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Career Center

Adam Ashmore

K-State graduation year: 2010
Degree: B.A. Geography, Minor in German 
Current employer: Chevron
Position: Lubricant Marketer Account Manager – Chevron Global Lubricants, Louisville, KY

How many times, if any, did you change your major during college?

Once.

Describe the process of choosing your major.

I originally majored in Journalism but after a year I decided it was not for me.  Growing up I was always fascinated with the world and its many countries and always, even as a little kid independently studied different cultures and countries.  Growing up in Southern California and doing my college in Kansas I was always fascinated with Earthquakes and weather as well and loved learning about the way the earth works.  Geography was a perfect fit.  My thought process was I needed to study what I loved and what I was passionate about and the rest would work itself out.  Fortunately, it has and although it was a scary choice I do not regret it for a second.  Study what you are passionate about.  

What activities/organizations were you involved in while in college?
  • Intramural sports
  • Study Abroad - I spent 5 months in Leipzig, Germany where I would receive credit for German 4 for my minor.
  • Landon Lecture series - My favorite was when Vicente Fox the former Mexico president spoke. 
Did you complete an internship or have related work experience prior to receiving your job?

I did not. I started working the phones as a customer service representative for General Electric and started working my way up the ladder and gaining more experience which I was able to tie into getting my current job at Chevron.  

Describe the process of finding your first job.

Today, with the internet being the #1 reference tool for new jobs I utilized indeed.com.  I applied for almost any job I could that I felt could give me the experience to eventually get me an experienced level position.  It took me about 2 months to land my first job.  I was referred by a friend at the company.  

Briefly describe a typical day at your job.

I handle Chevron’s largest motor oil and industrial distributor accounts in the United States so it is a very large undertaking, every day.  Every day is different but my main task is to assist with contract changes, reviewing pricing based on the price of oil (changes every day), customer service, and product expertise. 

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy the close relationships I have built with our customers and how much my company cares about its employees.  It is a company with over 50,000 employees; however, it feels like a work for a much smaller operation which is a good thing. 

What are the most challenging aspects of your job?

The most difficult aspect is that due to the nature of the oil industry it is dealing with constant change on a daily basis.  We need to stay on top of our competitors and in order to do so we need to change and adapt before as they do.  

What advice would you give someone interested in your field?

Like any corporate job computer and math skills are key.  Become an expert at excel and be able to manipulate large amounts of data and be able to present it in a simple form. You will not believe how many companies in an interview will ask you if you know how to do a pivot table. 

What were the stepping stones that led to your current career?

I had to take a job and pay that I felt was below me and in a field that was not my major after graduation.  After graduation it is important to humble yourself and realize that you must gain experience first and once you have that experience you will have the option to do something that is closer to what you studied. If that is what you want.  Be patient.

Has your career path taken any unconventional turns that you never would have expected?

Yes I majored in Geography and what I do now is more of a Business Administration role.  I have learned to adapt and look at the bigger picture.  I work for a company that has a lot of jobs that are related to Geography.  After putting in the hard work I have put myself in position to apply and be considered for those positions as they come available.

How have any changes in your life situation affected your career path?

Yes, I got engaged and purchased a home last year so I would like to stay in Louisville, KY.  I enjoy it here and do not want to leave.  There are a lot of career options in other parts of the country and world for my company but I am going to stay where I am so this could affect potential career advancement.  I feel like it is most important to be where you are happy and sometimes you need to sacrifice.

What job have you enjoyed most?

I have enjoyed my current role the most.  I enjoy the amount of responsibility I have and the freedom I have to work independently and make my own decisions. 

What were the major lifestyle changes your first year out of college that made the transition hard from college to the world of work and how did you adapt?

The major transitions was the 9/5 schedule and having work every day m-f.  In college, class schedules were always different and I worked in restaurants through college so the schedule usually included nights and weekends.  Once your body adjusts it is hard to imagine anything else. 

What was the one thing you did in college that has had the most impact on your life or career?

Easily, it was when we created resumes in my major’s senior capstone seminar.  I have used the same format and same resume and updated the positions over the years.  Since then it usually only takes me 5 minutes of updating and tweeking when applying for new positions.  I have used it dozens of times and it has been successful. 

What tips do you have for current undergrads about opportunities they should definitely take advantage of while they are in school? 

I wish I would of tried harder to get an internship. I recommend making it a must to get an internship whether in your field or not. Not having any professional experience out of college made it more difficult for me to get interviews. Also a tip is to perfect your resume a good one will get you an interview or a call back.  

Was there a specific class you remember that sparked your interest in your career direction?

I took a class and I am not too sure of the exact name but it was in relation to sustainable science.  I work for a large oil company so it is kind of the exact opposite but I am aware of the importance of our environmental footprint.  My company is aware as well and is doing a lot to reduce theirs. 

Was there a specific person in college who had a significant impact on your life or career?

It was my roommate in college.  We were both ambitious and keep in touch almost daily.  We push each other to grow in our careers and share advice and stories.  It is important to be aware of who you surround yourself with.  

What didn't college teach you that you wish you would have known before you started your career?

I feel like every major should have to take a required amount of computer classes.  I do not think I had to take any.  It is an expectation that you are well versed in all Microsoft office applications in today’s corporate climate.

Do you keep in touch with your college classmates? How have those relationships influenced your career?

Yes I do.  It is great to see all the wonderful things they are doing and it motivates you to do the same. 

 

For more information, Adam can be contacted at 818-521-9364 or at adam.ashmore@chevron.com