March, 2010

BOLD Talent Networking Forum @ Museum of Flight

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010
Museum of Flight
UW undergraduates representing the Foster School
UW undergraduates representing the Foster School
Foster students engage with Gwen Houston, GM Global Diversity & Inclusion, US HR Diversity
Foster students engage with Gwen Houston, Microsoft GM Global Diversity & Inclusion, US HR Diversity

I was fortunate enough to attend the BOLD Talent Networking Forum along with over 50 undegraduates representing the UW Foster School of Business on Monday, March 1 at the Museum of Flight.  This experience was educational, enriching, and a rare opportunity to network with high level executives.  The panel that was featured for dialogue and questions included CEO’s from Seattle’s top companies such as Puget Sound Energy, JP Morgan Chase, Alaska Airlines, Retail Lockbox Inc., and of course, Microsoft.  I was amazed and surprised at the CEO’s willingness to speak candidly with us on what they are looking for in an employee.  Words that were thrown out there include initiative-oriented, persistent, driven, strong work-ethic, and a willingness to learn and grow every day.  Along with these attributes, they each expressed how their companies are continually seeking diverse backgrounds of diverse cultures to come and work for them.  This was a true testament to me on how much companies nowadays are fervently seeking minorities with diverse upbringings to come in and offer new and fresh perspectives.  It was a great thing to see and hear for my own eyes and ears and it came directly from the leaders of these fortune 500 companies. 

The next portion of the night was dedicated to Small Group Networking where we were able to sit in a more intimate group with top level HR managers, recruiters, and other executives and have a discussion about the best ways we can advance ourselves along with the next steps we might be able to take in regards to an internship or job opportunity.  These managers were so helpful in identifying the keys to success in the application, interview, and follow-up process.   A story from one of the HR managers from Alaska resonated with me.  She explained how she started at Alaska in the call center and everyday she would ask to learn something new.  Finally, she had learned everything possible within that department and upper management took notice and sent her to corporate where she assumed a supervisor role in the company.  Ever since, she’s been moving her way up and now is a senior director.  Stories like this are inspiring and give me a great perspective on what makes a successful employee. 

Overall, this event was a huge success for me and I was able to put my face and name in the front of very important decision makers in their respective companies.  I would definitely encourage students next year to keep an eye out and to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. 

Special Thanks to:

BOLD Member Companies
Alaska Airlines & Horizon Air, Boeing, Costco, Eddie Bauer, Group Health Cooperative, JP Morgan
Chase, Liberty Mutual/Safeco, Microsoft, Puget Sound Energy, REI, Retail Lockbox, Russell
Investment Group, Starbucks, The Seattle Foundation, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, Weyerhaeuser

BOLD Talent Partners
Act Six / Northwest Leadership Foundation, College Success Foundation, Rainier Scholars, University
of Puget Sound, UW Foster School of Business Business Economic Development Center (BEDC), UW Foster School of Business Undergraduate Diversity Services

-Vance Roush
Junior, Marketing & Information Systems