Huntsman Post

Career Accelerators help Huntsman student land a job on the 84th floor

By Rob Goates

David Passey

David Passey could not catch a break. Job interviews were not translating into jobs.

He was definitely qualified. He had a stellar GPA. He had  been a Huntsman Scholar and done an internship in Brazil.

He said he thinks that some of his resume may have seemed unbelievable. He was investing in the stock market before he came to school. His track record was impressive, apparently a little too impressive.

“I found I came across as too serious in interviews,” he said. “It didn’t occur to me that I needed to present a more personable side of myself when interviewing for a job.”

Fast forward to today. Mr. Passey is now enjoying a view from the 84th floor of the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) in Chicago, doing what he loves to do, working as an investment analyst for Clifford Capital Partners.

He credits the faculty, staff, and the Huntsman career accelerators with helping him refine his approach and get a job.

“The Career Accelerator Program is an incredible resource available to students,” he said, “If you’re open to taking honest criticism, then the career acclerators can help. You really have to be willing to go in there and be open to feedback by letting your walls come down if you want to take advantage of their advice.”

He said it seemed that every time he met with a career acceleration specialist, he gained new insight into a helpful principle. He cited, as an example, one time when Ron Godfrey, one of the specialists, taught him a principle about humility in less than 30 seconds.

“When I first met Ron,” Mr. Passey said, “he came into a meeting where Barry Heninger, another specialist, and I were, held up a magazine and said, ‘This represents our egos. I have an ego, Barry has an ego, and you have an ego.’ He then threw it in the garbage can and said, ‘Now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get down to business.’”

Mr. Passey said this helped him to set aside his ego, and be more open to feedback.

“I met Lynne Pettit during my senior year, and once I found out his job was to be exclusively a career accelerator, I went into his office," he said. "We met for a few weeks, and he taught me how to investigate a company in depth. He taught me that you need to treat your job search as if it’s an actual class, devoting specific time to it on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. They all gave me a vision of how to understand a company, from finding and researching a firm online, making sure you agree with its objectives, and looking for a way in from there.”

Mr. Petit said the career accelerators enjoy helping the students.

“Our students are hard-working and qualified for positions,” he said. “Sometimes just a little bit of advice, based on our past experience, can make a world of difference as they enter this competitive marketplace.”

Mr. Passey graduated with bachelor’s degrees in finance and economics and minors in international business and international studies from Utah State University in 2010. He also was a Huntsman Scholar and mentor to incoming candidates.

The Career Accelerator Program is located in the basement of the George S. Eccles Business Building, Room 113. Those interested in more information about the program may visit or phone (435) 797-2347.