The career path of Remington Pate suggests two truths for job hunting in the 21st century: 1. Be willing to switch positions if the offer is right; and 2. Keep your LinkedIn profile current. Pate, a December 2016 graduate, has some solid experience changing jobs in the last three years.
While at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith, Pate had the prestigious First Bank Corp Scholarship. A business major, he said he chose UAFS because it has AACSB accreditation. Although the scholarship meant he didn’t have to work, and although he participated in many time-consuming campus activities like Student Leadership Council, and although he graduated a semester early, Pate knew he wanted to get his foot in the door at ArcBest because it’s “one of the premier places to work in Fort Smith.” So when he had a chance to start as an intern there, he jumped at it.
He worked at ArcBest throughout his college career until the summer before graduation when he went to Quicken Loans in Detroit for what Fortune Magazine called one of the five best internships in the country. He loved the experience, and he was fascinated by the differences between the 100-year-old publicly-traded transportation company and the recent startup, a private company with a “Googlesque” culture.
He received a job offer from Quicken Loans, which he thought was enticing, but he returned to ArcBest for a full-time position as a “cultural architect” through the rest of 2016 and 2017.
After about a year, he went to Muncie, Ind.-based Retriever Merchant Solutions, which provides payment services, as a regional sales manager for about a year. Then he went to USA Truck. While he was at USA Truck, an RPO (a recruitment process outsourcing company) reached out to him on LinkedIn. Los Angeles-based Korn Ferry, which had just landed a contract to provide corporate recruiting for WalMart, hired him to recruit for the Bentonville-based retailer. He recruited for WalMart for almost a year and a half.
Recently, his LinkedIn profile scored another win when Boston-based Wayfair reached out to him. Wayfair, he said, is growing at around 40 percent year over year both in sales and in people. He will be part of a field launch recruiting team, helping the company to staff up new warehouses and fulfillment facilities.
“Basically, we go in four or five months ahead of an opening and hire all the people they will need to launch it,” Pate said. “Then once it is launched and up and running, there is a recruiter who stays onsite to backfill positions. We just get it launched, and we go on to the next location.”
Pate said there is no open time between launches. Once one is open, the next is ready for recruiting.
“It’s a little unreal,” he acknowledged. “Just from a people perspective, its growth is kind of insane. But one of the reasons I chose to join the Wayfair family was that recruiting plays a role that is integral to its growth and success.”
An observer might wonder what it’s like for a young man of 24 to be so rootless, moving from Arkansas to Indiana to Arkansas to Bentonville and now to Boston with three month stays anywhere in the country. But the observer need not worry.
Pate hasn’t left Arkansas at all. He works remotely from home as needed.
“I’ve always loved Fort Smith, and this whole time I wanted to be in Fort Smith. I like big city life, but my family is here, and I love Fort Smith and what it’s doing,” he said.
“I feel like you either can be plugged in and be the change you want to see in this city, or you can run. But if you leave, it’s never going to change. I want to be part of a community, to implement as much good change as we can and build the city we want. Things are already happening, and I want to be part of the process.”
Remington is married to a fellow alum Kristen Mootry Pate, ’18. They met while both were still at UAFS, where Kristen was on the basketball team. She teaches middle school in Alma.
Pate believes that changing jobs can be a useful way to build a career. “It’s all about finding your own path,” he said.
“As a recruiter, I would never discount someone’s resume just because they’ve had a bunch of jobs,” he said. “Sometimes, going outside your company is the only way to get promoted. And you add something to your skill set at every job.
“When I got recruited for this job, they wanted someone with corporate recruiting experience, and with some transportation logistics recruiting experience. My career path set me up for the job I have now. I believe everything happens for a reason, and when I see something that looks like it might be a good opportunity for my family and me, I’m going to look at it.
“I want to take on new challenges and always feel like my career is challenging me and helping me grow professionally and personally.”