Jobs: A good place to start

March 2008

Adolfo Pesquera

Express-News business writer

Laura MacGregor, a University of Notre Dame graduate, found her entry-level job at San Antonio-based Labatt Food Service.

A liberal arts major - her bachelor's degree major was Latin - MacGregor found a corporate home with a company that's been recognized by CollegeGrad.com as one of the top employers of college graduates for entry-level positions.

CollegeGrad.com is considered the No. 1 entry-level job site for college students and recent college graduates, said Heidi Hanisko, the Web site's director of client services.

MacGregor, 23, is a San Antonio native who was completing an internship at another San Antonio company when she found a Labatt job listing through Monster.com, she said. She was hired in September 2006.

Labatt is the nation's 10th-largest food distributor to the away-from-home market, servicing contracts to schools, military bases, restaurants and hotels. It was one of four prominent San Antonio companies to make the list. Others were AT&T, CPS Energy and Tesoro Corp.

"I started as a human resources analyst," MacGregor said.

The next year, she moved to the warehousing facilities to find ways to make the warehouse operations more efficient.

"There's a lot of system design involved," she said.

Labatt hired 80 graduates in 2007 and is projected to hire 100 this year. MacGregor found what she considers a comfortable mix of recent graduates and veteran employees. She said she was impressed at how the new hires, flush with fresh ideas they'd brought from college, are welcomed by the veterans.

There is willingness on both sides to listen, learn and apply knowledge to problem solving, she said.

"It really does provide a great working environment," MacGregor said.

Kayla Grona, Labatt's hiring coordinator, said it was a thrill to be in CollegeGrad.com's Top 500 for two years in a row.

"This positive recognition will help us to stand out as an entry-level employer of choice among college graduates and will certainly provide greater positive exposure for our 2008 recruiting efforts."

Labatt looks for graduates in the fields of business, computer science, engineering, communications and operations.