hyatt brown
J. Hyatt Brown (BSBA '59) spoke to students about the importance of truly knowing yourself during job interviews.

Measuring your inner self

If you were to paint a self-portrait, would it accurately depict your appearance?

Like artists, job seekers have a similar challenge. In a job interview, you must understand who you are in order to properly convey your strengths and intentions. In other words, “Know yourself so you can portray yourself.”

It was the central theme J. Hyatt Brown (BSBA ’59), Chief Executive Officer of Brown & Brown, Inc., and his company’s leadership expressed to Heavener students during a career workshop last week. His advice comes at a perfect time as students meet with recruiters from some of the nation’s top companies during Heavener Career Week.

So how do you “know yourself so you can portray yourself?”

Learn these 3 important characteristics

Decker Youngman, Brown & Brown’s Chief Recruiting Officer, said knowing your values, personality and talents/skills, can tailor you to a company that best suits your career goals. Youngman noted that talent and skills can always be nurtured, but personality and values are cemented within each of us.

Brown & Brown goes to extensive lengths, including Omnia Group personality testing, to ensure that candidates are compatible with the key personality traits for their open positions—with the interview carrying the most weight.

“Our decision is favored towards the interview because applicants have the opportunity to show us their inner self—their dominant qualities and true aspirations,” Youngman said. “If these match with what we are looking for, then we hire that applicant.”

Achieving a professional balance

When beginning a career, professionals must find a position that satisfies three criteria: A competitive salary, opportunity to accumulate assets, and to fulfill professional affirmations.

Some professionals, however, value certain points over others like making a hefty salary at a job they hate. That is why matching your personality with a company’s culture is so important.

As Dr. Brian Ray, Co-Director of the Poe Ethics Center stated, “If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.”

Preparation is key

Brown & Brown leadership advised students to research a company’s mission to establish if it is an ideal fit for your career. Some questions an applicant may ask themselves are:

  • Would my strengths be utilized in this position?
  • How will this position enhance my skills?
  • Do I want to stay with this company for the short or long term?
  • Will an entry-level job in this company be able to sustain my current financial needs?

Said Brown: “The will to win is not good enough. The will to prepare to win is even more important.”

“This workshop taught me valuable knowledge on the interview process and what companies are looking for,” said Heavener student Jenny Martinez. “I like how Brown & Brown utilizes the Omnia profile to find individuals who are a best fit for their organization.”

Some additional tips from J. Hyatt Brown:

  • “Life is a long-distance road race”: In order to be successful, you must focus on four key points: Health, security, family, and discipline.
  • Discipline can accomplish anything: Building good habits and keeping a keen focus work together to overcome any presented obstacle when finding a job.
  • Start early: UF students have so many opportunities to meet future employers. Attend workshops, connect with faculty, and prepare for career fairs to understand what you are looking for in a company to create that best fit.

–Jessie Modrak (BSBA ’19)