Three companies share how UW–Madison students fit their talent needs

In the last year, nearly 8,500 companies have sought out students from the University of Wisconsin–Madison for their talent needs.

This includes Chicago-based Morningstar Inc, contract research organization Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD), Inc. and global medical technology and life sciences company GE Healthcare.

Whether looking for students earlier in their college career to fill internships or recent graduates for full-time positions, these companies report that UW provides a goldmine to meet their workforce needs.

“The primary reason companies like these reach out to our office is to connect with UW students,” says Melissa Simon, business engagement director at the Office of Business Engagement (OBE). “And while UW–Madison hosts traditional large-scale career fairs, our partner businesses are looking for new ways to gain visibility and engage with our amazing students.”

Those opportunities include working with campus career offices to set up mock interview sessions or resume reviews, semester-long classroom projects, hosting students onsite for job shadowing and hackathons, and even the sharing of technology or software. Simon says, “We’re helping businesses make the connections with students, while students are learning about a company’s culture and opportunities for the future.”

Morningstar Inc., an investment research company, cultivates connections with students at UW–Madison through career fairs, mock interviews and classroom presentations. While it is a financial company, its focus includes bringing value to students and faculty in the Wisconsin School of Business, the College of Letters & Science, and the School of Human Ecology, including providing leadership in the classroom by incorporating their proprietary investment analysis tools into Consumer Science course work for student and faculty use. Leslie Mullins, Talent and Culture Business Partner with Morningstar, makes sure UW–Madison is included in her teams’ recruitment schedule due to the outstanding quality of students they meet.

PPD, Inc. in Middleton, WI, provides pharmaceutical drug development, laboratory and lifecycle management services. It extends its involvement on campus by participating in mock interviews and in resume review clinics as well as working closely with UW faculty and staff to incorporate current industry education into the classroom. Each summer it hires UW–Madison students as interns and often retains them as employees during the academic year, establishing a deep and enriching learning experience. Viva Valentine is a scientist at PPD who sees firsthand what UW students bring to the company.

The GE Healthcare/UW–Madison partnership dates back almost 60 years with a proud tradition of collaborative medical imaging research. Nicole Rybeck Wolcott is a key steward in today’s partnership as the Global Service Productivity Leader with GE Healthcare and has seen the relationship expand from research to include connections with eight of UW’s schools and colleges, and collaborations with Athletics and the Division of International Studies. While recruiting brings Badgers to GE Healthcare’s Waukesha headquarters, Rybeck Wolcott sees the impact on a global scale.

Companies can initiate and expand their access to student talent through the Office of Business Engagement. OBE can facilitate the right connections to campus resources and can help develop new approaches for connecting companies to the talent they need to address changing workforce needs