Eastern Michigan University
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Win-Win Scenario for Students and Top-Rated Speakers at 2015 EMU College of Business Alumni Business Conference

Published December 21, 2015

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Karen Andrews, managing director of The Andrews Group, speaks with student at the COB Business Conference

Karen Andrews, managing director of The
Andrews Group, speaks with student at the
COB Business Conference

Eastern Michigan University’s tradition of bringing top-rated speakers to the College of Business is a win-win scenario for the students and the speakers. 

“Students win because they gain valuable exposure to the real-life business environment and they develop contacts for internships, entry level positions and more,” says Harry Derderian, full time lecturer in marketing and integrated marketing communications. 

“Speakers win because the businesses and organizations they represent are introduced to a pool of talent,” he adds. Derderian believes the COB’s reputation for attracting top-rated speakers is built, in part, by its excellent alumni relations and its proactive EMU faculty and club advisors.

College of Business Dean Michael Tidwell, agrees: “Our faculty and club advisors have developed an impressive network of business contacts to draw from. They’ve also established a long track record of hosting talks, all of which adds to our momentum for attracting future speakers.” 

In a typical semester, the COB hosts about 36 speakers who represent a wide range of businesses, organizations and nonprofits, says Tidwell. Many speakers, such as Steve Futrell (BA89), the founder, CEO and president of Technology Solutions, are alumni. Technology Solutions is a Livonia-based company that offers state-of-the-art technology to help customers maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace. Top accounting firms with alumni speakers include Plante Moran, KPMG and Ernst & Young.

Non-alumni speakers who are simply fans of the COB include representatives of Diversified Industrial Staffing, a candidate-centric recruiter for the manufacturing industry headquartered in Troy; Esperion Therapeutics, a public, pharmaceutical company headquartered in Plymouth; Ford Motor Company, a multi-national automaker headquartered in Dearborn; Hantz Group, a business financial services conglomerate with offices in Michigan and Ohio; Rehman, a financial services firm specializing in small businesses and middle-market companies throughout Michigan and beyond; and Yeo & Yeo CPAs & Business Consultants, a leading Michigan CPA firm.

Speakers address clubs such as the EMU student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management; fraternities such as the EMU Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, a national accounting honors organization; as well as EMU classes and business departments. Topics include the latest accounting procedures, what it’s like to be a financial planner and how to effectively prepare for an interview.

“Their talks represent a tremendous opportunity for our students to gain insight into the business world, to develop contacts, and to represent themselves to potential employers,” says Tidwell.

Many speakers are so impressed, they often return to the COB for recruiting. “I frequently get calls from recruiters and from employers looking for internship candidates,” says Tidwell. “They know our business students are well prepared.”

College of Business
473 Gary Owen Building
300 W. Michigan Ave.
Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197

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