Camryn Nakano ’17 Steers Her Own Path

Camryn Nakano ’17 operates under the mindset that if you really want something, you can’t wait around and hope it’ll happen. You have to make it happen. Her tenacity, interpersonal skills and strong work ethic have led to early success as a recruiting and talent management professional.

For the past three years, Camryn has worked at Tesla in Silicon Valley where she’s held positions in recruiting and training/development. But her latest role – as an onboarding partner – brings her the most joy. Camryn is responsible for helping new employees get acclimated to their work environment.

“I love that I’m able to help people every single day and make a positive impact on their experience,” says Camryn, who earned a bachelor’s degree in management with a concentration in business law from LMU.

Raised in Los Altos, Calif., Camryn struggled with dyslexia throughout her childhood but remained focused on overcoming obstacles to reach her goals, especially when it came time to choose a university.

“Because of my dyslexia, I needed a smaller learning environment and LMU felt like a natural fit,” she says. “I loved the small classes, diversity and culture, and I knew I would thrive in a more intimate setting.”

Camryn tried out a few majors before finding the perfect fit in human resources management, eventually narrowing her focus down to recruiting. Camryn credits LMU for providing the foundation she needed to jumpstart a career in HR.

“My role at Tesla is so cross-functional and very team-focused,” she says. “Looking back on my LMU experience, there were so many group projects that prepared me for working in the real world. You learn so much about yourself and how to work with different personalities and different work ethics to reach a common goal.”

One of her most memorable experiences was a management course where her class visited a new company each week to meet the HR team and learn about the various roles and responsibilities.

“My professors brought in a lot of HR professionals to share their career journeys and discuss what it’s really like on the inside,” she says. “It gave me a chance to see how the business world functions and helped me decide which direction I wanted to go.”

After graduating from LMU, Camryn spent nine months doing contract work at Google where she assisted candidates during the on-site interview process. But ultimately, she longed for a full-time position. When Camryn applied for a recruiting opening at Tesla, she used her connections to get her foot in the door.

“I knew someone who worked at Tesla who referred me,” she says. “Take advantage of your connections. Reach out to people. It really makes all the difference.”

Camryn encourages students to really take in the full academic experience. Pay attention. Form relationships. Absorb everything. She didn’t realize how much the curriculum would come into play in the workplace.

“If you want to make an impact, you have to speak up and make your voice heard,” says Camryn. “I was definitely that annoying person who pinged everyone and asked questions. To be honest, that’s how I got to where I am today. It was really me going out and asking for it. Take your future into your own hands. Just go for it.”