During Hamilton’s winter break, students had the opportunity to take part in the Career Center’s “Day in the Life” shadowing program to learn more about career areas and make professional connections. Seventy-nine alumni and parents hosted 69 students for a day at their place of work.  Alex Medina ’22 shadowed Hamilton parent Eric Andrews at Oracle headquarters in Silicon Valley and tells about his experience here.

As a literature major, I never anticipated I’d be exploring the headquarters of a major computer software company in Silicon Valley. Even so, I found myself diving into the world of marketing at a multinational technology corporation thanks to the help of Hamilton’s vast alumni and parent network and the Career Center’s “A Day in the Life” shadowing program. 

I connected with Eric Andrews, vice president of demand operations for Oracle Corporation’s Infrastructure Group, because his daughters Sarah ’14 and Charlotte ’17 had attended Hamilton. Through the program, I arranged a date during winter break to shadow Andrews and learn what a career in his field is all about.                                

Alex Medina ’22

Intended majors: Hispanic studies and literature

Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif.

High School: Bravo Medical Magnet High School

read about other students' career exploration experiences

I started the day early, at 8 a.m., after arriving at Oracle HQ and meeting Andrews. As he began to brief me on his plans for the day, I realized that I couldn’t have picked a better day to come. Not only would I get to sit-in on various meetings, but I’d also be able to interact with several of his colleagues while learning about how everyone in the office collaborates. 

After learning about Andrews’ changing career over the years and the many roles he fills in his current position, we headed to a nearby office for an hour-long meeting with his colleagues in the marketing department. A quick recap of the previous year’s performance was given before everyone went over their current projects and goals to accomplish going into the new year. I also sat in on another quick meeting in which Andrews reviewed the department’s budget for the coming two quarters. 

After the two meetings, Andrews introduced me to several of his coworkers, who were very open to discussing their work at the company. This enabled me to get a grasp of the breadth of different roles and career opportunities available at major companies. The diversity of paths everyone took to get to their current positions at Oracle made it clear to me that part of a person’s success in the work force ultimately depends on one’s own personal initiative. 

I was treated to a wonderful send-off lunch as someone in the office was moving on to a new position. It was honestly amazing to see how friendly everyone in the office was and how fluid careers are becoming nowadays as opportunities to grow become more widely available. We shared many laughs as I heard interesting stories from over the years before heading back to the office. 

The diversity of paths everyone took to get to their current positions at Oracle made it clear to me that part of a person’s success in the work force ultimately depends on one’s own personal initiative. 

Andrews and I finished off the day by meeting with his supervisor, Jim Gargan, senior vice president of marketing for Oracle’s Converged Infrastructure group. One of Andrews’ colleagues across the country joined the meeting to present a marketing video for Oracle’s Sales Central, a portal that provides access to curated sales content for company partners. Seeing the video was the perfect culmination to the day since I got to see work being done at the department as presented through the lens of a marketer. 

Although I’m still unclear on what path I plan to follow upon graduation, this experience got me very interested in possibly pursuing a career in marketing. The Career Center has been such a huge help in helping me utilize the many opportunities available through Hamilton’s extensive networks. Even without a steady path, I know that I’m exploring the possibilities. 

View the slideshow to see other Hamilton students’ shadowing experiences.

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