Alumni participate in fourth annual Alumni Week
The Current, Summer 2003
Photo: Alumni Week panel
Forty alumni returned to campus to share their experiences about the business world with students at the fourth annual College of Business Administration Alumni Week, held March 17 - 22.
The topic of this year’s panel discussion, “Employment in an Unsure Economy,” reflected the anxiety surrounding new graduates as they head into an uncertain job market.
Moderated by Bruce Brorby, associate dean for the CBA, the panel included William Morrow (’68) [far right], executive vice president of Crain Communications, Inc., and UDM Board of Trustees member; Jill Pollock (MBA ’73), director of Human Resources and Payroll, Eastern Michigan University; and Dennis Sullivan (’67, MBA ’71) [far left], president of Sullivan and Associates. The panelists offered advice about building a resume, making a job transition, and evaluating career objectives.
Jill Pollock, a former director of UDM’s Human Resources and Payroll department, stressed the importance of building a resume with job skills and work experience, but also acknowledged that the resume isn’t everything.
“Volunteer activities and participation in non-profit projects show employers that you have a well-rounded background and are willing to get involved within the community,” says Pollock.
When discussing job transition and the importance of building job skills, William Morrow emphasized that skills learned from one job are often transferable to another job. He also stressed the importance of the basics, such a firm handshake and professional appearance.
As president of an executive-level recruiting firm, Dennis Sullivan spends a great deal of time reading resumes and noticing career tracks of individuals. Reminding students that “money isn’t everything,” Sullivan outlined 10 steps to evaluating a career opportunity, which includes criteria such as the company mission, industry, growth factor and effect of the move on family.
During the week, individual alumni also visited specific classes in the College to discuss their business experiences.
Richard Czarnecki (’53, GR ’57), recently retired from University of Michigan-Dearborn, spoke to students in Accounting 202. Czarnecki advises CPA hopefuls to get involved in student membership of the local professional association and commended the co-op program at UDM for providing students an excellent opportunity to gain hands-on knowledge and understanding of their chosen career.
“My knowledge of graduates of this institution is that they have been very successful,” says Czarnecki.
Jim Giordano (MBA ’85), CEO of CareTech Solutions, a mid-market company serving the health care industry, spoke to students in MBA 525 Organizational Processes and Leadership. Prior to his current position, Giordano worked at Fortune 500 companies as a chief financial officer. Moving to a leadership position in a smaller company was a “culture shock,” according to Giordano. However, he was ready to assume a leadership role with his MBA preparation from UDM and work experience in environments full of “ambiguity, change and complex relationships.”
Because relationships in business are so important, Giordano stressed the need for students to take courses in relationship–building. “You need to educate yourself in areas where you don’t have experience,” says Giordano. “Then you need to leverage the experience and knowledge of your employees.”
According to Giordano, most leadership decisions are made with inadequate data and within a brief time. “You have to be able to live with your decisions,” he stresses. “A lot of decisions you make affect people’s livelihoods.”
Although Giordano has had to make tough business decisions, including
laying off people, he also has made some very satisfying decisions. “It’s
most fun to give raises or bonuses,” he says. “But anyone
can be a leader on the good days; it’s the tough days that test