UNT program creates opportunities through corporate partnerships

Thursday, January 26, 2012

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- The Professional Leadership Program at the University of North Texas is expanding its corporate mentor partnerships, further helping UNT students become more competitive in the job market.

The program, founded in 1994, is a cooperative effort between UNT's College of Business and corporate partners in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. The program is open to all UNT students, and aims to give students exposure to skills needed to be competitive in the workforce, such as resume building, business etiquette and salary negotiation techniques.

The program is approaching 100 mentors representing companies in various industries, including Fidelity Investments, Wells Fargo Capital Finance, Marriott International, Crane Worldwide, BNSF Railway, CapitalOne, Kimberly-Clark, Neiman Marcus, Ethan Allen Interiors and Frito Lay.

"The Professional Leadership Program's combination of mentoring with leadership training is unique, and we are excited about how our growing partnerships in the Dallas-Fort Worth region will benefit UNT students," said Renée Hebert, director of the program.

Each student in the program is connected to a corporate mentor, and has opportunities to shadow their mentor at networking events and business meetings.

Greg Muccio, a manager in charge of hiring interns for Southwest Airlines, is a program mentor and believes the skill set UNT students develop through the program stands out in job applications.

"A UNT student introduced herself to me at a Professional Leadership Program networking event, then made a point to find me at another event to discuss her interest in an internship with Southwest, and you know we get thousands of resumes for open positions, but because of the program I went from not knowing she exists to looking for her resume," Muccio said. "That's a huge advantage."

Lisa Childers, a manager in supply chain management with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., is also a mentor, and believes students who have Professional Leadership Program experience on their resume show a high level of prestige and initiative.

"Students involved in this program are seeking other means to further develop themselves, and will be a step ahead of other candidates when applying for jobs," Childers said.

UNT alumnus Jason Levi participated in the program while earning his master's degree from UNT's College of Music. Levi graduated in 2007, and is currently performing as a musician with Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas. He credits his experience in the Professional Leadership Program and his mentor with preparing him for his career.

"From the very basics of interviewing, resume writing and attire, to the finer points of salary negotiation, networking and entrepreneurship strategies, the program takes you through everything step by step and with clarity," Levi said. "The program surpassed my expectations; I met great people and a great mentor, who believed in me every step of the way."

Students participating in the Professional Leadership Program commit a full academic year and about 5 to 6 hours per month to program events. The program is extra-curricular, and consists of weekly mandatory and elective programs members attend to develop professional skills, and monthly meetings with mentors.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108