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Fall 2009 | www.sife.org

A head for business. A heart for the world.

SM


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Contents top to future top

trends & insights

10 The Best Advice I Ever Received

26 Inside the Industry

Julie Hamilton, President, Global Walmart Group, The Coca-Cola Co.

The Food Manufacturing Business

14 Leadership Lessons

30 A Day in the Life

Brenda Barnes, Chairman & CEO, Sara Lee Corporation

Tim Clow, Customer Category Manager, Coffee Division, Kraft Foods, Inc.

18 Executive Spotlight

34 10 Minutes with Joel Conner

Gary Prince, President of Bimbo Bakeries USA

Chairman & CEO, Bellisio Foods, Inc.

20 Executive Spotlight

Michael Polk, President, Americas, Unilever 23 Leadership Lessons

Mark Holmes, Author, Entrepreneur and SIFE Alumnus

42 14 26

52

a better world is the bottom line

tools & tips

36 Breaking the Cycle

52 Book Shelf

Inmates and SIFE Team Members Receive New Opportunity

The top books by Peter F. Drucker that have shaped leadership philosophy

40 Helping Employees Become the Best They Can Be

54 Backpack to Briefcase

Why developing people pays big dividends to companies and individuals

Three successful SIFE alumni share words of wisdom

42 Mentor Me

56 Since You Asked

Take an active part in self-development

Simon Kho, Director of National Student Programs & Global Initiatives at KPMG

44 The Art of Work

58 Lighten Up!

“Never compromise who you are personally to become whom you wish to be professionally.”

Resolve difficulty navigating the menu or the kitchen cupboards

48 How SIFE Changed My Life

How SIFE Impacted the Life of Juan Llanes 4 Career Connections | SIFE 2009 ®


Register Online! Career Connections

The opportunities available to you as a SIFE student begin with formally registering at www.sife.org. Go online today, register yourself and gain access to all the tools you need to maximize your SIFE experience. Register today, and download the 2009-2010 SIFE USA Competitions, Awards & Scholarships Guide, and the 2009-2010 SIFE Team Handbook.

is a SIFE publication

Editorial Content Ellen Langas Campbell NouSoma Communications, Inc.

And don’t forget, SIFE doesn’t end at graduation - when you make the transition from

Art Direction

college to the workplace, don’t forget to move your status from student to alumni so you

Randall Georges

Joshua Brown

can stay connected and continue benefiting from your SIFE involvement.

The Jack Shewmaker SIFE World Headquarters Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center Jack Kahl Entrepreneurship Center 1959 East Kerr Street Springfield, Missouri, USA 65803-4775 800.235.9585 www.sife.org © SIFE, 2009. All rights reserved. Fall 2009 Career Connections gives SIFE students exclusive access, through SIFE partner companies, to the people, culture, trends and information that will enable them to effectively navigate the transition from college to their chosen careers. Although some parts of this publication may be reproduced and reprinted, we require that prior permission be obtained in writing. We welcome your ideas and feedback on this publication. Email comments to: careerconnections@sife.org

A head for business. A heart for the world.

SM

SIFE 2009 | Career Connections 5 ®


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letter from the career connections network chairman

Finding the Right Career Opportunity is a Full-time Job The school year

is now in full swing, and you are most likely juggling classes, jobs, SIFE activities and probably thinking about your job search, internship opportunities, interview and resume preparation. In most cases, this is true for students at the beginning of every school year. However, if we were to survey last year’s graduating class, my feeling is they would change one key word in this statement. Instead of “thinking” about their job preparation activities, they would have already been “working” on them. Finding the right opportunity is a full-time job. Like many HR professionals, I have received several requests over the past year for advice on navigating this job market – no easy task. Despite the challenges, I have found that my advice generally remains the same. Here’s my perspective, I hope it helps as you take the initiative to pursue your professional or academic goals. Don’t limit your search to the big job boards. Although they make job searching easier, they can be very expensive for employers to use. A small company may pay several hundred dollars per job posting. It is critical to know the companies that operate in your desired field and view the career opportunities on their company websites. 1.

If you come across a position you are interested in, try contacting the company/ 2.

HR department. Most people submit their resumes and wait to hear from the employer. You can distinguish yourself from the competition and reinforce your interest in a position just by reaching out. I am always happy to speak with those who call and am surprised by how few calls I receive. It is imperative to leverage the resources available to you through SIFE (Sam Walton Fellows and donor companies) and your campus career center. These are the people on campus that know the employers and have the connections you need. Referrals from these individuals are always held in high regard. 3.

Make sure that you customize your resume to the job description of the position in which you are interested. Most applicants take the “one size fits all” approach when sending their resumes. Recruiters are typically looking for matches between your resume and the job description. If you have the experience the job calls for, it is critical you highlight it on your resume. The more matches the better. 4.

As you consider which career will be the right fit, our Career Connections Network can help you explore a variety of industries and offer valuable tips that will help you prepare for interviews, land a job, build your network and make your transition from school to work successful. This issue of Career Connections takes an in-depth look at the food manufacturing industry. You will gain insights directly from top management and HR executives. It’s an industry worth considering with a wealth of opportunities, no matter what your background. You will also learn from veteran SIFE alumni how their SIFE experiences have helped form their leadership philosophies. Follow a real day in the life of alumnus Tim Clow, Customer Category Manager at Kraft Foods, to get a behind-the-scenes look at his job. And read the inspiring story of how inmates are being given a second chance through a SIFE project that is changing lives for the better. There are valuable tips, insights and information on every page! Good luck this school year!

5. If all else fails, entry-level opportunities

at larger companies are worth a look as they allow a foot in the door. Most organizations give priority to internal candidates when filling jobs. There may be restrictions that require someone to stay in a position for 6 or 12 months before being allowed a transfer, but it’s usually worth it for longer-term gain. The key is not to disclose this as your sole motivation during the interview as it will hurt your chances of getting hired for the job for which you are applying.

Marty Slevin

CCN Chairman Director, Talent Management – Waste Management n

SIFE 2009 | Career Connections 7 ®


corporate partner index

SIFE Corporate Partner Participants A list of the companies who made this publication possible.

02 Walmart Stores, Inc.

11 SUPERVALU INC.

17 Bimbo Bakeries USA

Michelle Vash

Tom Campbell

Michael Barger

michelle.vash@wal-mart.com

tom.campbell@supervalu.com

mbarger@bbumail.com

www.walmartstores.com

www.supervalu.com

www.bimbobakeries.com

03 HSBC Bank USA

12 Sealed Air Corporation

22 Unilever

Melissa Grainger

Tsellate Melles

Katie Emerson

melissa.r.grainger@us.hsbc.com

tsellate.melles@sealedair.com

katherine.emerson@unilever.com

www.hsbc.com

www.sealedair.com

www.unileverusa.com

06 Waste Management, Inc.

13 Walgreen Company

24 PepsiCo, Inc.

Angelique Buster

Maureen Reim

Marnie Vega

abailey@wm.com

maureen.reim@walgreens.com

marnie.vega@fritolay.com

www.wm.com

www.walgreens.com

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25 Rich Products Corporation

39 CVS Caremark Corporation

51 Liberty Mutual Insurance Company

Julie Sheldon

Andrea Juliano

Maura Quinn

jsheldon@rich.com

aljuliano@cvs.com

maura.quinn@libertymutual.com

www.richs.com

www.cvscaremark.com

www.libertymutual.com

32 Enterprise Rent-A-Car

41 Rent-A-Center

53 First Quality Enterprises, Inc.

Marie Artim

Russell Goin

Dedra Pembrooke

marie.m.artim@erac.com

rgoin@racenter.com

dpembrooke@firstquality.com

www.erac.com

www.rentacenter.com

www.firstquality.com

33 Lowe’s Companies, Inc.

47 Young & Rubicam, Inc.

57 ConAgra Foods, Inc.

Alicia Brown

www.yr.com

Victoria Tuffy

alicia.m.brown@lowes.com

victoria.tuffy@conagrafoods.com

www.lowes.com

www.conagra.com

38 Henkel Corporation

50 Robert Half International Inc.

60 KPMG LLP

Nicole Nelson

Amanda Beck

Simon Kho

nicole.nelson@us.henkel.com

amanda.beck@rhi.com

skho@kpmg.com

www.henkelna.com

ww.rhi.com

www.kpmgcareers.com

How to Reach Career Connections

For more information about how your company can participate in Career Connections Magazine, please email Kirk Baumann, kbaumann@sife.org SIFE 2009 | Career Connections 9 ÂŽ


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The Best Advice I Ever Received Julie Hamilton, President, Global Walmart Group, The Coca-Cola Company “Advice is like snow - the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind.” -Samuel Taylor Coleridge, English critic & poet (1772 - 1834) Julie LEADS THE

customer team that is responsible for growing and managing the relationship of The Coca-Cola Company’s business portfolios and brands with Walmart, the organization’s largest customer. She has held a variety of sales, marketing and operational positions with the company since 1996. Prior to joining Coca-Cola, Julie worked for Anheuser-Busch for seven years, and began her career with DMB&B Advertising. Named one of the “Top Women In Grocery” by m magazine and Nielsen in 2008, she serves on the boards of the Network of Executive Women in Retail, Children’s Miracle Network and SIFE. Hard work and perseverance helped get Julie where she is today, but she attributes her success to “lots of great advice along the way.” She says, “The most important lesson was to treat people the way you would want to be treated and don’t ask people to do something you wouldn’t be willing to do yourself. That’s been an important foundation for how I learned to build, work with and lead teams as well as my approach with customers. “Another valuable piece of advice I had was to always keep learning and

10 Career Connections | SIFE 2009 ®

challenging yourself. That might mean picking up an extra assignment or taking on extra work. You will benefit by learning new skill sets, gaining new perspectives, and meeting new people, all of which will help you grow personally and professionally. “I mentor several young people in our company. Early on, some are focused on achieving their next job or title. I encourage them instead to look at the broader experiences they can gain versus focusing on getting to the higher level. Consider what will ultimately lead to bettering yourself. That’s what you can build upon, particularly right after graduation. There is such a wealth of different roles and paths to take that it’s easy to get overwhelmed. So learn what you can, stay curious and continue to advance your skills rather than thinking about progressing only in a linear way. Sometimes you have to go sideways to go upwards. “I had a US geographic operational sales and marketing role where I was leading a portion of the country and I wanted to get some global and international experience, so I moved laterally to be the global account director for the eating and drinking division. That was a great experience. Without the perspective and experience I gained, I would never have arrived where I am today.” n


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Leadership Lessons Meet Brenda Barnes Chairman & CEO, Sara Lee Corporation

14 Career Connections | SIFE 2009 速


“I was excited by the opportunities and challenges that Sara Lee offered,” says Brenda, who joined the company as President and COO in July 2004. “The company had, and still has, great brands, but they were operating independently. Having the chance to integrate the company, bring the operations together and create one corporate culture was what brought me to Sara Lee.” The company boasts some of the world’s best-loved and leading food, beverage, household and body care brands, including Ambi Pur, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm, Jimmy Dean, Kiwi and Sara Lee. Collectively, the brands generate more than $13 billion in annual net sales covering approximately 200 countries. Creating a culture of connection and commitment among 44,000 employees worldwide was no small task. “A corporate culture should attract top talent, regardless of gender, race, personal background and experiences,” says Brenda. “Beyond that, it’s important to create an

environment where everyone knows what his or her role and responsibilities are within the company, and how he or she contributes to its success. “At Sara Lee, we have a set of corporate values that guide us. We developed these in concert with thousands of our employees around the globe, and we spend a lot of time focusing on them. They are: 1. Act with Integrity 2. Use Imagination 3. Be Inclusive 4. Work as a Team 5. Have Passion to Excel. “When you can harness the power of thousands of people working together toward one common goal, you can accomplish almost anything.”

Career Connections asked Brenda to share her insights about her early career, personal and professional challenges. How did you land your first significant job? My first job out of school was with the Post Office sorting mail on the graveyard shift. I did that until I got a job that really used my experiences and education, working as a business manager for Wilson Sporting Goods. What are some key challenges business leaders face? With the recent global economic issues, all leaders have had to take a hard look at their businesses and make sure they are getting the job done in the most efficient, cost-effective manner. Beyond that, a challenge many leaders of global companies face is developing a cohesive culture – one that drives everyone to work together for a common goal. Getting thousands of people in multiple countries working for the same purpose can create truly awesome results.

Career Connections asked Brenda what the next generation can do now to prepare for success At Sara Lee, when we find employees that share our

3) Take an active role in your career. Find things

Every person in an organization brings his or her own

values, there’s no end to what we can accomplish.

you are interested in. Get started on your internship for

talents and plays an important role.

And when an employees find a company that shares

next summer. Take classes in areas that will benefit you

their values, they will be happy and committed to

down the road. Study abroad to gain language skills

I’m a huge believer in and supporter of SIFE. I can’t think

that organization. Some tips for success include:

and international exposure.

of a better example of how to prepare today’s students – many of whom will be tomorrow’s business leaders – for

1) Have passion for what you do. If you enjoy

4) Take risks. Do something you’ve never done before.

what you do, and have passion for your hard

In my career, I moved our family multiple times. I took

work, people will take notice. True interest and

positions in different areas of the company in order to

By participating in SIFE, students are put in charge

enthusiasm show and will drive you to produce

gain experience. Get out of your comfort zone and you

of their own success, and are encouraged to

good work.

may discover talents you never knew you had.

demonstrate the skills they have learned in business

2) Do good work! Being the best at something will

5) Treat others with respect. Live by your values and

the opportunity to simultaneously make an impact on

open more doors for your career than anything else.

treat others with respect. Value the input of others.

their community and their careers.

the challenges and experiences that lie ahead of them.

classes to make a positive difference. It gives them

SIFE 2009 | Career Connections 15 ®


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Brenda Barnes Career-at-a-Glance Brenda Barnes is chairman and chief executive officer of Sara Lee Corporation. She has been a member of the board of directors since joining the company as president and chief operating officer in July 2004. She became president and chief executive officer in February 2005 and was appointed to her current position in October 2005. Brenda was president and chief executive officer of PepsiCola North America from 1996 to 1997. Prior to that, she was chief operating officer from 1993. During her 22-year career at PepsiCo, she held a number of senior executive positions in operations, general management, sales and marketing. Prior to joining PepsiCola North America, she served at other PepsiCo divisions, including Frito-Lay as vice president, marketing, and Wilson Sporting Goods

how are women making progress in attaining leadership roles, and where do challenges still remain? Though we do see some high-profile CEO jobs held by women (Kraft, PepsiCo, Archer Daniels Midland, etc.), there is still much to be done. Less than three percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are women, less than 15 percent of Fortune 500 board members are women and only 15 percent of Fortune

Learning doesn’t stop after you leave school. In fact, it really just begins. 500 corporate officers are women. So a lot of work remains. And it needs to be done not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it drives business results. Research on diversity and inclusion by industry group Catalyst shows that the Fortune 500 companies with the highest percentage of women corporate officers report, on average, a 35-percent higher 16 Career Connections | SIFE 2009 ®

return on equity and a 34-percent higher total return to shareholders than those with the lowest percentages of women corporate officers.

as business manager. After leaving PepsiCo, she

how do you balance family and professional responsibilities? Like many people, this is something I have dealt with my entire career. People often ask me, “Can you have it all?” My response has always been that you cannot have it all, maybe your top one or two priorities but in the end you make choices and tradeoffs to achieve your professional and personal goals. It all comes down to what is important to the individual and building a career and life that serves a person’s specific needs. Everyone is different, and the word “balance” means different things to different people. In the end, I tell people to do what’s best for them and their families, and not worry about what others think.

A member of the board of directors of the Grocery

served as interim president and chief operating officer of Starwood Hotels & Resorts from November 1999 to March 2000.

Manufacturers Association and Catalyst, Brenda recently served as a director of The New York Times; Avon Products, Inc.; LucasFilm Ltd.; PepsiAmericas, Inc.; Sears, Roebuck & Co and Staples, Inc. She is a trustee of Augustana College and a member of the steering committee of the Kellogg Center for Executive Women at Northwestern University. She was an adjunct professor in 2002 at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and at North Central College. She is a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago, Economic Club of Chicago, The Chicago Network, the Executives’ Club of Chicago and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Brenda earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Augustana College in 1975 and was awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters

What do you wish you knew earlier that you know now? Learning doesn’t stop after you leave school. In fact, it really just begins. n

from Augustana in 1997. She received a master of business administration degree from Loyola University Chicago in 1978.


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Executive Spotlight Why Gary Prince, President of Bimbo Bakeries USA, is convinced this industry is the best place to be.

“I can honestly say there has never

been a day of work that has not been interesting,” says Gary Prince, President of Bimbo Bakeries USA. “This is a dynamic, fast-moving industry. Products and processes must constantly 18 Career Connections | SIFE 2009 ®

be adapted to deliver just in time. It’s an exciting day-to-day operating environment both strategically and executionally.” Bimbo operates more than 30 bakeries and distributes leading brands such as Arnold®, Boboli®, Brownberry®, Entenmann’s®, Francisco®, Freihofer’s®, Marinela®, Mrs. Baird’s®, Old Country Bread®, Oroweat®, Stroehmann®, Thomas’® and Tia Rosa®.

Visit www.bimbobakeriesusa.com. Headquartered in Horsham, Pennsylvania, Bimbo is the U.S. division of Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo, one of the world’s largest baking companies with more than 108,000 associates and operations in 18 countries throughout the Americas, Asia and Europe. “The industry absorbs you. I’ve been so fortunate in my career and have had a chance to work with so many great


people.” Gary began working at the grassroots level at George Weston Ltd. in 1974 and served in various capacities within Weston Foods Canada. “I started out selling things and today I’m still selling,” says Gary. “I began my career working on a truck doing sales delivery, then six months on a shipping floor, time in sales management, marketing management and general and central sales management.” From 1992 to 1994, Gary served as the President of Weston Foods Canada and in 1995 he joined Stroehmann Bakeries in the United States as President. He served as President, Weston Foods United States Operations at George Weston Ltd. from 1996 to January 2009. “This industry and company offer exciting career paths, and the learning

This industry is for people who want to make a difference, who want to lead and want to be part of change leadership opportunities are endless. For young people, it’s an outstanding place to be. It’s for people who want to make a difference, who want to lead and want to be part of change leadership. You can be involved in strategic direction at many levels and move through the ranks at a fairly rapid pace. We are always looking for new leaders who are team players, embrace people-oriented leadership values and demonstrate the ability and desire to learn. “The educational foundation you bring to the business is very important; however,

embracing values, having energy and enthusiasm, leadership capabilities and an openness to learn are really the gateways to building a career.” balancing work and family “I’m fortunate to have a wonderful career with a great company and a wonderful family as well…my stresses are few. I probably work too much. I have two daughters and two granddaughters and would love to spend more time with them, but we spend and cherish time together whenever we can. “If you aren’t looking after yourself you can’t look after others. Energy is the pillar of success. That means it’s important to get regular exercise and eat a well-balanced diet. I learned that lesson about 20 years ago, so my exercise regimen is five miles, three times a week. At Bimbo, healthy is in, value is in. Eating healthier used to be a choice, now it’s mandatory. “ getting SiFe’d “One of my colleagues got me into SIFE about eight years ago. It’s exciting and energizing and it’s been a wonderful experience ‘getting SIFE’d!’ It’s a way to help young people see the future, help them reach for it and create it at the same time. Organizationally Michael Barger, Director, Human Relations, is on SIFE’s Career Board and we are bringing SIFE people into our organization. “We are an exciting $10 billion company operating in 18 countries and growing with diverse demographics, products and cultures. We put people at the center of the organization and offer so much opportunity, so SIFE is a natural fit to help develop our company.

Did You Know? Hometown: Eganville, Ontario, Canada Car you drive: Jeep Cherokee Book most recently read: Leading With Soul: An Uncommon Journey of Spirit by Lee G. Bolman and Terrence E. Deal

Family: 2 grown daughters, 2 granddaughters

Secret for success as a leader: Care, share knowledge, learn and be willing to change yourself.

Secret for success as a dad: Care, listen, coach and let them be themselves.

Hobbies: The sea, hiking, fishing, exercise

“Students have to take control of their own destinies as opposed to thinking someone else is going to do so. Learn and ask questions. Can you embrace the company’s values and culture for the long term? We care about our people and our business. It’s easy for people to enter the industry, and specifically our company, if they are willing to take the time to learn and add value. It’s rewarding because every day you see the results of your work in a short period of time. “It takes courage to try to make a difference, and my advice to young people is don’t be afraid. Set your sights on learning. If you commit to that, you can make a real difference.” n SIFE 2009 | Career Connections 19 ®


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Executive Spotlight The Entrepreneurial Spirit is Alive and Well at Unilever Michael Polk, President, Americas, Unilever

As President of Unilever’s $18 billion business in the Americas, Mike is responsible for developing and driving Unilever’s Foods, Personal Care, and Home Care business from Canada to Brazil. A 27-year veteran of the industry, Mike says, “I never anticipated that this was how my career would unfold. I majored in Operations Research & Industrial Engineering in university and my first job was in a paper mill making Bounty® towels as part of Procter & Gamble. After going back to business school, I worked for Kraft for 16 years before moving to Unilever 6 years ago. So, I’ve been in the consumer goods industry my entire career in a variety of different functions, from manufacturing to R&D to marketing to sales. And I have worked in many parts of the world including Asia, Latin America and North America. Despite all these wonderful experiences, I never really had a specific career roadmap for myself. I envisioned being involved in a business that was more product-oriented than service-oriented, and I made career choices based on whether I thought there would be opportunity for professional and personal growth. “I love working at Unilever because we market and sell brands that make consumers’ lives a little bit better. In virtually every corner of the world, our brands are part of everyday life, and they help people look good, feel good, and get more out of life.” He points to several critical beliefs and values that will serve those entering the consumer goods industry: 20 Career Connections | SIFE 2009 ®


• Have a deep understanding of your consumers and customers. • Believe in the power of brands and innovation. • Use collaboration and partnership to accomplish things with suppliers and retailers. • Recognize that people make the difference. You can have the best ideas, brands and competitive business model, but if you don’t have great people, great things won’t happen. • Play to win every day. You must have a competitive mindset. “I would advise anyone starting off his or her career in this industry to get as many broadening experiences as early as possible to build foundational skills that will help you become a great leader down the road,” says Mike. “Part of that is understanding the different components of the business model and having a good appreciation of sales, marketing, manufacturing and research. A big part of success is to be able to see the business through the lenses of others. “While I don’t suggest any specific position as a career starting point, a belief in oneself, drive, and a passion to learn is a potent combination that will make someone stand out in the early years. “The excitement SIFE students have for free enterprise has always impressed me. The entrepreneurial spirit and appreciation for using innovative ideas

Did You Know?

to build something from nothing are really important to success in business. SIFE students tend to come to the table with a built-in understanding of these business basics. “The other thing that SIFE students understand better than many people I meet is that we live in a global community and we need to think about business in that context. For 11 consecutive years, Unilever has been the Number 1 Global Food & Beverage Company on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. At Unilever, our business model is based on the understanding that we will not just grow, but do so in a way that gives something back to the markets and communities in which we do business. We drive our business in a sustainable way. What I’ve seen from SIFE students is they really do see the virtue in our key premise that you

can do well by doing good. “The consumer goods industry lifeblood is the entrepreneurial spirit of our people. If you look at many of the brands in our industry, such as Lever® or Breyers® or Sunlight®, there were entrepreneurs behind those brands. While big companies like Unilever have built them into global powerhouses, they were originally created by an individual with a belief in an idea. That’s what makes this work remarkable and fun. There are so many ideas and concepts still to be discovered and brought to market today. We just need bright, creative minds to unlock them. “SIFE has been an incredible pipeline of talent for us. Unilever has operations in 150 countries around the world, and the global nature of SIFE is strategically important to our recruitment, our partnership and commitment.” n

Car you drive: Lincoln Navigator (I would argue this

Interesting fact: I am a first generation

car is carbon-friendly since I have seven children

American; my dad came through Ellis Island

and we would have to drive two cars)

Hometown: Franklin Lakes, New Jersey

Secret for success as a leader: Work hard, Do Advice on raising seven children: It’s like a

the right thing, Believe in people, Commit yourself

riptide – don’t try to swim against the tide.

to win in the market

reading it, too)

Career you would choose if you didn’t pursue this path: As a kid, I dreamed of being a

Hobbies: Tennis, skiing, reading

Family: Married with seven children

professional hockey player (NY Rangers!)

Book most recently read: Fahrenheit 451 (since my 15-year-old son has to read it, I am

SIFE 2009 | Career Connections 21 ®


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Leadership Lessons Author, Entrepreneur and SIFE Alumnus Mark Holmes Shares His Secrets For Success

About Mark Holmes President Consultant Board, Inc. Springfield, MO University of Texas – Austin, TX 1981 Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing At age 21, Mark began speaking

Competing in the first SIFE USA National competition in 1978 with the Missouri Southern State University SIFE team, Mark was immediately spotted by SIFE’s founder and hired for a summer internship with the organization, where he stayed until 1981 when he joined Dow Chemical Company. In 1986 Mark launched a successful entrepreneurial career that has spanned more than two decades. oNE OF THE first great lessons I gained from SIFE was how to think through my message. Learning how to submit our ideas to a jury of higher opinion and package and sell our messages with passion and reason have been invaluable skills. We also had to make good use of limited resources. We didn’t have a lot of money, so we had to come up with innovative ways to do as much as we could with what we had. SIFE gave me the opportunity to learn presentation skills and gain self-assurance in front of business people. I walked away with a greater sense of confidence and a broadened depth of knowledge of business and how it worked. The valuable lessons are imbedded in my mind, and I’ve put them to use many times. About ten years ago, after I had been running a successful business for 13 years, I decided to purchase a struggling radio station. With my wife and two kids under our roof, I mortgaged my home. I asked myself, What in the world am I doing? We didn’t have much time to turn the business around with a small staff.

I knew it was critical to create an element of trust among the new employees immediately. I could “make” them do what I needed, but my philosophy was to get them to “want” to do the right thing. It was so important that my people believed that I was capable of leading the organization, but I didn’t have great knowledge about owning a radio station. They had to see that I was sincere, and that I wanted to make them a part of the process and engage them. There were times I felt beat down and wanted to say, “Just do it because I said so.” But I knew my role was to set an example of the standards and values we embraced, as well as create a sense of urgency they could believe in. In just under four months, the station turned the corner as we tripled sales and became profitable in our first year. Everything fell into place and we were able to sell the station for a profit 18 months later. I drew on the same core skills I gained from SIFE to see me through that challenge. My leadership philosophy is about building trust, setting a clear course, then engaging people to leverage their strengths to help achieve shared goals. Leaders achieve more when they are disciplined. It’s easy to get sidetracked doing things with little payoff. You must constantly ask yourself if you are doing what really pays, both personally and professionally. Think through what you really want to achieve. Set good goals and seek advice. Invest in yourself, be a constant learner and work hard on your own development. If ever there was a time to make change, it’s today. If your plan isn’t working, be

professionally, conducting leadership and teamwork programs around the country while attaining his degree from the University of Texas. Today, as president of Consultant Board, Inc., he assists organizations and individuals in improving performance with customers, strengthening employee retention, and increasing teamwork, communication and leadership. He is the author of the popular books The People Keeper and Wooing Customers Back. A member of the National Speakers Association, he is past-chair of the Consultants Professional Group, as well as a past presenter at NSA’s national and regional conventions. An entrepreneur at heart, he has owned several successful businesses including a marketing company and a talk radio station. Mark’s ideas have been featured in national media like The Wall Street Journal, Sales & Marketing Management magazine and the Fox Business Channel. He lives in the Ozarks of southwest Missouri with his wife Jeanna. They have two grown children.

willing to change. Change your business model, expand or contract – whatever it takes to remain relevant and successful. As I set out to launch my career, I received some great advice from SIFE’s founder, Sonny Davis. He said to me, “Executives get dressed the same way you do in the morning. You can achieve the same success. Don’t allow yourself to be intimidated. Go out and compete and give it your best shot.” n SIFE 2009 | Career Connections 23 ®


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SIFE 2009 | Career Connections 25 速


trends & insights

The Food Manufacturing Business It’s an influential industry that reaches millions of Americans every day. Explore how to become a part of the fast-moving, ever-changing food manufacturing business that offers plenty of career opportunities…and fun!

26 Career Connections | SIFE 2009 ®


“The great news about our products

is that they bring joy to people and make life better,” says Randy Whaley, PepsiCo’s Senior Vice President and Global General Manager for Walmart and Sam’s Club. “People don’t have to have potato chips, sports drinks and orange juice, but they like them.” PepsiCo represents a multitude of brands and divisions including FritoLay, Pepsi Cola, Quaker, Gatorade and Tropicana. Randy has responsibility for all of PepsiCo’s business for Walmart and Sam’s Clubs, a more than $9-billion retail business worldwide. “These brands are leaders in their categories, so they are fun to sell. The sales cycle is quick because they are high impulse, high demand, are consumed immediately, and have a high repeat cycle. Our job is to make sure we have the right innovation to sell them.” Mary Toerne, Director of New Technology at Rich Products Corporation, agrees that not only is the food manufacturing industry fun, it holds several advantages for college grads seeking a stable and exciting career path, citing three distinct advantages: • It’s a flexible field. You can interact with people from a variety of departments such as research and development, finance, sales or manufacturing. It gives you a chance to develop a broad set of skills and see perspectives from many angles. • Food is used daily, so the food industry is considered a bit more recession-proof than other industries. • It’s highly competitive, which makes it exciting and creative. It’s all about innovation. The key is finding ways to differentiate your product from others. “You are always looking for the next big idea,” says Brian Townson, Rich Products

Corporation Vice President of Corporate Relations and a SIFE Board member. “Advances happen so quickly. We have new products almost on a weekly basis. And it doesn’t take long before someone else is doing the same thing. The need for speed to the market makes it exciting.” A food industry pioneer fortified by three generations of the Rich family, Rich Products Corporation was founded on innovation and the notion of family, according to Dwight Gram, Vice President of Communications. “It’s key to who we are. The Rich Promise states that we will treat our customers, associates and communities like family. That means collaborating and helping our customers find solutions and be successful. Today we have $2.8 billion in annual sales with more than 7500 associates and 31 manufacturing facilities. People trust us and enjoy doing business with Rich’s.” “This is a particularly exciting time to be in the food industry,” says Charlene Binder, Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer, The Hershey Company. “We’ve seen a lot of changes as the world becomes more connected and trends are shared more quickly.” Charlene, who says she gets to fulfill “the best role in the entire company,” oversees global human resources for 12,000 employees. She is involved in designing and developing organizational structure and is charged with engaging the workforce behind company strategy, values and the Hershey mission: Bringing sweet moments of Hershey happiness to the world every day. “There is tremendous opportunity in the industry and specifically at Hershey,” she says.” With a heritage of more than one hundred years, the company is quickly transforming into a global organization that is moving its brands into new, fastgrowing markets, particularly in Asia and Latin America. We are really focused on SIFE 2009 | Career Connections 27 ®


trends & insights

innovation across our company to help us meet the evolving needs of consumers in these and other markets around the world. “One trend is a growing interest from our customers, suppliers and consumers in Corporate Social Responsibility, particularly sustainability. Sustainability is at the forefront of our company in terms of how we manufacture and market products and the way we structure the organization. At Hershey, sustainability goes far beyond just recycling. ” Finding Your Niche “You spend a lot of time in the workplace, especially in this industry, so you need to be passionate about what you are doing” says Tony Cicio, Vice President of Human Resources for The Dannon Company, Inc. The company was founded in 1919 and boasts the best-selling brand of yogurt worldwide. Why would a college grad enjoy the food manufacturing industry? “Who doesn’t like food?” responds Tony. “After all, there is an inherent recognition about food and the industry. You see it during everyday life, on the store shelves and in your home. All of your work is tangible. “We offer opportunities across all functions. We have a strong need for young talent and provide a different kind of career path. Our culture has little bureaucracy, so you can make a real difference. Younger people who have joined us through internships, particularly through SIFE, have been surprised by how willing we are to listen and how open we are to change. They like our flexibility and entrepreneurial attitudes. We make decisions quickly, love to hear new ways of working better, and have an ambitious future ahead of us. This is a culture where employees thrive.” “We see graduates entering into sales, operations, human resources, finance and information services,” says Charlene at Hershey. She encourages students who are pursuing careers in marketing to consider sales as a starting point because that role 28 Career Connections | SIFE 2009 ®

gives them great exposure at an entry level to the world of the customer, which can be extremely helpful in a marketing career. The company offers formal training and mentoring programs and has flexibility for those who don’t follow a traditional career path. “We offer a world of opportunity, for employees who are willing to move out of their comfort zones, and pursue their dreams and passions.” “Jobs in the food industry can range from the farm all the way to the kitchen or restaurant table, and of course every step in between,” says Dwight from Rich’s. “Whether you’re working in a manufacturing facility, selling products, or working in a corporate function such as finance, research and development, marketing or even communications like me, there’s a role for every skill set and interest.” “At PepsiCo, there are many ways to build a successful career,” says Randy. “One of the great things about PepsiCo is that our people are afforded opportunities across many different functions and businesses. Whether you pursue a career in sales, marketing, operations or finance within any of our divisions, the opportunity to learn, grow and develop has never been better. Today, we encourage associates to work in more than one business and gain experience in more than one function. We empower them very early in their careers, and coupled with cross development, this helps associates prepare for future general management roles. “My own career is evidence of how this works. I’ve been with PepsiCo for nearly 28 years, beginning with Frito-Lay in operations, then moving to sales in our foodservice business, which led to many years in line sales in various roles and locations throughout the US and abroad. Through the years, I have enjoyed many customer-facing and strategic selling assignments preparing me for my role today, in which I manage our largest worldwide customer – Walmart and Sam’s Club.” “The company is organized globally and across channels, enabling us to work

in numerous formats such as health food stores, convenience stores, supercenters or restaurants with a multitude of products,” says John Maples, who runs PepsiCo’s Sam’s Club US business. “We’ve separated our business into ‘fun for you’ (Doritos) and ‘good for you’ orientations (Baked Lays, Sun Chips, Isotonics) with the intent to sell a 50/50 complement. We believe we have the obligation to help people to do the right thing regarding our brands and are very careful how and to whom we market ‘fun for you’ products.” Culture Counts “We have a great culture at PepsiCo, and it’s focused on our CEO Indra Nooyi’s vision, called ‘Performance with Purpose,’” says Randy. “We want our people to know they are working for a company that can make a difference in the world. We’re committed to operating with a diverse workforce; we work hard to develop products that are healthy and nourishing for consumers, and we are looking at every corner of our business to see where we can be more environmentally responsible. We’re making progress on all of these fronts. In fact, many of our younger employees tell us that this mission is what attracted them to PepsiCo in the first place. Many of our people also tell us that’s why they like working here. It feels like we’re all involved in something bigger than our individual roles.” “At Dannon, we are considered the gardener of the culture,” says Tony. “We are responsible for the growth of the company through the programs we roll out, and the personal and professional growth of our associates. Our job is also to facilitate their ability to help the business grow as well.” “At Rich’s, it’s not just what we do that’s important, it’s also how we do it. There are no such things as ‘short cuts’ in the food industry or to being successful,” says Dwight. “It starts with ensuring that we provide value-added solutions along with quality and safe products for our customers. After that, it’s all about creating an exciting workplace


environment that promotes individual career growth and a culture of giving back to communities where we live and work. As long as we do these things well, success will follow. “Rich’s certainly lives up to its promise to treat associates like family,” says Mary. “Everyone has a career development plan which they discuss at least quarterly with their supervisors. Associates aren’t pigeonholed; careers are advanced on talents, passions and business needs.” “Our goal is to energize, equip and develop extraordinary people to drive unprecedented results,” continues Brian at Rich Products Corporation. “We are looking for talented people to join our family of associates. We realize there are basic competencies that everyone in the organization needs to succeed, and we offer educational support for advanced degrees, internal training programs, mentoring programming, coaching, cross-functional opportunities and international switches. This philosophy is an essential part of having an organization primed to respond to the market.” “Because we are undergoing a rapid transformation at Hershey, we need people who are up to the challenge of leading an iconic company in a fast-changing world,” says Charlene. “We refreshed our values to better reflect who we are and how we work together. They include being open to possibilities by embracing diversity, seeking new approaches and striving for continuous improvement. We look to grow together, share knowledge and unwrap human potential in an environment of mutual respect. And we strive to make a difference by leading with integrity and determination to have a positive impact on everything we do. “Those are the values we look for when we interview candidates. In order to uncover those traits, we are beginning to use competency-based interviews. Asking situational questions helps us learn about an interviewee’s perspective and determine if the candidate has the

skill sets or competencies that match our values and culture. “Our heritage of making a positive difference in the communities where we live and work dates back to our founder from more than 100 years ago. We’re very proud of this legacy and of the fact that it’s very much alive today.” “SIFE students are a good match for our company and culture,” says John at PepsiCo, who also is a member of the SIFE Career Advisory Board. “They want to make a difference, have excellent communication and leadership skills, a good sense of ethics and a solid understanding of free enterprise. Most people in our industry have a sales mentality and like to scorecard themselves. They need to have high energy and be self-motivated. That gives SIFE students an advantage coming into the company.” “SIFE has been a perfect partner for Dannon,” says Tony. “The students have a spirit of community and an entrepreneurial attitude. Being empowered is at the heart of our culture. You have the opportunity, regardless of your level of responsibility, to make a difference. We are committed to an ambitious future and are open to share new ideas. SIFE students hold positions here in various functions including sales and operational areas, and we find their attitude and commitment a perfect fit. “If someone has a passion to make a difference and feels a need to join a company or industry that is looking to the future, addressing important social issues as well as providing exciting and challenging careers, this is the industry and Dannon is the company to look at.” One thing remains clear…the food manufacturing industry is brimming with a wealth of career opportunities. “I wake up every morning energized to work for PepsiCo,” says Randy. “Each day offers new challenges and I know if I do my job well, I have a chance to make a meaningful difference in our company, with our associates and in the community in which we live. How can you ask for more?” n

Randy Whaley Senior Vice President and Global General Manager for Walmart and Sam’s Club, PepsiCo. Inc.

Brian Townson Vice President of Corporate Relations, Rich Products Corporation, and a SIFE Board member

Dwight Gram Vice President of Communications, Rich Products Corporation

Charlene Binder Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer, The Hershey Company

Tony Cicio Vice President of Human Resources, The Dannon Company, Inc.

John Maples Vice President/GM, PepsiCo. Inc.

SIFE 2009 | Career Connections 29 ®


trends & insights

favorites. It’s a relaxed environment and we are business casual in the office. You can always tell when someone has an important meeting because the sports coat goes on! 7:30 - 8:00 am

It’s nice and quiet at the office, so it’s a great time to catch up on late e-mails from the night before and check sales reports to see how much volume came in the previous day. It’s exciting…especially when it’s positive. These morning numbers generally dictate what happens throughout the rest of the day. Whether they exceed expectations or not, we investigate the trends to determine if they will continue. The numbers drive much of the day-to-day agendas. 8:00 am

This is One Job Where a Good Cup of Coffee is All That Really Matters. SIFE alumnus Tim Clow Offers a Glimpse into a Typical Day. Tim Clow, Customer Category Manager, Coffee Division Kraft Foods, Inc. – Bentonville, Arkansas 5:30 am

With two children 1½ and 3½, I need some time for myself to prepare for the day. That starts with a workout at home or at the gym to get set both physically and mentally. 6:00 am

I tune into CNN or CNBC to catch up on what’s happening around the world.

Most come from outside Arkansas, having worked elsewhere for Kraft. Historically it was challenging to convince people to relocate here; however, especially over the past few years, many are discovering a wonderful lifestyle that offers great work/life balance and a positive work environment, not to mention a tremendous learning experience to work with the largest retailer in the world. Now people don’t want to leave!

7:00 am

After a short 15-minute commute, I’m at our regional sales office. Traffic is nil in northwest Arkansas compared to metro areas such as Chicago, New Jersey and New York! We have about 150 people on our team here as one of the larger supplier offices. 30 Career Connections | SIFE 2009 ®

7:15 am

Working in the coffee division innately means every morning I have a good cup of coffee! I have a Tassimo coffeemaker in my office so this morning I had a cup of Starbucks House Blend, one of my

I log into the Walmart data system – it’s the system suppliers use to track sales and inventory of the Kraft items sold at Walmart to ensure nothing out of the ordinary is happening. We can see sales of our items on a yearly, daily, even hourly basis and make sure they are in stock at every store and distribution center. If we find an issue with one of our products, it is our responsibility to contact Walmart with a resolution plan. The average day: I spend the majority of my time working to drive and maximize Kraft and Walmart sales. Our sales team develops customerspecific portfolio promotion plans to make sure we have the right product mix at the right prices at the right time of year. My job is to help coordinate everything it takes to manufacture, ship and sell products, so it’s my responsibility to develop and manage the plans to make sure they are implemented correctly and resolve any obstacles. The great thing about this office is that we have full coverage of functions. Having everything on-site helps facilitate managing the business. On our Coffee Team we have two people in sales, one in business analytics and four in supply chain. The whole team needs to understand how much we have to manufacture, where and


Tim Clow when we have to ship it. Individually, we wouldn’t have the expertise to run the business; it truly takes the entire team to successfully drive sales. Interfacing with customers is key. We talk to our customer directly at least once a day, working with the buyer and corresponding with e-mails throughout the day. There’s a lot of interaction. The majority of conversations we have are structured around upcoming promotional plans and issue resolution. We meet about every three weeks either at Walmart headquarters or the buyer will visit our office. The Coffee Team has one formal internal meeting weekly; however, we meet several times daily on an informal basis as needed. Coffee is a mature category which means there are not drastic changes often, so any innovation helps drive the category. Coffee has been around for a long time, so a lot of our focus is making sure that we have product on the shelves at the right price. Premium coffee like Starbucks has been a growth driver due to the popularity of the cafés and people wanting a cup of Starbucks at home. Walmart accepts new products twice a year so the meetings in which we present our new items to Walmart are crucial. It’s not easy to get a new item into Walmart so we really have to do our homework and come prepared with all the data showing why it’s a win for Walmart to have our new product on their shelves.

My primary responsibility is to drive sales of Kraft

the more I give back and care about others, the

coffee at Walmart which includes brands such as

more that will make me happy. The only way

Maxwell House, Yuban, General Foods International

to be successful in SIFE was by helping others

Coffee, Starbucks, Seattle’s Best and Tazo tea

succeed…and that was my foundation.

brands. It’s imperative to understand that in order to be successful as a supplier, my retailer must also

At Kraft, we have the opportunity to get a variety of

be successful. It’s fun and rewarding to see that

different experiences. It’s an important part of our

concept play out.

career development. Working here with Walmart is an excellent way to do that. Kraft offers many

I’ve been on the team for 18 months. Prior to that I

avenues for career development that are dependent

was with 3M Company working on a Walmart team in

upon individuals’ specific interests.

a similar position. Before that I worked at SIFE World Headquarters, first as a regional program director

My advice for newcomers to the food industry is

working directly with universities helping to get SIFE

that a general business sense is essential, but

teams started on campuses and helping current SIFE

having a passion for food and beverage helps. No

teams create more sustainable programs. In my last

matter what industry you go into, being passionate

position at SIFE I worked as Regional Vice President

about that industry is going to help drive personal

of US Programs, managing the team that worked

success and enjoyment. Having an aggressive

directly with universities.

attitude toward continuous learning is also vital. No matter how old you are, you need to have the

Kraft is a great company to work for. I love food

attitude that there is more to learn.

and Kraft is the world’s second largest food company so it’s an ideal fit. Who wouldn’t want to

You have to work hard and efficiently. You certainly

work for the company that makes Oreos and Oscar

can be successful if you work 40 hours a week, but

Mayer hot dogs?

if you aspire to be a senior level executive, it would be challenging to reach those levels by working

Personnel development is a favorite part of my job.

just 40 hours. To be able to have a balanced life,

While I don’t have people directly reporting to me, it

it’s important to work efficiently and maximize time

takes a team to manage the business, so I mentor

at the office.

others on a formal and informal basis and share knowledge with my peers.

And finally, be nice. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people say you can’t be nice if you plan

Part of the advantage of working with a company

on being successful. Everyone wants to be around

that supports SIFE is that there are several people

someone who makes you feel good. The challenge

involved at all levels who also support SIFE, so I’ve

is there are difficult decisions that aren’t popular,

gotten to meet a lot of great people and established

but it’s all about how you approach the situation,

5:30 pm

some excellent mentors. One of the reasons I have

and the attitude you display toward everyone. You

While sometimes I’m at the office until 8:00 pm or later, most days I leave around 5:30 pm to spend time with my wife, Heather, and two children, Jackson and Harper. Having a good work/life balance is extremely important to me. Sometimes, I work after the kids go to bed, or I’ll come in at 6:00 am. To be successful you definitely have to work hard, and putting in 40 hours a week is the bare minimum.

such a strong ethical and values-based system

can’t control what happens to you, but you can

is because of my SIFE experience. It gave me the

control your attitude. Your reaction says a lot about

opportunity to foster a caring attitude for others

your character.

Travel It’s important to keep a pulse on Walmart stores around the country to understand

and the passion for giving back. It made me realize

what’s happening in the marketplace, watch consumer purchasing behaviors, and check out what the competition is doing. So that involves going to different regions of the country throughout the year. The landscape in Chicago is quite different than at a store in Arkansas. I travel to the Kraft Coffee Division

which is headquartered in Tarrytown, NY once per quarter to plan long-term strategy. Within the coffee division, we have R&D, manufacturing, finance, marketing and sales planning. We meet with all of those functions and review changes, innovations, capacity, plants, profitability, advertising and the best way to drive sales. n SIFE 2009 | Career Connections 31 ®


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SIFE 2009 | Career Connections 33 速


trends & insights

Joel: It’s so easy to find a reason to accept

College senior Ashley Coon, a member of the Mount

Mercy College SIFE team, had the chance that every student would love: 10 minutes with a senior executive to ask about career advice, memorable moments and success strategies. Here’s what she learned…

Ashley: When you spoke at Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, you mentioned three key concepts that are necessary to be successful. What are those concepts and why do you feel they make a difference in people’s lives?

characteristics I see in people who are very successful in sports, business, family matters and just about any profession. They are hard work, common sense and passion. No matter how you define success, these attributes will get you there.

Joel: There’s nothing novel about my

Ashley: During your speech you stated,

outlook on success. I believe in and adopted the three most common

34 Career Connections | SIFE 2009 ®

“Never take ‘no’ as an answer.” Why is that so important?

“no.” In varying degrees you can say, “I tried, but they said no.” Never give up. Stay on the field. Stay in the game. If you approach a situation as if there is a solution, you will find it. If you approach it as a lost cause or give up too early, you probably will lose. I’m not saying you will win every time if you stay on the field, but you are going to win a heck of a lot more than if you sit down.

Ashley: One piece of advice you had for students was, “If you don’t break it or screw it up, you won’t have to fix it.” Would you elaborate on that statement? Joel: I believe that if you don’t have the

time or the right attitude to do it right the first time, then you probably aren’t going to get it right. Many people approach situations with the attitude of “going for the


Why Joel Conner’s Involved with SIFE About 15 years ago, Jordan Glatt, CEO of Magla Products, and [former SIFE Chairman] Jack Shewmaker, introduced me to SIFE. Jack cast the net out and Jordan reeled me in. I’ve been “hooked” since then! The original compelling proposition is still the same one that motivates me today. It is fascinating for me to see students change the lives of people in their communities, and in doing so change their own lives for the better. That has had a life-changing effect for me as well. SIFE students are doing incredible things, “paying it forward” and being transformed for the better. Every year I experience a new “most

bronze”. They are settling for mediocrity. I say be prepared and invest the necessary time and effort to “go for the gold” and do it right the first time. At the same time, I also believe that the most important lessons come from mistakes. If you do fall, it’s more important how you pick yourself up and move on. Ashley: To what do you attribute becoming

the successful CEO and Chairman of a Fortune 500 Company? Joel: I still get excited about life and

business. I’m excited about our new product launches, SIFE events and meeting people. I agree with Walmart founder Sam Walton’s response to a similar question. He said he made many good decisions, worked hard, strived to listen, paid attention to his business, the economy and people in his company, and had lots of passion for what he did. I don’t think I could say it any better.

Ashley: What is your outlook on the triple bottom line? Joel: We have transcended beyond

focusing only on financial outcomes. The bottom line encompasses broader issues of profitability, social responsibility and

environmental sustainability. You can’t win today if you are leaving the world a lesser place than you found it. You can’t succeed or be a whole person, company or country, without all three.

memorable event” – coming together at the SIFE USA and World Cup competitions and seeing the students’ excitement. Sporting events can be exciting, but I would argue that the outcome doesn’t change the fabric of a community the way SIFE does.

Ashley: What is one thing you would tell

graduating students who are starting to look for jobs these days?

What you see in SIFE students is their ability to work as a team to accomplish important tasks, engage the community in their efforts

Joel: It is no longer acceptable to graduate

and start looking for a job. You have to have relevant job or internship experience. Start looking as a freshman. Target the companies or industries you want to work in. Get job experiences during the summer, over holiday breaks, take free internships, meet people, know the industry you want to work in. If you wait till you graduate, it’s too late.

and establish meaningful goals. They are getting involved and helping people recover and transform their lives. In these very challenging economic times, the essence of free enterprise and the importance of SIFE are more valuable then ever. It is free enterprise that will drive lower unemployment and higher investment. It’s the meaningful things SIFE students do that will make them stand out and change their

Biography: Ashley Coon is from the small town of Oxford Junction, Iowa. A senior at Mount Mercy College, she plans to earn her Bachelors Degree in business in 2010. As president of her SIFE team and a member of the presentation team, she has invested more than 500 hours of work in more than 70 projects. She is a Student Ambassador and on the Presidential Strategic Planning

communities in the way that needs to be done during this critical time.

Committee, has been active in the Student Government Association and works as a Resident Assistant and Orientation Leader on campus. Ashley is employed at Raining Rose, the Lip Balm Company in downtown Cedar Rapids as a Sales Intern. n SIFE 2009 | Career Connections 35 ®


a better world is the bottom line

breaking the cycle Preparing Inmates for a Second Chance

Inmates and SIFE Team Members Receive New Opportunity The Cleveland Correctional Facility, a state prison in Texas, has offered an innovative business program to a select group of inmates over the last four years. The Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP), founded by Catherine Rohrs, has received national recognition for the strides it has made to turn ex-drug dealers and gang members into business owners upon their release. “I started working with PEP back in 2005,” says Cindy Billington, Sam Walton Fellow at Texas A&M University. “As an advisor in the Graduate Business Career Services office, I was invited to join our MBA students for the Prison Entrepreneurship Program Selling Night.” When the PEP leaders explored expanding their services for those more interested in finding a job than starting a business, they discovered a lack of sufficient volun36 Career Connections | SIFE 2009 ®


Below: Texas A & M University SIFE Team Right: Mock Interviews prepare inmates for success

teers and resources prevented them from providing effective job search tools and mentoring for these prisoners. The SIFE team at Texas A&M, however, was able to step in and fill this void, providing job preparation training for the non-entrepreneurial inmates. “We launched Breaking the Cycle in 2002 as a partnership with the local shelter for victims of domestic violence,” Cindy explains. “Due to unpredictable occupancy and resident needs, we sought a new partnership using a job search skills program we had developed. Working with PEP at the Cleveland Men’s Prison Unit was a terrific opportunity. “Our team members were naturally nervous as we traveled to the Cleveland Unit; however, I could quickly see the change as our students realized they were working with real human beings who truly wanted to change their futures for the better. I was amazed by the testimonials of the students who went as they recruited more SIFE members to join the project.” Putting It All Together Since PEP’s main framework already taught fundamental skills in business, communication, leadership and teamwork, the SIFE team designed Breaking the Cycle to address specifics for those seeking gainful employment. Adding to the existing classroom education, they covered personal

finance and job application skills to build the inmates’ confidence. By developing these abilities, the individuals could move past the serious life mistakes they had made and build a foundation for the future. The SIFE team began by teaching a class on completing job applications and writing resumes. Next, they conducted an interviewing workshop. Before the training, the participants had little to no experience in formal interviewing etiquette or behavior, and they worried about how to answer questions about their time in prison. Topics covered included eye contact, posture and professionalism. The following week the prisoners participated in one-on-one mock interviews to test what they had learned and give them valuable practice. One professional mock interviewer was so impressed with their performances, he commented, “I have interviewed people who have been in business for several years and have been through numerous interviews with less success than what I experienced this afternoon.” Finally, the team provided individual financial counseling so the participants would understand how to manage their money once they were earning a salary. Response from the prisoners was gratifying. “A lot of the questions you prepared us to answer are important questions that I never really asked myself and wouldn’t have had answers for without your help,” said one. Another added, “It was a really

good learning experience for me. I think I am truly prepared now for my release based on some of the tips that I learned in the interview lessons.” Equally important were the lessons learned by the students who conducted the program. One SIFE member stated, “These wonderful men totally inspired me, on both a personal level and a business level, and their superb interview skills pushed me to become a better interviewee myself.” According to Lacey Bruner, “My interview skills improved dramatically from interviewing the prisoners. I learned how to articulate the answers interviewers are looking for, which in turn helped me get a job this summer.” Fulfilling the Successful Comeback Now much more comfortable with the job search process, the participants have excelled. Within weeks of being released, 97% of the 370 graduates were employed. On average, 65% of all prisoners released return as repeat offenders, but PEP graduates buck this trend with less than 5% failing to stay clean. Earning a second chance to achieve the American Dream, these inmates are taking full advantage of the opportunity. They now lead quality lives on the right side of the law and are contributing to instead of detracting from the safety and productivity of their communities. n SIFE 2009 | Career Connections 37 ®


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a better world is the bottom line

Helping Employees Become the Best They Can Be Why developing people pays big dividends to companies and individuals. “Every year, professional sports teams

comb the countryside for high potential draftees whom they hope to groom into stars down the road,” says Tim Walsh, founder of Financial Synergies Management, Inc. (FSMI), based in Kennett Square, PA. “Once they become stars, management must find ways to maintain that stellar level of performance and keep them productively in the organization. “Every company, no matter what size, must address the same challenge. Faced with the dilemma of identifying high potential employees, they must fill positions with the right candidates, help them thrive, maintain job satisfaction, and keep them working at peak performance. Just like great sports teams, the difference between good organizations and great ones is the quality of their human resources.” The question boils down to how the organization identifies high potential employees, creates a culture that engages, rewards and motivates them for the long term, while consistently achieving company goals. According to Tim, while a resumé can reveal a lot about a candidate’s skill sets, the clincher is in the candidate’s behavioral skills. Employers are looking to uncover attitudes that demonstrate a strong fit with their company’s culture. They are looking for evidence of teamwork, leadership and strong communication skills. 40 Career Connections | SIFE 2009 ®

And once a high potential employee is hired, it’s critical that they are nurtured and developed. “It’s important to understand what each employee wants from his or her job, where they want to take their careers and keep them truly engaged,” says Tim. “This is a time-consuming job, but one that pays huge dividends. Likewise, in order to be successful in today’s challenging business environment, high potential employees must understand, appreciate and be committed to their career paths.” Management must take ownership of the process and work with each employee to create and maintain an individual development plan, which includes the following elements: • Employees list their ultimate level of responsibility as they see it today. • Employees define a five-year vision of where they see themselves in the organization. • Employees identify their objectives over the next 12 to 18 months. • Employees and management create a training and development plan to help meet the employee’s objectives. • Employees and management define the employee’s strengths within the organization and identify what they need to do to keep the strengths sharp.

“Feedback needs to occur in both directions and on a frequent basis,” says Tim. “Reviews offer an excellent opportunity for personal assessment and interaction to set a course for my development,” says Katie Pesha, Director of Higher Education Programs, USA TODAY, SIFE alumna 2002, Quincy University, Quincy, IL. “While I appreciate recapping my achievements, I get just as much, if not more, out of constructive input.” “I think it’s important for a company to help develop people into the best they can be, helping them excel within the company culture and the industry. That being said, it’s the responsibility of the individual to collaborate in the process and set a course to achieve his or her personal and professional goals.” “USA TODAY has done a great job in supporting my development with tuition assistance, opportunities to attend seminars and classes within the organization that can help me with my role here, as well as providing information that is useful for my future growth.” “Imagine an organization that profits while contributing to its communities,” says Tim, “where meaningful dialogues with employees occur throughout the year regarding performance and career planning. By creating processes that attract, develop and reward employees, organizations will be prepared to meet unexpected challenges, focus on the future and thrive. Great organizations weave this process into the fabric of their cultures because they realize they must nurture their most important assets…their people!” n Tim Walsh, founder of FSMI, guides organizations and individuals to maximize their potential and take control of their lives to improve professional and personal results. Visit www.fsmi.us.


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a better world is the bottom line

Many great companies dedicate resources

to develop their employees, but it’s equally important for individuals to take an active part in self-development. This can be accomplished through activities such as continuing education, pursuing an advanced degree, learning more about your industry through trade organizations, or finding a mentor to help support your personal and professional growth. These tips and insights from Robert Half International will help you make the right match.

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While you may possess personal ambition and talent, such qualities won’t necessarily help you navigate a tricky situation at work, determine the best way to advance your career or choose the right training class among several intriguing options. These more nuanced situations, the ones in which the issues aren’t black and white, are the ones in which mentors are especially helpful. Unfortunately, many fail to partner with one because they are intimidated by the prospect of identifying and approaching a

potential candidate. But finding a mentor is much less difficult than it may seem. Following are some tips for finding a mentor and establishing a successful relationship. Step 1: Determine what you need. Many companies have formal mentoring programs that pair new or junior employees with more experienced colleagues. If your firm offers this type of arrangement, talk to your manager about taking part in it. But don’t be discouraged


if your company does not have a formal process in place. You can establish a mentoring relationship on your own. You might ask an experienced colleague to offer guidance on your career, for instance. People you approach often are flattered to be asked and happy to help. They do not even have to be in your field to offer the feedback you seek. Consider what you hope to gain from the relationship. Think about the specific qualities the person should possess, as well as how the individual might assist you. For instance, if you would like to move into a particular role, start with someone who currently holds that position. He or she can identify areas where you need to improve, such as communication abilities or specific skills, and highlight aspects of the role that you may not be aware of, such as the need to sometimes work evenings or weekends. Look for a ‘teacher.’ You may be in awe of someone’s work, but sheer talent doesn’t always translate into an ability to coach. You need someone who is patient and willing to spend time with you. A mentor should also be generous and honest with advice – someone who’s unwilling to be candid won’t help you build your skills. Step 2:

Step 3: Take an active role. Don’t expect a

mentor to come to you. After identifying an individual whose success and work style you admire, approach him or her and explain that you would enjoy finding out more about the skills and techniques that have helped the person excel. Try not to make your request too time consuming or demanding, particularly at the beginning. People will be more receptive to serving as a mentor if doing so doesn’t require overwhelming effort. Consider what you expect from your mentor and what you hope to accomplish from working with him or her. For example, how often do you want to check in? What area(s) of your career are you seeking to improve?

Step 4: Address any concerns. If someone is hesitant to become a mentor, try to find the source of the problem and suggest alternatives that make it easier for him or her to help you out. For example, you might reduce the frequency of meetings if the person seems pressed for time, or ask for a referral to someone else who might be better suited.

Is a Mentor Right for You? In a recent survey of executives by Robert Half International, 58 percent of respondents said they had never had a mentor over the course of their careers. This surprising finding may make you want to tackle the

Respect the person’s time. It’s important to respect your mentor’s time and adhere to some basic etiquette rules. Always show up on time for meetings and keep in mind that while it’s OK to reach out to your mentor between formal meetings, it’s not acceptable to take advantage by constantly calling or e-mailing. Arrive at scheduled sessions with a list of questions, but don’t expect your contact to have all of the answers. Research issues before you bring them up. For example, if you’re wondering if you should pursue a professional certification, make sure you are knowledgeable about the options available before you seek your mentor’s advice. If you’re ambivalent about the mentoring process, you won’t get a lot out of it. Arranging a regular time to meet – over breakfast once a week, for instance – can help you remain committed. Step 5:

Step 6: Be appreciative. Once you’ve established the relationship, keep your mentor updated on progress made in areas in which the person has helped your career. If your mentor has given you an assignment or challenged you to reach a goal – for instance, he or she might suggest you lead a team meeting to enhance your public speaking skills – be sure to follow up with the person about your progress. Show your appreciation, too. Always thank him or her for any assistance provided and share the credit for your successes when appropriate. You might send your mentor a thank-you note after a particularly helpful coaching session. While it may require some effort to begin the mentoring process, the long-term

work world on your own without the benefit of someone to guide you. But before you discount the importance of mentors, consider this: while you may be able to carve a successful career path flying solo, you’re apt to learn many lessons the hard way. Having mentors allows you to gain insight from their experiences rather than making the same mistakes yourself. Enlisting the assistance of a mentor can help you make informed decisions. If you’re just starting your career, it’s particularly valuable to tap someone who can help you navigate the business world, since professional protocols typically aren’t taught in school. Following are five situations where a mentor’s assistance can prove invaluable: •

You’re not getting along with your boss.

You want a promotion.

You’re taking on a new challenge at work and a lot is riding on your performance.

You’ve only been with the company for six weeks; you’re not sure what to wear to your firm’s holiday potluck or whether to give presents to your coworkers. While this isn’t a career-making or -breaking situation, you’re more apt to enjoy yourself and make a good impression if you know what to expect.

You’re looking for a job.

payoffs can be significant. You’ll have a valuable resource for career guidance, allowing you to put yourself on an accelerated path toward achieving your goals. n Robert Half International (RHI) is a global leader in professional staffing and consulting services (www.rhi.com).

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a better world is the bottom line

The Art of Work Relying on her passion for helping others, Janice Bryant Howroyd founded the ACT•1

Group in 1978. From a single-desk staffing agency, she grew the organization into a highly successful enterprise, comprising a diverse collection of commercial staffing companies with more than 300 points of distribution throughout the United States, Canada and abroad. Today her company is a global leader in the human resources industry, offering innovative services and tools to partner with firms in optimizing human resource talent management through the company’s Agile 1 solutions team.

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“Never compromise who you are personally to become whom you wish to be professionally.” The mantra that Janice Bryant Howroyd turned into a profession A strong advocate for women-owned businesses, diversity and inclusion, Janice practices what she preaches. Faith and family are core to her life, and her work/life balance expertise is sought by many organizations. “My philosophy is, Never compromise who you are personally to become whom you wish to be professionally. This has guided me in my life, so I respect its value to others. Providing the best environments and opportunities possible to develop employees and support their personal and professional success will benefit the individuals as well as the companies they work for. “My business philosophy from day one has been, Keep the humanity in human resources. Most of our ACT•1 Group customers depend on us to help them meet bottom-line expectations by providing topline talent and solutions. It’s imperative that we never allow cost concerns to cause us to treat our services like a commodity. We must always remember that people are the center of our universe. “Today’s sensitive economy is forcing many companies to reconsider how they hire and maintain their workforces. Even the best and smartest companies are experiencing a reduction in workforce. Working in a globally competitive environment, most employees understand that they need to deliver more, and they are doing this. This is the perfect time to reevaluate processes and opportunities that support individual growth and needs. I believe that once a company right-sizes itself, there should be an all-out effort to provide a professionally nurturing environment for employees. “There are so many ways to support employees’ personal and professional successes. Historical methods of providing employee enrichment, such as continuing education and reimbursements for

formal study at universities, or paid memberships in professional organizations are considered cost prohibitive by many companies today. However, mentoring, providing virtual workplace opportunities, offering lower cost distance learning scholarships and even time off for family time provide simple and powerful ways to show employees they are valued.” Putting her people and workplace philosophies into practice, Janice recently adapted her own ten principles to better love life and work into her new book, The Art of Work – How to Make Your Work, Work for You. “The book is filled with my beliefs and experiences,” says Janice. Written in two sections, the first coaches the reader on how to find work or make a career move. The second provides ten commitment lessons on how to get the best result in life from work. “In this section, I share stories from my own life and experiences with people that illustrate the lessons of the commitments. As empowerment, I provide exercises following each commitment that allow the reader to apply the lessons independently and measure personal growth. I know they really work, because every one comes straight from my own experience!” The fourth of eleven children, Janice was raised with a strong sense of family, faith and fairness. After attending North Carolina State Agricultural and Technical College on scholarship, she worked for the American Red Cross and the National Academy of Sciences. In 1976, Janice left her hometown armed with just $700 and a will to succeed. She and her husband have instilled the same spirit of perseverance, hard work and family values in their two grown children. “We taught our children that when you’re green, you grow; when you’re ripe, you rot. So, they never questioned my decision to continue to take executive

development classes or to even audit their university courses from time to time. Personal development does not require formal continuous education, in my opinion; however, it’s been a great thing for me because I’ve learned and networked each time I’ve taken a course. “My story is one of continuous self-development. Some of my greatest development has been supported by the relationships and learning I’ve enjoyed by serving on boards, and joining and supporting organizations that I care about. SIFE is one such organization. My initial membership was at the invitation of Jack Shewmaker [former President and CEO Walmart and former SIFE Board Chairman]. Since I joined SIFE, Jack and I, and our families, have become great friends, and he has served as a valued mentor to me. Truly, I am blessed, because there are many ‘Jacks’ in my life who have been gracious in offering me guidance, introductions and friendship. “I’ve learned as much about myself by helping others as by focusing on my own needs. Whether I’m mentoring women who are building businesses or working with students in universities, I learn far more that helps me than I think I can ever give. Still, it’s always wonderful when anyone I’m helping shows progress or success on a particular initiative. “I remind myself from time to time that charity begins at home. The people in my own family, company and community continue to form a circle of opportunity to give and to receive support from. It’s amazing how much more we can enjoy each other by simply helping each other!” n SIFE 2009 | Career Connections 45 ®


Get connected at the 2010 SIFE Competitions

Costa Mesa, CA Friday, March 19 Minneapolis, MN Monday, March 22 Philadelphia, PA Monday, March 22 Rogers, AR Wednesday, March 24 New York, NY Friday, March 26 Charlotte, NC Monday, March 29

Where Potential Meets Opportunity As a SIFE student you have access to hundreds of leading companies

Dallas, TX Tuesday, March 30 Atlanta, GA Tuesday, April 6 San Francisco, CA Tuesday, April 6 Chicago, IL Thursday, April 8

who recognize the value of your SIFE experience. One of the best ways to connect with these companies is through career fairs that take place at each of the SIFE USA Regional Competitions and the SIFE USA National Exposition. These career fairs, held exclusively for SIFE students, provide you the chance to interact face to face with SIFE corporate partners to explore internship and career opportunities.

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www.sife.org/usacompetitions

Minneapolis, MN May 11 - 13


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a better world is the bottom line

How Juan Llanes immigrated to the U.S. from a totalitarian nation knowing nothing of capitalism, joined SIFE, earned a scholarship and fell in love with business. Juan Llanes Gainesville State College – 2009 Associate of Business Administration (double) in Computer Science and Business Currently attending Georgia Tech pursuing Bachelor of Science degree Cumming, Georgia “cuba iS a totalitarian nation, so I grew up knowing nothing about business,” says Juan. Born in Havana, he immigrated to the United States in 2006 when he was 19, after considerable delays. “When I was 13, I had my documentation to travel to Mexico, but after a two and a half-year delay, I was forbidden to leave the country, then drafted into the Cuban army three years later. I served in the Army for 14 months and finally gained permission to travel to Spain. From there I flew to Mexico and crossed the bridge to the United States

was skeptical and didn’t join anything. “The government owns everything in Cuba, so when I arrived here, I didn’t understand the capitalistic system. I wondered how it worked. In my second year, I joined SIFE to understand. I became Vice President and wanted to be very involved. Now I see how business works. At the time, I was pursuing computer science, but now I love business and do both. I also got to experience being a leader. At SIFE regional and national competitions, I was in charge of our computer presentations along with another SIFE member. It was one of my first team experiences. If one of us made a mistake, we would all go down, or all make it to the top. “Through SIFE, I was learning at the same time I was teaching others.” Juan

physics students capture and study a visual image of their own real-world motion. “Because of my work with SIFE, our Sam Walton Fellow, Katie Simmons, head of the business department, nominated me to be named to the USA TODAY All American Academic Team for Two-Year Colleges. I was proud to be one of 20 community college students honored from 1450 students nominated in 2009.” After maintaining a 4.0 grade point average and completing a double major, Juan enrolled at Georgia Tech where he is pursing a Bachelor of Science degree, again planning to double major in computer science and business. “SIFE connects students with the real world. It took me out of the classroom and into the community. I visited children in second grade classes and people living in retirement homes and applied what I knew. That forced me to better learn what I was going to teach. “SIFE introduced me to the business aspect of my career that I never had

also became a peer financial counselor to freshmen. He is the leader of one of five teams selected from around the world to present their outreach efforts during the Goldman Sachs Capital Markets Competition at the SIFE World Cup in Germany this fall. Recently, he worked with two professors to develop a software program that uses physics and geographical information systems to help

before. Now I see myself leading a team, being part of a larger community that has a common point of view and a goal. We all got along, even with our differences. That’s what I love about SIFE…forget differences, focus on common goals and passion and create fellowship. “I always thought I simply wanted to be the guy behind the computer, but SIFE helped me understand I could do more.” n

I always thought I simply wanted to be the guy behind the computer, but SIFE helped me understand I could do more. and went immediately to the immigration office to request political asylum.” Juan went to live with his father in Cumming, Georgia and attended Gainesville State College, eventually becoming a permanent resident of the U.S. SIFE was very active on campus, but he hesitated to join. “In Cuba I hated clubs and organizations because I saw them as a way to manipulate youth, so my first year I

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tools & tips

Book Shelf “Management may be the most important innovation of this century – and the one most directly affecting the young educated people in colleges and universities who will be tomorrow’s ‘knowledge workers’ in managed institutions, and their managers the day after tomorrow.” Those words were written by Peter F. Drucker and published in 1974 in his landmark book Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices. In the preface, he stated, “…we know that management is not just common sense. It is not just codified experience. It is, at least potentially, an organized body of knowledge….Management is tasks. Management is discipline. But management is also people. Every achievement of management is the achievement of a manager. Every failure is the failure of a manager. People manage, rather than ‘forces’ or ‘facts.’ The vision, dedication and integrity of managers determines whether there is management or mismanagement.” During a career that spanned more than sixty years, Drucker did more than anyone to organize that body of knowledge, writing more than thirty books that have been translated into more than two dozen languages.

Here are Ten Top Books by Peter F. Drucker that have influenced management models and continue to shape leadership philosophy: The Practice of Management (1954) The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done (1966) Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices (1973) Innovation and Entrepreneurship (1985) Frontiers of Management (1986) The New Realities (1989) Managing for the Future: The 1990s and Beyond (1992) Post-Capitalist Society (1993) Managing in a Time of Great Change (1995) Management Challenges for the 21st Century (1999) n

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tools & tips

Backpack to Briefcase If only I knew then what I know now. Here’s a chance to get a head start preparing for the workplace. Three successful SIFE alumni share words of wisdom to help ease the transition.

Carmen Callies-Garcia HR Business Partner, SUPERVALU Eden Prairie, MN Southwest Minnesota State University – Marshall, MN 2002 Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

As an HR Business Partner at

SUPERVALU, I help senior leaders develop, engage and retain talent. Our goal is to have the right people in the right place at the right time, ready to deliver the right results. I was a non-traditional college student, a little older than my peers. Ours was a brand new SIFE group, so it was exciting to develop the inaugural team. We were very competitive, even within our own team. Working with a team comprising the “best of the best” brought out the best in me, and challenged me to think more creatively. We won Rookie of the Year and immediately wanted to build upon that. I had the chance to work with a wide variety of people and faculty members as we got the program up and running. It opened doors to travel, meeting people

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from other departments and schools, and the career fairs gave me exposure to many opportunities Looking back, I realize that my SIFE experiences gave me a significant advantage over others and helped me build a foundation to be prepared in the workplace. While my college classes gave me a great education, SIFE helped me with all the important things you don’t learn in the classroom…the unwritten rules of business, how to interact and work with people, how to differentiate yourself and get noticed. Tips: • Don’t underestimate the power of building and nurturing a strong internal and external network. Once you have the degree it becomes more about who you know than what you know! • Bring your unique perspective to the table but be aware of and resepect the cultural and generational differences between yourself and those you work with. Misperceptions can cost you a job or a promotion. • From a hiring perspective, I see many talented people. The difference is in attitude and confidence. Know yourself and describe your competencies and what you have to offer the organization. After interviewing 20 people, the candidate who differentiated himself or herself in some unique way is the one I’ll remember.

Bevan Phillipe Financial Service Representative, Ironstone Bank Atlanta, GA Lincoln University – Lincoln University, PA 2004 Bachelor of Science in Communications

As a team leader at my bank branch, I serve as the senior person on the staff and am responsible for internal and external sales, as well as assisting with supervisory operations. My SIFE experience helped prepare me for my position by showing me how to differentiate myself from others. Today I put that into practice by differentiating our customer service and products from our competition. In school, I never knew SIFE existed. If I had known about it, I would have joined immediately. In my junior year, I was asked to be part of SIFE and became excited about the organization and about business. I learned how to manage my time better and had the chance to network with a number of business people


within the community. It was exciting to put business skills to work, helping the companies we worked with to investigate alternative, more cost-effective suppliers. After graduating, I helped start a SIFE Alumni chapter in Atlanta. We are assisting special education students, feeding the poor, cleaning up the parks and teaching students that it’s good to help others. We are making a lasting impression on their lives, teaching them about teamwork, volunteerism and SIFE. The most important thing I developed through SIFE is my ability to work as a team member. As leaders, we learned the importance of delegating responsibilities, and today, I’m able to identify others’ strengths and weaknesses and help them improve the areas in which they may need help. The SIFE experience has been an exciting ride and I will continue to support SIFE and make sure people know about this great organization. Tips: • Hard work is the key to success. When you work hard for what you believe and never give up, you will achieve your goal. • Network within your community. I gained my job through networking in a young professional’s group. Whether you become a member of the Chamber of Commerce or work with a local volunteer organization, networking helps you meet many people and gain new perspectives and valuable information. • It’s not what you know, it really is who you know. If you are well-acquainted with a variety of people and well mentored, your transition to work will be much easier.

Andy Rupley Store Manager , Walgreens Sparks, NV Feather River Community College – Quincy, CA 2004 Associate of Arts in Liberal Studies University of Nevada, Reno – Reno, NV 2006 Bachelor of Science in Marketing Morrison University – Reno, NV 2009 Masters of Business Administration

Before I joined SIFE, I was going to

quit college and enlist in the Army. My baseball career ended abruptly and I didn’t have anywhere else to go or have contact with any family. Dr. Bagley, the Dean of Instruction at Feather River Community College, talked to me about SIFE. There is no way of knowing where I would be today without SIFE and the Bagley family. I had the privilege of being on SIFE teams at two different schools. As president at Feather River Community College during its inaugural year, I led the team to a regional championship and national Rookie of the Year award. After earning my A.A. in Liberal Studies, I enrolled at the University of Nevada, Reno, where I served as Vice President during our school’s first year in SIFE. I started my career with Walgreen’s as a business management intern in September 2005 and was promoted to assistant manager the following January. Shortly after graduating in 2007, I was promoted to

executive assistant manager, and later that year I became a store manager in Sparks, Nevada at the age of 24. Today, I handle the independent marketing and directly manage the vendors that service my store. I manage approximately 25 people a day and am in charge of day-to-day operations and long-term strategy. I don’t believe a student can learn in a classroom what real world experience provides. SIFE is the conduit from college and classroom to practical application. In other words, I hit the road at a full sprint. Attending the regional and national events opened my eyes to real business. I learned how to represent myself in the best way and to realize my, and other SIFE students’, ability to shine. Being recruited by a variety of companies was a highlight. The SIFE career fairs are above and beyond others I attended. The sheer volume and quality of the companies is unmatched, in my opinion. SIFE activities helped prepare me for the working world. Creating projects, managing people productively, and assigning tasks by importance are critical skills. In SIFE we used them all the time. When I graduated I already had the largest part of being a manager, which is being able to delegate tasks and define objectives effectively. Tips: • Like my grandpa always told me, there is no replacement for hard work! • Treat everyone with respect. Walgreens says it perfectly with the four-way test: 1. Is it the truth? 2. Is it fair to all concerned? 3. Will it build goodwill and better friendship? 4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned? • There is an opportunity in every scenario, situation, or conflict. n SIFE 2009 | Career Connections 55 ®


tools & tips

Since You Asked SIFE reached out to Simon Kho, Director of National Student Programs & Global Initiatives at KPMG, to answer today’s question. Send your questions to careerconnections@sife.org “Landing a great job has become more challenging than ever in these tough economic times. What can I do to help stand out from the crowd?” While the job market has shifted, there

are still great employers looking to hire top students to join their ranks. When KPMG recruiters go to campus, they are looking for candidates who have the confidence and presence to stand out from the crowd. If you want to set yourself apart, start by thinking about your personal brand. You can follow in the footsteps of companies who have some of the world’s most powerful corporate brands. Branding yourself is a good way to discover things that make you who you are, develop key messages about your strengths and abilities, and create an image that highlights everything you have to offer. Your brand tells others about you and what they can expect from you. To begin building your brand, ask yourself some basic questions. What do I really enjoy doing? What turns me off? What would my best friend say are my five best characteristics? What’s my greatest talent or best skill? What are the things that I want people to associate with me? Your goal is to learn what makes you different and uniquely attractive to employers. Next, develop a compelling message. Write down what you’ve learned about yourself, then take your discoveries and narrow them down to one or two unique, compelling and true messages. Try to

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list words that describe you, like “smart, analytical and warmhearted” or “creative, organized and a great communicator.” This brand message is what you’ll use to drive your verbal and nonverbal communications to employers. They are the words that will come to mind when you are presenting yourself or need a confidence boost. Finally, the brand works only when your image and actions support it. For example, if your brand includes being thorough, take extra care to make sure your emails are error free. Your brand is your reputation, so make sure you are creating one that presents you the way you want others to see and remember you. Consider the way you interact with others, how you dress at key events, and even what’s out on the internet. All of these things speak volumes about who

you are. Getting a strong, positive image in front of employers will get you noticed. Good luck with your job search! Simon Kho n You can learn more about personal branding by visiting KPMG’s website at www.KPMGcampus.com and checking out our new “Branding U” section.


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tools & tips

Having difficulty navigating the menu or the kitchen cupboards? Test your knowledge! Once you have these definitions under your belt, you will be ready to order with style and have the culinary confidence to wow your colleagues and classmates! Al Dente A. Owner of Al’s Service Station, voted #1 Car Repair Shop in 2008!

Flan A. An egg custard that is baked in a large shallow dish, and flavored with caramel.

B. A term, meaning “to the bite,” used to describe the correct degree of doneness for pasta and vegetables.

B. The past tense of “flun.”

Antipasto A. The Italian word for snacks served before a meal. B. A person against the use of paste in the classroom. Blanch A. Cooking foods in boiling water for a brief period of time. B. A main character in Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Chutney A. Britney’s sister. B. The name for a large range of sauces or relishes used in East Indian cooking. Dim Sum A. What you get when you do addition in the dark. B. A selection of small dishes served for snacks and lunch in China. 58 Career Connections | SIFE 2009 ®

Gumbo A. A thick soup/stew made with meat or seafood served over plain white rice. B. An elephant that could fly. Pesto A. What a magician says at the end of a trick! B. A sauce used for pastas, grilled meats, and poultry, made with fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, and parmesan cheese. Roux A. A mixture of flour and fat used to thicken sauces, soups, and stews. B. Regret, as in “you’ll roux the day!” Scampi A. Bambi’s rambunctious brother. B. Shrimp broiled with butter, lemon, and garlic.

Spring Roll A. Thin sheets of dough which are filled with meat, seafood, or vegetables and rolled into logs. B. The spring dance, on rollerblades. Tapenade A. A parade of tap dancers. B. A paste made from cured black olives seasoned with olive oil, garlic, anchovies, capers, lemon, and marc or cognac. Vermicelli A. A very fine round noodle which means “small worms,” thinner than spaghetti. B. Former NFL Head Coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs. n Food definitions courtesy of http://www.culinarysoftware.com/glossary_cs.htm.


Send us your

Project Photos Help us show the world how you’re changing lives! SIFE teams are invited to share photos of their projects along with a description of how their team made a meaningful difference in the lives of others, as well as their own. The photos and description will be used in our print and online marketing initiatives.

Submitting your photos and descriptions: • Be sure to use RGB, JPEG images preferably 5.0 megapixels or higher. • Please e-mail your photos and project descriptions to:

sifedesign@sife.org with subject line, “Fall CC Mag. project photos”

SIFE 2009 | Career Connections 59 ®


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Career Connections Magazine - Fally 2009