Central Michigan University students were greeted by the sight of three brand new Ford vehicles when they were hosted by Ford executives and recruiters last week at the Ford Motor Co. Conference and Event Center in Dearborn.
Students enjoyed a day packed with tours, presentations and opportunities to learn about all aspects of the company. The trip was part of an ongoing effort to nurture a growing partnership between CMU and Ford.
"CMU's growing relationship with Ford Motor Co. has opened countless opportunities for our students," said Robert VanDorin, associate director of career services and employer relations. "Ford's strong recruiting presence has led to an increased number of CMU students taking part in internships and accepting full-time offers post graduation."
Throughout the day, students in a wide range of majors, including information systems and technology, logistics, mechanical and electrical engineering, purchasing, and supply chain management were given the opportunity to tour Ford's state-of the-art facilities.
Ford also is benefitting from a growing relationship with CMU. The company employs more than 900 Chippewa alumni globally, a number the recruiting team wants to grow. Various recruiters from manufacturing, information systems and technology, and purchasing make regular trips to Mount Pleasant to foster partnerships with faculty and students. In 2016, 10 graduating CMU students will head to Ford to start the next chapter of their careers.
"Our relationships with universities like CMU are critical in attracting the best talent to drive innovation and make people's lives better," said Felicia Fields, Ford group vice president, human resources and corporate services. "The demand for talent continues to increase globally, and our relationship with CMU helps to build strong connections with the students who will help us build an exciting future."
Adding value as a new recruit
Students and faculty were invited to speak with Ford employees – many of whom were CMU alumni – and get a feel for the atmosphere and the automotive and mobility company's culture. Culture is a big part of life at Ford, according to recruiters. They pointed to similarities within their own goals and initiatives and those of CMU.
"We recognize CMU as a school that shares our values," said Robert Brosko, manager of global maintenance operating systems and executive recruiter at Ford. "CMU students come to Ford ready to roll up their sleeves and work. They value family and teamwork and want to stay in Michigan and help this state, too."
CMU students from a wide range of disciplines are prepared for positions in the workforce because they are offered vigorous academic programs and cocurricular opportunities, according to VanDorin.
"CMU's Career Services office offers many services and programs that prepare them for landing the internships and employment opportunities they wish to pursue," he said.
A rapidly evolving industry
Visiting the campus of Ford, students were exposed to the many different aspects of life at the company – including change. As Ford adapts to a changing landscape in innovation, they recognize the need for top talent in an increasingly competitive college recruiting landscape as well. The company is dedicated to creating relationships with institutions where they know students are well-prepared for jobs.
"We are excited to continue to grow the number of CMU alumni at Ford to help us go further to build an even greater future," said Birgit Behrendt, Ford vice president, global programs and purchasing operations. "Opportunities like our internship and Ford College Graduate programs give students the opportunity to 'put their stamp on the world' and make an impact on the business."
Click here to learn more about how CMU's Career Services prepares students for competitive jobs at top companies.