The Talent Pipeline: Corporate Executives Discuss the Strategic Value of Co-op and WIL
companies represented: Merck, GM, RIM, Hilton, Lockheed Martin
What's more important...GPA or experience?
...neither...they just get you in the door. Who are you? Are you collaborative? Will you fit with our culture?
...past performance is a predictor of future abilities and GPA shows that you can succeed.
Is it more important to hire from a Co-op school, culturally?
...for RIM, yes.
...for Merck, yes, also. The reason being, it's easier to convert these students to full-time hires.
...for GM, these students are more able to differentiate themselves.
How should Universities prepare their students? (from Sweden)
...students seem to have difficulty working in the corporate world. If it were possible to create a learning space for students (tip sheets, classroom experiences, confidentiality discssions), this would have recognizable benefits. Even something as simple as email etiquette is important.
Expectation levelling would be worthwhile, also. For example, corporate entities don't pay for lunch and commuting time.
...collaboration in classrooms and with other students in project work seems to be recognized as beneficial.
Is the internship program integrated with the talent management program?
...Merck says yes, including both succession planning and the full involvement of MBA candidates in rotations around the world to understand and learn from their business.
...GM says that if candidates can learn from one situation and apply it in another, which is demonstrable even in a Co-op work-term, then it supports their TMP.
...Lockheed says, students should be aware that they are always being observed.
What are best practices for international exchange? (from Austria)
...from RIM, the issue is work-authorization and immigration policies. The value is apparent...the cost is prohibitive.
What are your best practices for promoting yourselves on-campus? (from Canada...guess who).
...GM is reevaluating.
...Lockheed, use professors, be on social media, use former students (go for the halo effect),
...RIM, be on-campus and be in-person...paying Ambassadors to be there. Unfortunately at 10% of the workplace population being co-ops, the conversion rate is very low for full-time recruits. So, they are evaluating what works best...don't have to do much in Ontario...but do have work to do in other countries.
What characterized your best Co-op student and how did you challenge them?
...RIM, we have great technical talent. It's their interpersonal skills and communication abilities that distinguish them.
...from Merck, being able to craft something innovative with little or no guidance is distinguishing our current Co-op student.
...GM, a student who is involved in extracurriculars and can multitask is what we're after.
...at Lockheed, they welcome the problem-solver and the willingness to tackle a difficult situation.