Q: In a previous interview, Assistant Dean Joslyn Johnson explicitly pegged employer engagement as a key growth area at the Hub. What will employer engagement with LSA students look like at the Hub in the next coming years?
Amber: We’re heading into an unprecedented time of growth at the Hub: we’ll have a fully established employer team by the summer that will consist of three employer relations managers together with a coordinator who’ll be spearheading the calendar of student engagement programming like coffee chats, employer panels, info sessions, and more. The managers will be dedicated points of contact to our employer partners who are tasked with building out our portfolio to include a more extensive breadth of industries — most notable nonprofits and arts — so we can provide a broader selection of opportunities to our LSA students. These include students looking for internships, other experiential learning opportunities, as well as new grads ready to jump into the working world with full-time professional roles. We’ll really be growing into our potential this academic year.
From a pure recruiting perspective, we’re going to be ramping up our efforts and opening up access points to the entire LSA student body this Fall. Our employer partners will have the ability to schedule their own campus visits and post internships and jobs on LSA Engage. We will have a pretty robust calendar of offerings for them to really dig their teeth into. And let’s say an employer wants to visit during the summer months to do some individual recruiting, they’ll have the ability to do that as well. So the general theme is recruit, recruit, recruit, and more, more, and more.
Q: What is the Hub’s approach to building its portfolio of employer partners?
Amber: We divide the industries into three main buckets: nonprofit and the arts, business and tech, and then health and sciences. An employer relations manager is assigned to each of those buckets and their main task is identifying the companies that are a good fit with the Hub’s mission, strategic plans, and values. Specifically, we're keeping at the forefront the organization's commitment to hiring and supporting undergraduate liberal arts and sciences students at U-M. We also pay really close attention to recruiting timelines so that our student engagement activities and recruiting efforts are aligned. For example, we know that certain industries like consulting recruit pretty heavily in the Fall so we’re making sure our student programming coincides with specific application deadlines, interview season, and so forth.
Back to that recognition of the enduring value of a liberal arts and sciences education: LSA students are some of the most empathetic, agile, and adaptive thinkers to emerge today. One of the things that I've learned while working closely with consulting and finance firms for many years is that some of them will hire dozens of BBA grads at once coming from a consulting track in a school like Ross — and that’s exactly what their organization requires. But other firms are hungry for top talent who have those core competencies like critical thinking, multicultural self-efficacy, and the ability to apply ideas across related and unrelated contexts. When you decide to recruit at LSA through a partner like the Hub, you aren’t recruiting a major — you’re recruiting a skillset and an attitude. And these students acquire that skillset plus that hunger to solve real-world problems by the time they graduate so that they’re ready to come work with you.
Q: What are some examples of your employer partnerships in action?
Amber: There are so many things I could highlight, like the virtual shadowing program we’ve created in tandem with Rush University Medical Center’s Dr. Verma where students get to observe and learn from live orthopedic surgeries; or the initiative to bring employers into the classroom, most notably our “English 225” project, where students are challenged to improve their writing literacy in a working world context; or the flash internships that flew students on location for a 3-day immersive experience of a high-profile organization like PagerDuty, Facebook, and Pinterest.
What I really want to highlight is the Hub Internship Program because it’s iconic of the Hub, been part of our genesis since day one, is a core pillar of our service to students — and it will continue to evolve and grow to reach more students than ever before. For employers, this is a really great opportunity for companies to get that ‘concierge service’ with recruiting and hiring in LSA students for available internship positions. We definitely encourage organizations to consider that as an option because we're able to be very hands-on in the review and selection of applicants, and ultimately serve as that bridge between the student talent and the organization to help streamline that process as much as possible.
Q: How can organizations partner with the Hub?
Amber: With LSA Engage, we’ve got this great new platform that is the perfect starting point for employers looking to connect with us. Whatever your needs are — visit campus to meet students, get integrated into the classroom, recruit online — that first step is really just getting your profile created on LSA Engage.This will give you access to students and vice versa.
Second, be on the lookout for these alum and employer newsletters that we send out once a quarter and any communications coming from the LSA Opportunity Hub.
Third, definitely check out the employer website because we’ve recently unveiled brand new information about engagement options to make that ‘learn about the hub’ experience as comprehensive as possible. Whether you’re looking to share your time, share your stories, or share your opportunities, you can decide before you even connect with us.
Lastly, when you’re ready to connect with us directly, please do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of our employer engagement team will get back to you!