Jon Brumley Visits UT Austin and Shares How to Get a Job After College

This past semester, Texas Venture Labs was visited by our benefactor and primary endowment donor, Mr. Jon Brumley. Each semester Mr. Brumley visits campus to meet with the leaders of the TVL Leadership Practicum, a class for graduate students at UT Austin, who have completed the TVL Associates Practicum class. This year, he shared his thoughts on how to get the perfect job after college.

Jon Brumley, BBA ’61 has had a long career of success. It didn’t start out that way. His first job after his MBA he actually quit on the first day. Why did he quit? Read on to see how he got that job and how he has navigated his career to become one of the most successful entrepreneurs in UT history. From his lessons, you might learn how to land that perfect job for you right after college.

Jon Brumley was willing to move after college, something fewer students are willing to do these days. As such, his first job was right in the field he thought he wanted to be: an actuarial. He got the job through his MBA program office and thought it would be just what he was looking to do. When he arrived, however, he learned the job would not be what he thought. He’d be busy doing things with accounting better left to those who could stomach the job. He quit on the spot.

Landing his second job was a bit more challenging. He called a friend who worked at a company that didn’t really need anyone. Jon convinced them by phone to give him a chance, even at a lower salary. Jon knew a lot about that company and knew he’d like to work there. In fact, Jon was willing to start working there at the lowest level. After some discussion, the company saw his charisma and passion and decided to create a job for him. Years later, he would become the president of that company.

How did he become president? That is another story altogether, but the trick was that Jon decided to get a job at a company that was growing fast, very fast!  This and five other tips are what Mr. Brumley shared with students about finding that first perfect job:

  1. Know what you want and what makes you happy.
  2. Take less salary for a job where you can learn and eventually make a big contribution.
  3. Prepare for your interview by really learning about the company and then demonstrate how badly you want to work there and use your charisma to show it.
  4. Network, Network and Apply. You can only get a job you apply for and networking can get you inside information about what jobs are open and what they are looking for.
  5. Join a fast growing company at a lower level than you think you deserve, then deliver results and you will rise up in the ranks very fast.

We at TVL thank Jon Brumley for his wisdom and passion, and of course for being our primary sponsor. Got questions for Mr. Brumley? Send them to us and we will ask for you at our next semester meeting.

Jon Brumley file Photo Courtesy McCombs

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