Leanna Zimmerman, ’15, planned to start her job hunt closer to graduation in May, but an ordinary day of waitressing gave her a head start.
Zimmerman worked for three and a half years as a waitress at Chili’s while studying marketing at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith. She went to work that November day that seemed like any other when she served a table that would start her professional career.
At that table sat the USA Truck Dallas branch manager. She spoke with him like she did other customers; they talked about school and her plans after graduation.
Impressed with Zimmerman’s upselling and business tactics, the branch manager offered her an interview for an account manager position in Dallas.
“I was excited but I tried not to let it show. I didn’t want to seem weird, but then I went back into the kitchen and told everyone about it,” she said.
On Dec. 15,Zimmerman travelled to Dallas for her interview where she was offered the position.
“He looked at me as I was walking out and said, “OK, you have a job right out of college. You have nothing to worry about now,’” she said.
The first person Zimmerman called was her mother, whom she felt obliged to thank for being supportive throughout her life.
When asked what she could relate from school to the position, Zimmerman pointed out that attending UAFS helped prepare her professionally for those moments.
Having been trained in the corporate office in Van Buren, Arkansas, Zimmerman now resides in Dallas working as the account manager for the sales branch at USA Truck.