As she pursues her degree in marketing at the University of Minnesota, Juhyun Kwon has dreamed of working at General Mills.
Recruiters at the company are making it easier for her to experience what that would be like with the help of a new tool called the Oculus Rift.
Kwon and other potential General Mills Inc. employees put on a set of goggles and get a GoPro tour of the company's Golden Valley campus. College students can literally picture themselves walking the halls and even working out in the company gym.
"It's a virtual reality device," explained Leo Timmons, General Mills' information technology director/application development. "It's sort of like an IMAX 3-D movie with a really wide frame, but the unique thing about it is that it's 360 degrees. You can look up. You can look down. You can look backwards and side to side."
Kwon tried out the goggles at a recruiting event Tuesday at the Carlson School of Management, where she is a junior. She was impressed.
"It's definitely a different approach … one of the new ones that I have seen," Kwon said. "I think it really gives a good overview of the General Mills campus. We saw some of the mascots that we know of, like Lucky Charms and all that stuff."
Kwon thinks it will be an effective recruiting tool.
"I've always wanted to work at General Mills, and now I want to work there more," she said with a smile and a laugh.
Companies like General Mills are looking for new ways to get the attention of the millennial generation. They were born after 1980, grew up with Facebook and Twitter and appreciate and use the latest technology.
"It just generates some excitement," Timmons said of the gadget. "It gives people a reason to stop by our booth."
The goggles and the GoPro video also take recruiting to the next level, Timmons said. General Mills still offers students free breakfast items and displays a snazzy video of their popular products, but now they have this additional tool.
"It shows General Mills as an innovative company," Timmons said. "We are always trying new things and trying to be different. A lot of millennials have heard about it. They might have read something about it. They have never tried it themselves, so they are very excited about it. As soon as they see it, they recognize it and come over and want to try it."
The Carlson School of Management event was only the second time the company has used the Oculus Rift. Timmons said they will be taking it on the road to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Iowa State and Michigan State.