Mike Fulton likes to hire West Virginia University graduates because they are well-grounded, technically prepared and willing to do whatever it takes to succeed.
That is why Fulton, executive vice president of GolinHarris – an international corporate communications and public affairs company located in Washington, D.C. – has hired hundreds of WVU graduates in his 22 years at the company.
“They are leaders, they can hold their own with anyone and many of them move up the ladder and become very successful,” Fulton said. “In the two decades of being here, I have only been disappointed with two of the students we got from WVU.”
Currently there are five WVU alumni who work full-time at GolinHarris and two working as interns.
For Fulton, and many other employers around the country, hiring students from WVU “just makes sense.”
Bloomberg Businessweek recently named WVU the best undergraduate return on investment in the state. The article reports that the 30-year net return for graduates is approximately $697,100.
“There are Ivy Leaguers that come here and they think they are better than WVU. They think they know it all and want to be the vice president on day three of being here,” Fulton said. “WVU students are hard working and know how to work as an integrated team. If they finish a task they come and ask for more work, they don’t sit and wait.”
Steven Alford, corporate director of continuous improvement for Milliken & Co., has had a similar experience with the more than 30 WVU engineering graduates he has hired.
“They hit the ground running very fast, have an incredible rate of assimilation and like the challenges we offer,” Alford said. “In turn they get themselves promoted very fast. In just three or four years, some students get promoted to positions where they are over 100 or more people.”
In fact, WVU graduates have grown a following at Milliken – a textile and chemical manufacturing company headquartered in Spartanburg, SC.
It is not uncommon for Alford to hear from company executives asking him to “go hire every industrial engineer from WVU,” telling him that they “want every one of them.”
The majority of business graduates that Heath Hazard, district manager at Fastenal Co., has hired begin their job well-equipped with the knowledge they need to be successful.
“WVU graduates, especially those from the business program, are a good fit for our organization because a lot of what they learn day-to-day in the business program are the same things we do on a day-to-day basis,” Hazard said. “They complement each other well.”
Hazard hires approximately eight WVU students a year to work part-time and learn the business at Fastenal – an industrial supplier for manufacturing and construction companies with offices across the U.S. and world, including Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky. Approximately half of those students are hired to work full-time in outside sales or general manager positions upon graduation.
WVU’s Career Services Center regularly assists students with finding jobs upon graduation. They offer a variety of services to help students in their search, as well as instruction on resume writing, interview skills, etc.
For more information on WVU’s Career Services Center, visit http://careerservices.wvu.edu/ .
By Colleen DeHart
WVU News and Information
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