Ford execs visit campus, praise BYU grads

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BYU hosted its third annual “Ford Day” on Thursday, Sept. 15. Ford executives met with BYU faculty and students to strengthen an already strong relationship. BYU places in the top 20 schools for the number of graduates offered positions at Ford, and the Detroit-based company has hired more than 30 BYU graduates over the last 12 months.

Ford representatives met with students to discuss academic goals and career options on Thursday, Sept. 15. The Fortune 500 company recruits heavily at BYU, and it’s one of the top employers for BYU graduates. (Maddi Driggs)

Bernard Silverstone is CEO, chairman and group vice president of Ford Motor Credit Company. He said the company has had a positive experience hiring BYU alumni.

“BYU alumni that work for Ford are all a step ahead of the game,” Silverstone said.

The graduates’ performance has been a driving factor behind Ford wanting more employees coming from BYU, he said.

Silverstone said Ford hires students whose academic and extracurricular choices make them stand out.

Students line up to speak with Ford executives on Thursday, Sept. 15. “Ford Day” gave students the chance to meet top executives from the Fortune 500 company. (Maddi Driggs)

“We look for the top students who want really engaging work,” Silverstone said. “We want them to be involved in innovation and the competitive teams on campus, and (have) a passion for the auto industry.”

Silverstone said some employees can work abroad and do international business for Ford. BYU students are often good hires, he said, because so many of them have experience living in other cultures.

“Ford gives engaging work,” Silverstone said. “It’s a global company and very diverse group.”

BYU alumni working for Ford are not just numbers, but they fit in well at the family-oriented company, Silverstone said. Ford gives back to BYU in many forms, including scholarships, mentorships, grants and capstone project sponsorship. Ten percent of BYU’s mechanical engineering graduating class goes to work at Ford.

Silverstone encouraged students majoring in engineering and business to look into applying to Ford.

In addition to Ford, several other well-known companies have their eyes on BYU, including Google, Goldman Sachs and Wal-Mart.

Director of employment engagement Tony Jewkes helped plan the Ford Day event, but he said many more large companies recruit heavily at BYU. He said BYU Bridge is a great online resource for students looking for jobs at companies like these.

“The goal at the end of the day is to help students get great jobs,” Jewkes said.