Networking

03/16/2016

Major employers come to campus

Two times in just two weeks Bluffton University business students had the opportunity to learn from and network with community members who work for Fortune 500 companies.

Students leaped into their future during the first event, an employer expo held on campus Feb. 29 (Leap Day). The expo, sponsored by The Center for Career & Vocation and Bluffton University Business Leaders, featured several major employers in Ohio, including Fortune 500 companies Marathon Petroleum, Auto Owner’s Insurance and ADP. Bluffton has long-standing relationships with these companies through the university’s internship program. The State of Ohio Auditor’s Office and Speedway, LLC also participated. The event featured both a panel session and a networking component.

“Here we are at Bluffton, a small school, yet we have relationships with global companies that are headquartered nearby,” said Jason Swartzlander, associate professor of accounting. “Cooper and Marathon are in Findlay and Owens Illinois is in Perrysburg. For the firms, you get great students from Bluffton. For the students, just look at the opportunities we can give you.”

 “There was great energy in the room, great turnout and great panelists,” said Shari Ayers, director of the center for career & vocation. “I think this collaboration was really valuable for our students.”

Topics discussed ranged from how to stand out during an interview to the importance of internships. The event was aimed at business, marketing and accounting majors, however, several students with other academic interests also took part.

“The business expo was a very helpful event because of all the tips the representatives gave about interviewing,” said Zach Kempf ’16, an accounting major from Pettisville, Ohio. “Getting to talk to them afterwards was also a huge plus.”

Bluffton University also served as the host site for the March meeting of the Lima chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants. The IMA industry group represents more than 80,000 accountants across the country.

Chris Schilling, director of Global Internal Audits at Owens Illinois and Brandi Dominique, operations accounting analyst at Cooper Tire served as the keynote speakers. However, four accounting and business administration students also shared details of their internships. Appiah Adubofour ‘16 from Ghana spoke about his current internship at Cooper Tire. Jacey Dehogues ’16 from Kalona, Iowa, detailed her internships at Speedway and Marathon. Sarah Dhondt ’16, from Perrysburg, Ohio, talked about her internships at Cooper and Owens Illinois. Dhondt is the latest recipient of the Beaver-Falcon MAcc Scholarship, a Bluffton-Bowling Green partnership that includes a full-tuition award plus a paid graduate assistantship for a Bluffton accounting graduate. Ryan Gingrich ’16, from Elkhart, Ind., shared insight into his internships at Speedway and Marathon. He has already been hired by Owens Illinois.

“There is great interaction,” said Swartzlander. “The thing I like about these events is that students can talk to professionals who are working in their future career fields.”

Thirty business students attended the meeting. This is the fifth year Lima’s IMA group has held the March meeting on Bluffton’s campus.

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LEAP into the Future
Here we are at Bluffton, a small school, yet we have relationships with global companies that are headquartered nearby. For the firms, you get great students from Bluffton. For the students, just look at the opportunities we can give you."
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