Virginia Tech alumna represents growing canine-care business on new CNBC television series
December 21, 2017
From Virginia Tech student and dog walker to business director, Caroline Murphy has developed a unique breed of occupation, and one that will bring her into the homes of thousands of Americans on Dec. 27.
Murphy, formerly Caroline Illig, graduated in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness, veterinary business track, from the Virginia Tech Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She now directs pet-sitting services for Woofies, a growing dog walking and pet grooming business in Ashburn, Virginia, that will be featured on CNBC’s new series "The Job Interview" at 10 p.m. on Dec. 27.
“I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for Virginia Tech, and ag econ specifically,” said Murphy, who also has an animal and poultry sciences minor. “I was able to take my college experience and blend it with this company and the results are truly amazing.”
Murphy worked as a dog walker for Woofies during her undergraduate years and credits both Virginia Tech and Woofies’ owners for grooming her into the successful small business leader she is today – a leader who helps serve more than 8,000 clients in Ashburn alone.
After graduating in 2013, Murphy went to work for a marketing company that served large chemical companies. But after deciding that she wanted to be challenged in multiple business areas, she found herself back at Woofies overseeing all aspects of the pet-sitting business from pet-sitting schedules to the dog walking crew to client communications.
“Ambassador Richard Crowder’s negotiation class has been extremely useful in my career. In that class I learned how to speak to people and come to agreements and compromises,” said Murphy. “We deal with a lot of personalities at Woofies, so being able to speak to all kinds of people and work through issues that sometimes come up – from figuring out what the heart of the problem is to finding solutions – is really important.”
In the Woofies episode of "The Job Interview" that will air next week, Murphy works with her colleague, Renee Ventrice, Woofie’s mobile pet spa director, to interview candidates for a groomer position with their mobile pet spa service. Groomers with Woofies mobile pet spa travel from house-to-house grooming pets inside vans that are fully equipped as pet spas.
“The perk of our mobile pet spa service is that we eliminate all the stress because our clients never have to leave home,” said Murphy. “It’s a very unique position to hire for, and most people don’t realize that grooming itself is a very specific skill. It’s literally an art form.”
The show’s production company targets unique and growing businesses to take a real, unscripted look at both the interviewer and interviewee experience, giving hiring managers like Murphy and Ventrice the freedom to ask relevant and necessary questions for their business.
“Woofies is a smaller company so we never expected to be contacted, let alone featured on a major television network,” said Murphy. “It was amazing to represent my company and to see how a TV show is shot. Our biggest hope is that this will expose the company so we can grow it the way we want to.”
Murphy, Ventrice, and the rest of the Woofies team are anxious to see the full version of their episode, which will feature some unlikely interview footage including snout-to-tail assessments and a few unglamorous canine-care conversations.
“Some of the things we experienced in the interviews were shocking, but should be pretty funny on TV,” said Murphy.
While Murphy and Ventrice now know what reality television entails for their business, neither know exactly what to expect from the final version of their episode. What they do know is that they are happy with their new hire and excited to see how this experience helps grow Woofies.
- Written by Jillian Broadwell