By Abigail Bickel
On Thursday, Sept. 13, Cleveland State University’s Career Services center hosted “Sherwin-Williams Day” for current Cleveland State students to meet Sherwin-Williams recruiters and Cleveland State alumni. During a series of events throughout the day, students were able to learn about internship and career opportunities with the company. The event also presented students with the opportunity to engage with recruiters from the company with the hopes of teaching students the importance of expanding their professional network.
“It’s a great opportunity for students to network. It’s very important to me, personally, but it’s also part of the mission of the Career Services office that we prepare students for the world of work and life after graduation,” Jessica Colombi, the executive director of Career Services at Cleveland State, said.
Part of preparing students for the work force after graduation is ensuring that they are comfortable talking with professional people. Engaging with professionals from a well-known Northeast Ohio employer like Sherwin-Williams not only gives students the chance to explore opportunities within this particular company but also prepares them for future engagements with other potential employers as well.
“The skill to be able to talk about what you can do to regular people out there is invaluable,” Colombi said.
With their headquarters located in Cleveland, Sherwin-Williams has been able to maintain a steady relationship with Cleveland State. The company manufactures, distributes and sells paints, coatings and other related products. The partnership that this Fortune 500 company has with Cleveland State presents students with the opportunity to learn about some of the other numerous positions in the company.
“It’s so important for students to understand that they have a network, and that is what is going to help them in the world out there,” Colombi said.
Students coming from any major may find that their area of interest crosses the bounds of their field of study, and that is what the Career Services center hoped to convey to students in showing them this opportunity.
“While that technical preparation and scholarship is really important and does prepare students for the world of work, they really are marketable to any kind of position,” Colombi said.
The event took place at the request of Sherwin-Williams. While open to all students, it was aimed at engineering and business students. The skills that engineering, accounting and marketing students learn in their field of study, on the surface level, tend to meet the company’s needs.
“We’d love to attract as many young professionals coming to Sherwin-Williams as we can, whether it’s through internship opportunities or co-op opportunities that we have available as well as people looking for that entry level position after graduation,” Maureen Drabik, a Sherwin-Williams talent acquisition manager, said. “We’re here just to spread the word that if someone is interested in different positions — whether it’s engineering, business, finance — we want to make sure that we’re connecting them with the right folks.”
Because of the direction of intention, the event was promoted through the Monte Ahuja College of Business and the Washkewicz College of Engineering. Both colleges hosted separate discussion panels with a few Sherwin-Williams employees, who were available to answer questions about working in those particular positions within Sherwin-Williams.
“We are such a large company here in downtown Cleveland, so we just want to spark that interest — make students aware of what we do, all of the different opportunities, meet some of our employees, learn a little bit about the culture and see what they do, their experience and how they got to where they are,” Madison Horning, a human resources co-op at Sherwin-Williams’ brain technology center, said.
They are, however, looking for students of all majors to fill internship and future employment slots. To this end, Sherwin-Williams recruiters were stationed at a table in the Student Center InnerLink for the duration of the event to help attract those nonbusiness and engineering students.
The event was rounded off with a résumé review session in the Career Services office, located in Rhodes Tower West 280. Sherwin-Williams employees were available for the last hour of the event to look at students’ résumés one-on-one and give professional feedback. For students who missed the event and would like a chance to have their résumé reviewed, on Oct. 5, the Career Services center will be hosting a walk-in “Résumé Rx” where in 10 to 15 minutes, students can get personalized and professional feedback on their résumé.