Williamson College Builds Area’s Talent Pipeline

By Betty Jo Licata, Dean, YSU Williamson College of Business Administration
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The strategic priorities of Youngstown State University’s Williamson College of Business Administration are to impact the success of our students and businesses through innovation and engagement. We continually seek ways to build the talent pipeline in our region, produce research that makes a difference and create opportunities that serve students and businesses.

The Williamson College’s Center for Career Management is now fully staffed with a director, coordinator and support staff member.

Providing college-based services for job placement, internships and professional development programming establishes our career center as a single point of contact for business students and employers.

This past year the placement rate of our undergraduates was 80%, while 211 students completed paid internships and 55% of our graduates completed a paid, credit-bearing internship. We are on track for significant growth again this year.

To provide students with international business experience, we partner with the Ohio Development Services Agency on the Ohio Export Internship Program. This program includes a specialized course and a full-time paid export internship. Last year, 11 students completed the program. Companies have experienced great success in using this program to expand their exporting activities and many have hired the interns into full-time positions.

A grant from the Raymond John Wean Foundation supported our Nonprofit Summer Honors Internship Program, which helps build our region’s nonprofit leadership capacity by placing 10 students in full-time paid internships with regional nonprofit and government organizations. Building this capacity supports the organizations’ goals and has led to employment for some of the participants.

In 2017 we celebrated the graduation of the first group of graduates from our new master of accountancy program. Thirteen students completed the one-year program and enrollment for the second year has grown 29%. Our MBA program, which is delivered on campus and online, has 150 students.

Hands-on experience is a powerful learning tool and businesses benefit in the process. Our students have completed projects in areas such as website design, human resources, marketing research, advertising, strategic analysis, global expansion and marketing strategy. In 2017, more than 100 projects were completed by 550 students.

We know businesses want leaders and our WCBA student leadership organizations are actively engaged in their professions, community and university. Our students have represented us at conferences and competitions across the country and in doing so have expanded their professional networks and increased the visibility of YSU.

Faculty research enhances the teaching-learning process and the applied nature of faculty research has the potential to impact the effectiveness of business practice. This past year our faculty published more than 20 journal articles and presented their research around the world.

Our award-winning Ohio Small Business Development Center had another banner year assisting businesses and the economy. It served more than 400 clients as it supported the creation of more than 200 jobs. The center also saw an increase of more than $13 million in exporting sales and an increase of $27 million in total sales.

We take pride in celebrating the achievements of our alumni. Recipients of our 2017 WCBA outstanding alumni awards were Robert DiRusso, owner and president, DiRusso’s Sausage; Mitchell Joseph, founder and CEO, Joseph Co. International; and Patricia Mishic, chief commercial officer, CoorsTek.

Engage! Cleveland’s president, Ashley Basile Oeken, who received her BSBA in 2007 and MBA in 2008, was named outstanding recent alumna.

Editor’s Note: This story was published in The Business Journal’s Growth Report 2018. The 144-page edition features growth reports from more than 200 local businesses and organizations. It was published this week. If you are not a subscriber, CLICK HERE to purchase a copy or call Eileen Lovell at 330 744 5023 Ext. 1008.

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