There has been a longstanding debate about whether or not success in the classroom translates into success in the workplace. What makes a successful student versus a successful employee? Is it attendance? Participation? A positive attitude?
It can often be difficult to point to one area as the determining factor in the success of a student, as they all play a very key role. Teaching students, not only the skills they need for their career, but also strategies for success, is one area that Globe University prides itself on. And being able to partner with employers that share similar fundamentals on what makes a successful employee, helps to bridge the gap between education and careers.
The Wisconsin-based company Straight Forward is one of these businesses, and they are working to change the contact center industry and customer service experience for all of their clients. Built on a platform of a no-nonsense, straight forward, approach to both employee and client success, they are redefining the customer contact space. Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Josh Rasmussen (lead operations manager) and Amy Kilmer (human resources and recruitment) at Straight Forward’s location in Eau Claire. What I learned and saw while I was there left me excited for the future of the company and the opportunities available for Globe University students and graduates.
When I walked onto the advising floor, it was clear the principles for success are defined. Performance, Attitude, Attendance, and Future were written on the wall, visible from every area. Similar to the principals of success in the classroom, these reassured me I was in the right place. The company’s advisors, the heart of center, were engaged with their customers and offered a consultative approach to provide the best possible experience.
In talking with Amy and Josh, I learned about the culture within the organization—the rural, small town-roots of the company. Established in 2009, Straight Forward was started near Madison, Wisconsin in the town of Sauk City. Since then, the company has grown to include five locations across the state. Even with the company’s rapid growth and well-recognized communication and entertainment clients, it was apparent they have managed to maintain the close-knit camaraderie and customer focus the business was built on.
What else sets Straight Forward apart? Flexibility. Offering employment to college students in all of their markets helps them meet the demand of their growing business while providing learning and employment opportunities to those students. Employees can expect to gain hands-on training in areas of sales, customer service and consulting. Their flexible scheduling options are ideal for students looking for employment while in school. It offers them the ability to continue their education and help them bridge the gap into their career. Josh also highlighted one statistic that company is proud of: 90 percent of the supervisory team were promoted from within the company and started in the entry-level position of advisor. Needless to say, I was impressed.
The opportunities available to Globe University students at just the Eau Claire location were evident during my visit. Advising positions offer competitive pay and great bonus potential. With locations in Eau Claire, Menomonie and Rice Lake, Globe University-Eau Claire students seeking employment have many convenient locations to choose from. Straight Forward also has locations close to the Madison campuses, with an office in Brodhead, Wisconsin, and their corporate office and original contact center in Sauk City.
It is through the strong relationships with innovative employers like Straight Forward and universities such as Globe that will help to ensure success and lead the future of career education.