Thirty business students boarded a Spartan Chariot bus early on a Friday morning, dressed to impress and eager to meet leaders at Volvo Group’s North American headquarters in Greensboro. The students were part of a Bryan School Company Trek, an exclusive opportunity to learn about career opportunities and network with local business leaders.
The visit began with an overview of Volvo’s global operations group. Guillaume Giroudon, vice president of operations in North America, kicked-off the discussion by introducing his team and giving an overview of production logistics and the global supply chain. Students were fascinated to learn how the logistics team in Greensboro oversees all shipments across North America, from Mack trucks to lug nuts.
In addition to learning about specific internship and career opportunities at Volvo, students received tips on how to succeed in the workplace. Giroudon warned students against becoming focused only on their job function. To be a great professional, he said, students should seek opportunities to participate in job shadowing and other opportunities to understand the “big picture” wherever they work.
Following the presentations, students had the opportunity to network with members of the global operations group. Jamie McCormick, logistics data maintenance specialist, reminded students, “Network, network, network. You never know when you will need your contacts.”
Bryan School alumna Katy Link (BS ’16, MBA ’18), district sales associate with Volvo Trucks and a member of the Volvo Group International Graduate Program, spoke about her background with the company. She first visited Volvo during a Bryan School Company Trek, then secured a summer internship which led to a full-time position. She told students that meeting employers through company visits and campus events can be an important way to show that you’re eager and excited about joining the work force.
Students were encouraged several times throughout the day to keep coming in with a “go-getter” attitude and to not be afraid to bring new ideas to the table. Karmen Meeks, university relations manager, reminded students, “We are learning from you.”
The Company Trek was only one element of Volvo Group’s partnership with the Bryan School this spring. Company representatives also attended a “Jam Session” with faculty to discuss ways to ensure that curriculum stays current with industry needs, and Volvo hosted two “Company Spotlight” events to promote current internship opportunities.