Students Network at Johnson & Johnson Career Fair
By Leila Kojouri
Johnson & Johnson hosted a career fair on Wednesday night, in an effort to recruit Penn State students into their ever-expanding industries.
Nicholas Valeriani, the vice president for strategy and growth, and Penn State alumnus Mike McGranaghan, chief procurement officer for Johnson & Johnson, spoke before a packed house at the Nittany Lion Inn.
McGranaghan, who graduated from Penn State in 1982 with a Masters of Business Administrations in programming, introduced the presentation, provided information on Johnson & Johnson and offered students a living example of the success education can bring them in their careers.
“Students should follow their passions and have tremendous energy in everything they do,” said McGranaghan, who emphasized that education extends far beyond the classroom.
“In order to be successful in the world, you must constantly keep learning in your profession,” urged McGranaghan.
Valeriani gave an in-depth presentation about what Johnson & Johnson does and how they operate as a business.
He also described the innumerable employment opportunities available at Johnson & Johnson.
“Although this is a $61 billion corporation, you’ll find yourself in a small company environment,” said Valeriani. “… The exciting thing about the way we do our business is our strategized plans.”
Valeriani said that Johnson & Johnson employs “decentralized” management, and that the company is divided into three sectors: consumer, pharmaceutical and medical devices and diagnostics.
Theresa Edwards, a university recruiter for the consumer sector of Johnson & Johnson, said the consumer healthcare sector is the largest in the business, and stressed how these career fairs help essential growth needed for such a large corporation.
“The Penn State students we get are phenomenal,” said Edwards. “We hire about 160 PSU students a year, for full time positions, co-ops, and internships. We have a lot of Penn State alumni, too.”
Edwards said there was a great turnout at the career fair at the Bryce Jordan Center and that for the past three days a steady flow of students came by the Johnson & Johnson booth.
She said that every year, their company takes up the whole back half of the first floor of the stadium during the career fair.
“J & J has a very good show when we come to the fairs because we have so many people interested in recruiting Penn Staters,” said Edwards. “And we have a lot of Alumni who want to come back and continually bring PSU students to J & J.”
Supriya Sharma, a first-year graduate student majoring in Bio Technology, said she went to the career fair in hopes of landing an internship.
“Today was a great day. I met with so many companies, and some looked very promising,” said Sharma. “The career fair is crucial for prime interactions with companies, to learn about their products and opportunities.”
Following the presentation, students spoke with recruiters in “functional breakout sessions,” tailored to networking Johnson & Johnson with students of specific majors, such as contract management, finance, and information technology.
Steve Reed, a senior majoring in management, said he enjoyed the presentation, and that he had worked for Johnson & Johnson before.
“I came here for networking, something everyone should be interested in,” said Reed.
Other students felt inspired by the speakers, and looked to them as role models for success.
Chris Tang, a junior majoring in supply chain management and finance, said he thought the speech was very innovative, and that he gained a better understanding of growth strategy and the importance of diversification.
“J & J is not underperforming by any means,” said Tang. “They are weathering the storm of economic instability.”
Kristine Kirwin, the University Relations Specialist for Johnson & Johnson, said she was thrilled with the turnout of the evening, which emphasized the strong relations McGranahan has with PSU students.
“We’re definitely honored that students come out even with their busy schedules,” said Kirwin. “Two executives came here on company helicopters just to talk to PSU students, because they really wanted to reach out to them.”