More than 50 companies attended the Graduate Business Career Services Corporate Partner Reception this week. There, three areas awards were presented: Corporate Champion of the Year, Strategic Corporate Partner and Strategic Corporate Partner of the Year.
Student Association President Preeti Sam, ’14 M.B.A. thanked the partners. “The value you all recognize that MBA students can have within your organization is appreciated, thank you for offering tours, information sessions but most of all, for offering internships,” said Sam. All of these activities, in addition to mentorships, and shadow days, provide students the opportunity to see the inner workings of many major organizations.
Sam completed her internship with U.S. Bank and noted that she never had the intention of working in the financial industry, but under the guidance of Terry Dolan, vice chairman of Wealth Management and Securities Services, she has come to see the world of “accidental bankers” as much more exciting and a possible option for her future.
Dean Christopher Puto, who noted that the education provided by St. Thomas coaches individuals to communicate effectively and confidently and was clearly recognized by each company in attendance. “I will never ask companies or recruiters to hire one of our students,” he said highlighting the UST student value proposition. “I will simply ask them to talk to them.”
Three individuals were recognized as Corporate Champion of the Year, all of which were UST MBA alumni.
Chuck Pederson, Six Sigma Black Belt at Cummins Power Generation has been actively engaged with coaching students and guiding tours of their corporate offices. He continued to share the passion he places behind being an alumnus, but also a prideful employee of Cummins.
Marco Cavalletti, senior commercial program manager and Jose Quijada, marketing manager, both of Ecolab, were described as a dynamic duo. Cavalletti described their recruiting process as “being tasked to find the best talent for our internships, but more specifically for the future leaders of 2020, not 2014 or 2015. We [Ecolab] need to not only ensure that each student is a good fit for the company,” he said, “but that the company is also a good fit for them. We have chosen to take the opportunity to recruit locally, and it continues to be successful.”
Three companies were recognized as Strategic Corporate Partner award winners. “These companies have all gone above and beyond the basic level of engagement with our students,” said Linda Sloan, director of industry relations and career management. “When it comes to recruitment, they say what they mean and they do what they say. They truly understand the meaning of partnership. They have hired interns and permanent employees. They have done information sessions, participated in career fairs, our annual shadow day, and mentor program.”
Cummins Power Generation, a long standing partner of the Opus College of Business, was recognized as a Strategic Corporate Partner. The global power leader was noted for its responsiveness to the needs of students. Cummins is always willing to meet with students, and has recently expanded their recruiting efforts beyond marketing and finance to supply chain and operations. "For the last seven years, I have hired for a role that reports directly to me from top name schools that include St. Thomas," said Tony Satterthwaite, President, Cummins Power Generation. "I hire candidates for long term leadership opportunities based on this position. In the last two years, I have hired from St. Thomas. We continue to respond because we like what we see."
Ecolab, Inc. was recognized in this arena as well, and St. Thomas has benefited from the extremely involved alumni who help drive their engagement. Ecolab connects with St. Thomas early and often, in many cases meeting with the incoming class of full time MBAs far before classes even start. John Corkrean, senior vice president and corporate controller accepted on behalf of Ecolab. Corkrean stated that Ecolab learned “St. Thomas is a great source of talent in our backyard, and we appreciate continuing that relationship.”
Thrivent, although fairly new to partner with Graduate Business Career Services, received the third award for Strategic Corporate Partner. “This financial institution has clearly displayed a strong commitment to St. Thomas and clearly understands the value that a UST student can bring to their company,” said Sloan, recognizing Thrivent for their commitment and their increasing level of participation.
As the evening drew to a close, last to be recognized, but none the less important, was U.S. Bank. Through their dedicated recruiting efforts, on campus interviewing regime and highly active student engagement, U.S. Bank accepted the award of Strategic Corporate Partner of the Year.
Vice Chairman Terry Dolan, noted that he too was an “accidental banker” as Sam previously described, but that he encourages his team at U.S. Bank to view their responsibility as a dream protector. Each employee helps people achieve their goals in whatever they intend to pursue, he said, and acts with a “servant leader” mentality in which they must engage themselves to advocate for the client and their needs.
Dolan also recognized that it was easy to partner with a university such as St. Thomas because of the shared core values each organization has. St. Thomas and U.S. Bank are actively dedicated to serving the community, and recognize the importance of a quality education. Dolan ended by recognizing the university’s ability to “…create relevant candidates that can go in and help organizations be successful.” This ability has allowed St. Thomas to compete with much larger or higher ranked universities around the nation for top internship or full-time employment opportunities.
As Dean Puto concluded, by simply providing the opportunity, St. Thomas will rise to the occasion with effective communication, dedicated leadership and strong morality, all important principles for success in business.