Featured Job Seeker – Andrew Golub



Our featured job seeker is Andrew Golub, a sales and business development professional at FedEx’s Office division. In our interview, will be talking about his career arc, how he can keep up with today’s competitive sales market, and what the future will bring him.

1) Where and when did You start to develop an interest in working for FedEx in your current role?

I was always intrigued by FedEx Office particularly when I would visit the local FedEx Office facility over the years for my own professional business document production needs, as well as my business shipping requirements. When my division at James Hardie Building Products was downsized, and my position eventually eliminated, working with FedEx Office seemed to be a relevant next step in my career progression. 

2) How were you able to keep up with making your business development and marketing skills relevant and impactful?

I’ve been able to maintain the relevance of my business development and marketing skills by asking questions of my customers, of my co-workers, and of other people I encounter.  Different perspectives on handling situations has accentuated my problem solving abilities.

3) How did you: a) develop your skills in business development and marketing, b) what was your best performance, and c) what was your most challenging situation?

a) I developed my skills in business development and marketing over time through developing a maturity and an understanding that there are varied motivations and needs for making decisions.  First I have to ask questions of my perspective customers to learn about their businesses. My product/service then has to be positioned to help solve one of these needs.

b) In each position in my vocational progression, there have been challenging situations which were handled where my company benefited from the outcome. If I had to choose one that stood out the most, it was at the Fantasia Fresh Juice Company. We were a start-up company in the mid-west and I was in charge of business development in Chicagoland.  We started at $ 0.00 in sales, and in less than four years, our annual sales in Chicagoland were at $ 12 million, with an established Direct Store Distribution network throughout the mid-west. Our company was bought by an investment company, rebranded, and sold to PepsiCo. PepsiCo now markets our product nationally under the Naked Juice brand.

4) Where do you see your career 5-10 years from now?

In 5 – 10 years from now, I see myself continuing to make a substantial contribution to the expansion of a company’s market share, and continuing to mentor other individuals in that organization.

5) How has AbilityLinks helped in my job search?

AbilityLinks has provided an opportunity to position myself as an exceptional potential employee, who may or may not need a minor accommodation to perform optimally. This accommodation is to provide feedback to me regarding, a) What am I doing right?  b) What am I doing wrong? c) Suggestions for improvement.

6) Any final thoughts?

It is remarkable that an organization such as AbilityLinks exists, partnering with individuals with disabilities to make an impact in forwarding their careers, and forwarding commerce in general.


To find out more about Andy Golub, contact Bill O’Connor at 630-909-7444 and email .

AbilityLinks Blog

AbilityLinks Featured Job Seeker – Alyx Koch



Many of AbilityLinks’ candidates have a background in English and creative writing. To utilize the skills and passion they have with a pen or a keyboard, Alyx Koch has a strong background in social media, editing and marketing writing, as well as intangibles that make her a featured candidate for us.

Where and when did you start to develop an interest in writing and communications? 

I’ve been a storyteller by nature since I was five, but didn’t start to take writing itself very seriously until I was thirteen (I read a poem in front of my entire seventh grade class, and people kept telling me that I needed to have it published). I became interested in the communications aspect when I was a senior in college, during my second to last semester. I had originally thought I would work at a traditional publishing company, but at the urging of friends and colleagues, decided to see what social media and marketing was about. I’ve been fascinated by it ever since.  

How were you able to keep up with making your social media skills relevant?

A lot of it is paying attention; I keep up with the industry via email newsletters and Twitter accounts, and would adjust based on the trends I’d see emerging and fading. 

Tell us about your skills in content marketing.

I’m mostly on the creative side of things, specifically with editorial content calendars (social media posts), blog posts, press releases, website copy, etc. I love coming with ideas that address a top from a unique angle; not only does it pique the audience’s interest, but hopefully it gives them something to think about. I also enjoy partaking in conversation (engagement) on social media platforms. 

Where do you hope to be five years from now in your career?

If I’m not writing full-time by then, I’d like to be in a mid-level to senior level position, specifically when I can lead and mentor others. I know how difficult it is to get into marketing in itself, and I want to be able to offer guidance the way it was shown to me. .

How has AbilityLlinks helped your job search?

Admittedly this is the first time I’ve used AbilityLinks (when I first met Bill O’Connor I was in a difficult place in life and felt the need to be utterly stubborn at the time, but that’s a whole other story). What I hope to get out of it is to find a job where I can genuinely use my skills and talents, but to also go through the hiring process in a way that’s more humanizing then what I have experienced thus far. 

How easy or difficult is it to bring together diverse city and inclusion in to bridge connections between employee and employer?

With this question, are you asking about the level of ease/difficulty in terms of bringing employers and employees together for the sake of diversity and inclusion? If so, I think it ultimately depends on the situation and how both parties communicate with one another. If there’s an open line of communication, and the employee feels that he/she can be open about the challenges/limitations they face (along with how those things affect them in the workplace), then of course there’s opportunity for inclusion. 

Thanks Alyx! If you have interest in reaching Alyx or any other AbilityLinks featured candidates on our blog,  click here!

AbilityLinks Blog – Disability Employment

Featured Job Seeker – Orlando Herrera



Last month at the ITKAN after-hours event I spoke to a member of the Marriott Foundation’s Bridges to Work. This is one of the best organizations in the country that helps students with disabilities make the transition from high school to the working world. Orlando Herrera was a great candidate to meet and learn more about. I asked him some questions about Bridges to Work, A+ certification and telling us about his passion for information technology.

1. How long have you had a passion for IT? What started that passion?

I have passion for IT many years ago, back when I was young. Many people that I communicate/network with always considered me as “Tech-savvy” due to me talking a lot about computers and other tech that are developed today. I started to have the passion of IT because of my older brother went to school for CIS (Computer Information System). After I saw his school assignments and notes, it brought to my attention about IT. I am currently a student at Richard J. Daley College that is majoring Computer Science.


2. What do you think the future is in store for IT?

The future of IT will be amazing and useful for everybody. After the latest ITKAN meeting, I saw a video about a research project for students to analyze data. A researcher was at the bottom of the ocean collecting data about kelp. Later on she sends all her collected data to other researching groups and can work simultaneously at different locations. The future will be a lot different, in a positive way, because technology is advancing day by day.


3. What has been your experiences with Bridges To Work? How about ITKAN?

I started to go to Bridges in August 2015 where I met all Bridges Employees and participants. Without Bridges, without Mrs. Kelly Pavich, and without Mrs. Shebtufi Kushma, I would not have this opportunity to have a job at Mariano’s fresh market, which I am a current employee for a year now, and a opportunity to go to ITKAN and jobshadowing Microsoft’s Director of Technology and Civic Innovation, Adam Hecktman. ITKAN is the best organization and I enjoy going every month. Hearing everybody’s ideas that would help those with disabilities and hearing out our opinions about the idea. I am very happy that I get to have a job and have time to go to ITKAN where I can meet wonderful people discussing ideas especially that can assist people with disabilities because tech at this moment is advancing daily and it really helps for others.


4. Do you think that building a computer is something that anyone can do?

Anyone can build a computer. At first it will be a tiny bit confusing at terms of connections from the front panel connections and PCI ports to the motherboard. As well as choosing which part will suite best for epidemic performances without any bottlenecking. For example, My PC, who I named Hades, can run at Ultra settings because I chose to purchased an Intel i5-6500 processor; as well as, a Radeon RX 480 GPU all powered by EVGA’s 750w 80+Gold power supply.


5. What are your 3 favorite websites and why? – There has been many videos about anything that you are interested to watch; such as, tutorials on building a PC and programming/coding. – Teaches lessons about programming. – A website that sells PC hardware components for a reasonable price.

Thanks so much for your time Orlando!

AbilityLinks Blog – Disability Employment

Featured Candidate: HR, Admin and Office Management



Meet Amanda, an AbilityLinks candidate with a successful background in office management, human resources, project management and much more…

Thanks for your time, Amanda! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came into the HR sector?

 Since growing up in rural Kansas, I have small town values and I work as a very hard worker at every position I’ve ever had. I have taken on challenges that I’ve never taken before. I was fortunate have it backed up in a solutions group to come in as sort of an administrative assistant. Then one day, our CEO just looked at me and said “Amanda, I need your help. Can you give me a new process to bring new hires on for me?”  All of a sudden I was doing HR and I was overseeing one and then I was overseeing the office.

When did you start to develop an interest in human resources?

I was the youngest of a lot of cousins, and my oldest cousin was going to college while I was starting middle school. My cousin was the first in my family to attend college and her major was psychology, and so I followed her footsteps because I emulated my cousin when I got to college When I was choosing a major, there was a developing field called industrial organizational psychology I researched the topic and I found myself going down that path.

What is your best and proudest professional moment for you?

I would think it would be the time I was asked to figure out a way to better track quarterly sales commissions for my company and we took it from a manual process to a streamlined Excel spreadsheet, where I directed the reports and then they calculated percentage of sales and commissions intricacies of payouts. It’s quite a tightrope to walk between accounting as sales!

What’s your view on disability employment?

I think there’s a lot of room for improvement in the sense that there are people out there that have biases, both known and unconscious, towards individuals with disabilities and what they can accomplish, both seen and hidden disabilities. However, among hiring managers there is rising awareness and increased training starting to take place on how to take advantage of this valuable resource.

For example, at one of my previous positions, an employee was not completing some quality assurance projects, so we had an contracted individual who stepped up in the QA team with appropriate accommodations, and the candidate was amazingly productive…as well as hired for a permanent position. I think organizations have come a long way toward realizing that it’s not a limitation to have a employee who has a disability that can make lasting attributions to the company.

Can you tell me your top five favorite websites and why?

I love! I love different cuisines. I’m a bachelorette so I enjoy life of takeouts! J – I am a huge music fan so I have everything from Garth Brooks to Beethoven playlists. 

Wikipedia – I like looking at various things that I don’t have the answer to, as well as keeping an eye for incorrect information.

Internet Movie Database (IMDB) –  I am an IMDB geek because I watch a lot of movies and I like to know the actors and then I use how to look various films that is recommended.

LinkedIn – I check almost daily to keep in touch with my colleagues and friends, as well as the SHRM website because it’s a great resource for HR news and materials.

Amanda, it has been a pleasure to have you chat with me today. If employers are interested in networking with or interviewing Amanda, please contact Bill O’Connor at or 630-909-7444.

AbilityLinks Blog – Disability Employment