career services office at the Carlson School. 

Windmeier provided feedback on his resume, gave job interview tips, and connected him with prospective employers. Most importantly, the advisor encouraged Henrickson to consider a position in sales, despite his reluctance to enter that particular field.

“I said I was open to just about any industry, but I didn’t want anything to do with sales,” he says. “But she was quite convincing. She set me up with an initial interview with IBM, and six interviews later I had a job offer.”

John Henrickson

Henrickson recently retired after a 28-year career with IBM. Although he may have started in sales, he advanced to hold marketing and general management positions like area director of marketing and support, country general manager IBM Hong Kong, and VP of emerging markets IBM Global Services. And it all started from that first sales job, which he nearly overlooked.

Looking back, he’s grateful for the support his alma mater offered.

“I’ve always said that the single most important thing that happened to me was opening the aperture, and considering sales,” he says. “I was able to have a great career and it was all because she convinced me that position was going to be a good match for me, and the right starting point for a career with IBM.”

Do you have an incredible career story? Submit your experience to