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Turnitin Employees' First Jobs Out of University

Our Turnitin teammates share about their first gigs after graduating from university.

Ben Tarkoff

Summertime is an important part of the year for all of us. Whether playing grill master at a backyard cookout or launching a surprise water balloon attack on an unsuspecting family member, it can be both a hectic and exciting three months. However, amidst the chaos, summer also gives us an important opportunity to reflect on ourselves, the work we do and how we got to where we are today. Turnitin believes that introspection is important for growth, so we asked a few of our team members to take a trip down memory lane and think back to their first jobs out of college. We loved recounting some of the most foundational and inspiring jobs with this diverse crowd and we hope you do, too.

Financial Analyst at Ford Motor Company: I worked for NASA when I was in college, which was kind of cool because my grandfather had worked there and trained all the Apollo astronauts in the sixties. But my first job after graduation was in product development at Ford, working initially on the old people cars: Lincoln Town Car, Ford Crown Victoria, and Mercury Grand Marquis. Truly awful cars, except for the police version! I was later promoted to the Lincoln Navigator, which was an improvement. Fun fact: I was the only finance guy at Ford with unrestricted access to the test track! - Bobby Wilson, Counter of Beans (Oakland, CA)

Membership Director at The YMCA of Silicon Valley: A month after I graduated from college, I packed what I could fit into my car and drove for 3 days from Wisconsin to California to start my job at The YMCA of Silicon Valley. In my role, I supervised the day-to-day operations of our membership sales and service team, making sure that health seekers and community members of all backgrounds were provided with an exceptional experience. This job was transformative for me, as I went from a college student to a manager supervising a team of 15+, most of whom were double my age. In my two year tenure, I was promoted twice, ending my time as the Senior Membership Director of Member, Teen & Family Programs. Age means nothing. Show your worth and you'll go far. - Dakota Betts, Relationship Manager (Oakland, CA)

Masters Student: After finishing my undergraduate degree, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do with my life, and instead of making rational adult decisions I decided to turn right back around and get a Master's Degree in Creative Writing. My undergraduate degree was in Computer Forensics, and you likely can't find two more polar opposite fields. But the quarter-life crisis can hit you hard! During this time I started to take on freelance work and started to write for several magazines and websites, mainly covering computer games and other pop-culture topics. After graduating for the second time, and briefly considering applying for a Ph.D., I decided to leave academia and applied for a job at Turnitin. I've been here ever since! - Peter Kerr, Writer (Newcastle, UK)

City Year Corps Member in Seattle, Washington: City Year is an AmeriCorps program that serves communities, students, and families in need. The year following college graduation, I worked in an elementary school in the International District of Seattle, providing before- and after-school programming, as well as in-class tutoring and support. We had over 32 languages spoken in our school and a supportive administration, but very few resources for academic activities, let alone to plan field trips and events. I learned quickly that A) you can do anything with a pack of markers, eager volunteers, and imagination and B) that teaching is 100% exhausting, but 100% worth it. - Audrey Campbell, Senior Content Manager (Oakland, CA)

Program Manager/Scrum Master: My first job out of college was at Asurion Insurance Services. I initially started as a Manual QA Tester and then became a Scrum Master (team manager), in charge of the AT&T team. After moving to California to be a Scrum Master on the mobile AT&T team, I kept growing and became a program manager, release manager, and business analyst before leaving the company to join Turnitin, where I've been for over three years.- Maricus Jones, Senior Technical Project Manager (Oakland, CA)

Kitchen Manager: After four years of school and quite a bit of time in the library/classroom, I wanted nothing more than to spend some time outdoors! I took a Kitchen Manager role at a family summer camp in the mountains. I was responsible for front-of-house operations and producing 3 meals a day, 5 days a week, for 300+ campers of all ages. Though an unconventional first role, I learned many skills - time management, customer service, process development - that I am able to apply for a professional career. Nothing teaches you to think on your feet faster than solving problems for hungry customers.- Jane Murphy, Business Systems Analyst (Oakland, CA)

The name's Tarkoff... Ben Tarkoff. A rising junior at the University of Alabama, he's majoring in Communication Studies and minoring in Political Science. He's the current Marketing Intern at Turnitin, where he's writing blog posts and fighting the urge to snack in the afternoon.