Business and Pleasure Mix in Dean Hardin's Visit
October 21, 2012
By Josh Veazey
Faculty and alumni mixed business with pleasure with a dash of football as Dr. J. Michael Hardin and staff from the University's Culverhouse College of Commerce made a visit to the Big Apple.
Dean Hardin and staff spent some quality time with the Greater New York Chapter for its Tennessee football game watch party Saturday night and its tour of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum tour on Sunday afternoon. Prior to the game watch, Dr. Hardin hosted an exclusive meet-and-greet with Culverhouse alumni to report on the status of the college.
“The people who are up here already can be a big asset to students,” Hardin said. “So we are working with alumni to help the network up here, making sure that we have a good program in place so that when students come up here, we can get them connected.”
Hardin stressed the importance of faculty keeping in touch with alumni outlets and of new graduates getting to know fellow alumni in their city. “It’s hard for me to know exactly what to do when I’m in Tuscaloosa,” Hardin said. “But people who are here -- your network -- you all know how to help them get involved. We want to make sure they know how to connect with you.”
Hardin came to New York City to connect with Alabama networks and explore new job placement avenues for Culverhouse students and graduates. His itinerary included an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek to talk about Alabama alumni in the New York area and the latest work being done at Culverhouse. One of his primary goals for the college is to increase the rate of graduates who have job placement 90 days after graduation from 74 to 85 percent. For a college that increasingly attracts out-of-state talent, this means exploring more placement options outside of the Southeast.
“We need to let companies know how good they are, and we need to have companies coming and recruiting and placing our students” Hardin said, noting that the University’s Fall 2012 freshman class includes more National Merit Scholars than any other public university. “Part of my mission is to tell that story to anyone who will give me five minutes.”
For many top students in finance, accountancy, information systems, and statistics, the ideal arena for their career potential is Manhattan, which boasts over 300,000 jobs in financial services and is the financial capital of the world.
“It’s similar to what Coach (Nick) Saban tells players: ‘If you come here and do the right things, I will help you get to the NFL,’” Hardin said. “New York City is the NFL for the business community. This is where the big players are. I want students to have the chance to come and play here.”