The fifth annual University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business Administration Employer Partners Day welcomed 79 employers representing 52 companies to Innovation Campus on Tuesday, May 17. In total 113 attended the event. Career Services at CBA hosted the event and presented awards for Employer of the Year to Union Pacific Railroad, and the newly created Sue Vagts Faculty/Staff Partner of the Year to Sue Vagts, director of the UNL actuarial science program. Vagts also received the distinction of having the new award named after her.
Dr. Rachel Larson, director of Career Services at CBA, believes the event continues to adapt to the needs of employers to facilitate high impact connections between employers and students.
“Attendees mentioned the topics this year were as relevant as ever,” said Larson. “This is the first year we did a faculty panel because we are regularly getting questions about engaging faculty, and getting more employers into classrooms. This gave employers a chance to have a face-to-face discussion with key faculty about what we can do together going forward.”
The faculty panel included Dr. Kathy Farrell, chair of the Department of Finance and State Farm Professor; Dr. Alok Kumar, associate professor in marketing; and Dr. Sam Nelson, interim director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and assistant professor of practice in management.
Larson lauded Union Pacific for the consistent work they have done with CBA students.
“Union Pacific is a wonderful partner,” she said. “They participate in the employer in residence program every year, they give grants to UNL students including many at CBA and they have a hands-on approach in the classroom, particularly with the Union Pacific marketing class, where students learn real world business skills while working with Union Pacific executives.”
Vagts, who could not attend the Employer Partners Day event, received her award the following day at a surprise ceremony at CBA.
“It was a huge shock and honor to receive the first award and have it named after me,” said Vagts. “I have found it important to work closely with actuarial science students in developing their business skills, communication skills and interviewing skills. Career Services at CBA have become experts in helping actuarial science students put together a résumé tailored to their career paths. It’s been great having them close by in CBA.”
Employer Partners Day featured a keynote luncheon address from Mark Pogue, assistant professor of practice in management, who heads the Don Clifton Strengths Institute Strengths Lab at CBA. Pogue discussed the value of employers becoming aware of employee strengths to improve productivity and create a better quality of life for everyone.