By: Erica Alitiem, Career Coach
Last semester the PDC Career Coaches visited major US cities on outreach trips to connect with alumni and build relationship for future opportunities for students. This is the first blog in the series.
Minneapolis-St. Paul was recently ranked #3 for being one of the best cities for college graduates. It is home to the most Fortune 500 companies per capita in all of the metro areas in the country, so there are plenty of job opportunities for recent college grads. The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul also have one of the highest populations of young people between the ages of 20 and 29, making this area an even more appealing place for recent grads.
During my visit to the Twin Cities, I was able to visit a variety of different companies offering tremendous opportunities and career growth to undergrads. Here’s a snap shot of a few:
Ryerson is one of the world’s largest metals distributors (170 years) experiencing domestic (over 90 offices) and international growth. It’s a 4 billion dollar company providing metal for every day products and establishments such as the back of an IPAD/TV/refrigerator, and the McDonald Arches. They work with end users to help make the model, manufacture, and ship over 70,000 different products. Half of Ryerson’s entry level positions are from undergrads in an inside sales position. There is 6 month academy entry in Minneapolis then candidates are transferred with consideration of location. Main campuses are Seattle, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago, North Carolina and Louisiana. Corporate office is in Chicago with 3 regional offices in Minneapolis, Atlanta, and Toronto.
Most students are aware of General Mills from campus as they hire many graduates in the Business Management Associate position (as well as internships and campus ambassador positions). The first 1-2 years are primarily relationship sales and in the following areas to determine the best fit: Strategy and Planning, Trade, Category Management, Selling to the Customer, People Management. One can expect to move at least twice in the first 5 years and will include HQ (Mpls) at some point as they believe mobility is extremely important in career development. Data analytics and advanced excel skills with a minimum 3.2 GPA are other considered factors. The headquarters has everything an employee would need such as an on-site gym, medical/eye clinic, hair, product store, gift shop, cafeteria, coffee shop. They are moving away from traditional work space and have opened more open and communal space as well as check out desk space and treadmill work stations.
USBank, division of Technology and Operation Services, offers a Technology and Operations Internship Program where interns work on assignments and projects that address real world business problems and network with industry professionals. It’s a 8-12 week summer program, in multiple locations of Minneapolis, placement is based upon interest, skill set and current business needs. This program is open to Junior’s moving into senior year, 3.0 GPA, must be eligible to work in the US. Common majors in business: MIS, Finance, Bus Admin (Computer Science, Engineering). Strong in organizational, analytical, communication, problem solving, teamwork skills. Knowledge of IT environments and related business systems, applications, or infrastructure. Related classroom experience solving complex problems involving multiple technology or systems is helpful.
Ameriprise, a financial services company, is launching additional career opportunities on the west coast. They offer Internships and Full time Opportunities in Phoenix and Las Vegas. In Phoenix, the entry level positions is in Auto/Home/insurance claims and in Las Vegas, they have a large advisor Center. At corporate headquarters in Minneapolis, Ameriprise offers a Leadership Rotational Programs (Finance) plus Rotational Internship Programs and additional opportunities in the following areas: asset management/product distribution, auto/home insurance, corporate communications/community relations, customer service, finance, financial advisor/planning, human resources, insurance/annuities, legal compliance program, marketing, operations, technology. Other large locations are Los Angeles and Plano, Texas. Ameriprise attended their first Career Showcase this past Spring and plan to increase their campus involvement.
Parametric is a Global Asset Management Company. They have the majority of their people housed in corporate office of Seattle and Minneapolis Investment Center. Due to growth they are building a more aggressive platform (and partnership) for college hiring to be launched within the year. Their biggest need and entry level entry is through Operations and Client Services. Important to have some professional experience (internship), perform lots of research, asking thoughtful questions, grasp how business operates. Good understanding for Office Suite/Excel, organized, passion and values continues learning and growth.