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How To Work With Local Higher Education

As students near graduation and are gearing up to enter the workforce, they can be unsure of what direction they want to go in terms of their career path. In our part of the country, the issue we face is that many of these young professionals feel the draw of the bright city lights or the call of their hometown, so, how do we keep them in Fargo? The solution might be early interaction with your prospective employees.

Higher education is a pivotal moment in a person’s life as they decide what they wish to pursue in the years following graduation. Because, usually, that decision is not set in stone, these students are much more open to being influenced by an inspiring message from a local business professional, owner or entrepreneur. By working with local higher education institutions, a mutually beneficial opportunity for your business to deliver this message and recruit high-potential talent becomes available; all while giving students a chance to explore future career opportunities they might not have yet considered.

Concordia College

Director of Entrepreneurship Center: Bree Langemo

How can professionals come in and interact with students?

At Concordia College, we want to bridge the classroom and campus to the entrepreneurial community. Our current efforts to accomplish this goal include inviting entrepreneurs to share their entrepreneurial experiences in our Entrepreneurship classes, at our Entrepreneurship Club meetings, and in our Entrepreneurial Mindset Certification trainings that we offer to faculty and staff on campus and the community at large. We also place students in startup internships to provide them with meaningful experiential opportunities in the entrepreneurial space. We invite entrepreneurs to reach out to us if they are seeking student interns or opportunities to share their stories. – Bree Langemo

How else can our readers get more involved with your facility and its students? What other events and opportunities are available?

Concordia’s Center for Entrepreneurship offers an Entrepreneurial Mindset Certification training open to academic, corporate, government and nonprofit organizations, as well as anyone in the public interested in this type of training.

For more information, they can contact Bree Langemo at [email protected] for information on upcoming trainings. Also, Concordia hosts the West Central Minnesota Small Business Development Center at the Offutt School of Business where small business clients receive nocost business consulting services. – Bree Langemo

How can business owners and entrepreneurs get in contact and involved with your facility?

We welcome the opportunity to connect with businesses and entrepreneurs to brainstorm additional ways in which we can support both the organization and Concordia students. [email protected] 218.299.3020 or [email protected] 218.299.3465.

North Dakota State University

Ozbun Chair of Entrepreneurship: Onnolee Nordstrom

How can professionals come in and interact with students?

Our students minoring in entrepreneurship need to complete an entrepreneurship internship experience, so we are always looking for local entrepreneurs willing to take on a student intern for a semester. – Onnolee Nordstrom

Bringing people in to meet with students and give them the opportunity to network can make a significant impact on both the business and student’s career. How do you think this opportunity impacts the student’s career path?

When I read the reflections written by students at the end of one of our entrepreneurship classes, what is striking is the common theme. The theme is how valuable and transformational they found networking with businesses, for instance: “Although the entrepreneurship program taught me a vast amount of knowledge about entrepreneurship, this hands-on experience gave me knowledge that a classroom setting cannot. I grew my knowledge of how to run a business, handle employee relations and the importance of customer service. This experience was the highlight of my career as a student. It helped me realize that I could start a business.”

What types of people are you hoping to see get more involved?

We recently launched a new course that deals with family business topics. We would love to connect with more family businesses as a number of our faculty have an interest in researching a family business. It would be great to have family businesses in to speak to the class about the unique opportunities and challenges they face. – Onnolee Nordstrom

Pillai Executive Director Rajani Ganesh, Center for Professional Selling and Sales Technology

How else can our readers get more involved with your facility and its students? What other events and opportunities are available?

Businesses can become corporate partners of the Center for Professional Selling and Sales Technology. All our corporate partners can engage in all the activities of the center. Some of the typical activities scheduled are sales seminars, career exploration events, resume critique workshops, mock interviews, sales role-plays, sales competitions, workshops/discussions in contemporary sales and marketing topics, hiring fairs, reverse hiring fairs, guest speaking opportunities, etc. Businesses can choose different levels of engagement that best suit their needs and interests.

How can people get in contact and involved with your facility?

I am happy to connect with any business interested in developing and mentoring a pipeline of talented sales force for our community and region. Please check our website for information regarding our program and ways to engage.

ndsu.edu/business/research/centers_institutes/ sales_center/

I can be reached at [email protected] or on 701-231-5848. I look forward to sharing a cup of coffee (or tea) with you and learning more about how we can work together.

The sales center at NDSU is a member of the University Sales Center Alliance and has been recognized by The Sales Education Foundation as one of the Top Universities for Professional Sales Education for eight years in a row!

Minnesota State Community and Technical College (Moorhead)

Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Dr. John Maduko

How can professionals come in and interact with students?

Many of our programs are more geared toward the workforce. We have automotive, diesel and electrical programs. We have a very sizeable healthcare school with a litany of programs but we also have business, human resources, marketing and digital sales programs. Our faculty, our programs and our deans are always seeking to partner with external leaders and external entrepreneurs. We’re a member of the Regional Chamber of Commerce. We constantly invite business entrepreneurs into our classroom to come in contact with our students. So whenever there’s a need for these individuals externally, all they need to do is reach out to M-State and we’ll extend our hand and provide our campus as a space to meet, collaborate and spark up an idea or solution that can be beneficial to both sides.

What types of people are you hoping to see get more involved and develop more connections?

In the FM metro, and in this less central Minnesota region that we have the honor to serve, we recognize that healthcare is king. But when you say healthcare, there’s a shortage of healthcare professionals. Our programming is geared towards meeting those gaps. But there are other things in healthcare that people can do, whether it be business, information technology (IT) or accounting. We also see that startups and businesses in industries, like manufacturing and others, are growing and exploding in this region. Everyone from Sanford to Bobcat, to RDO, Auto Bremmer and U.S. Bank, we are blessed with all types of opportunities out there. Those are the types of partners that we currently work with, but we continue to seek out more partners as more people move into the region.

How else can our readers get more involved with your facility and its students? What other events and opportunities are available?

M-State participates in community job fairs and hiring events in all of our college communities. Our biggest campus is in Moorhead, but we have campuses as far as Detroit Lakes and Wadena, where we connect with prospective employers. They have an opportunity to discover the type of education provided and look at funding and career opportunities in a wide variety of industries. There are other ways like visit days. Often, the best way to learn about M-State is during in-person campus visits. We conduct a lot of in-person and virtual tours. These are just some from the laundry list of various intentional opportunities that we provide for our students, visitors and business partners who are industry leaders throughout this region.

How can business owners and entrepreneurs get in contact and involved with your facility?

There’s a litany of ways. They can reach out online at minnesota.edu, our main college website, and that lists everything that we have in store. They can also reach out to Karen Reilly, our Associate Dean of Marketing and Outreach at 218-736-1508.

NDSCS

Program Outreach Specialist: Tana Erbes
ATOD Specialist: Bethany Mauch

How can professionals come in and interact with students?

Each year, North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS), holds a Career Fair catered to both employers and students. Typically there are around 200 employers that attend and around 500+ students! Employers also have the option to set up interview spaces to meet with potential employees. More information can be found at NDSCS.edu/ careerfairs

Employers can also become involved in the NDSCS Sponsorship Program (ndscs.edu/ sponsorships). This program looks to match students with employers to help students with the affordability of college and assist businesses and industries with recruiting and retaining qualified employees. To date, we have 50+ employers registered with the program and over 400+ students. More information can be found at www.ndscs. edu/ndcareerbuilders

What types of people are you hoping to see get more involved?

There are not many employers registered with the NDSCS Sponsorship Program from the health sector. We have numerous students that are looking for a potential sponsorship in all dental, nursing, and occupational therapy fields, and only one employer in all of those sectors that are looking for a potential student to sponsor. Other fields we are interested in growing in our sponsorship program are Auto Body Repair & Refinishing Technology, Information & Communications Technology, and the Welding Technology field. – Bethany Mauch

How else can our readers get more involved with your facility and its students? What other events and opportunities are available?

Learn about The Career Innovation Center (CIC) that is slated to open in the fall of 2023. Within the CIC, NDSCS will provide training and academic programming alongside Fargo Public Schools, West Fargo Public Schools, Central Cass School District and Northern Cass School District. The CIC will provide career awareness events for elementary students, career identification and preparation (including early-entry college classes) activities for middle and high school students, and training/learning spaces for NDSCS students and trainees. To learn more visit NDSCS.edu/CIC

How can business owners and entrepreneurs get in contact and involved with your facility?

Go to the websites above and/or www. ndscs.edu/employers, we encourage both students and employers to start having conversations about partnership opportunities (sponsorships, internships, cooperative agreements) at the high-school level and start engaging students with hands-on learning prior to the beginning of college!

MSUM

Interim Dean of the College of Business, Analytics, & Communication: Josh Behl

How can professionals come in and interact with students?

One of the simplest ways is by agreeing to be a classroom speaker. Many of our classes leverage guest speakers from the business community to speak to certain topics or thematic ideas. To engage in this way, start by reaching out to faculty members, department chairs or even people like myself. In addition to speaking in our classrooms, our business programs have an Executive Mentor program where we connect local business professionals with our business students in a mentorship relationship. Typically, this commitment is one semester (16 weeks). Many of our mentors, however, choose to do it continually. In the end, if you have an idea, reach out to the dean or a faculty member to start the conversation.

Bringing people in to meet with students and giving them the opportunity to network can make a significant impact on both the business and student’s career. How do you think this opportunity impacts the student’s career path?

From my experience, those interactions help our students connect the dots, identify a “why,” and/or help them see possibilities. Many of our students understand and see the value of continuing their education beyond high school. For some, that vision of what the path looks like from high school through advanced studies to career is very clear. For most, however, they need help connecting those dots. This is particularly true for our first-generation students. Additionally, some of our students don’t have a motivation for pursuing their degree or a prominent “why.” Seeing successful professionals who have not only done well but have made a mark, despite the obstacles they faced, can spark those students’ imaginations and give them something to aspire to. Those connections and experiences with professionals who have walked and thrived on the path can help them see what is possible, as well as see themselves in that possibility.

How else can our readers get more involved with your facility and its students? What other events and opportunities are available?

Our Executive Mentorship program is the primary one, however, reaching out to speak in our classrooms, providing internships and so on are common ways. Having said that, I would encourage anyone who has a desire to get involved to simply reach out and have the conversation. Give us a call, set up a time to have coffee and let’s talk about ideas, opportunities, and challenges you and your organization might have.

How can business owners and entrepreneurs get in contact and involved with your facility?

Feel free to email me at [email protected] or call me at 218-477-2667.

Written by Grant Ayers

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