Why hire an App grad?

Comments from employers on how Appalachian graduates stack up
  • Nursing students learning in an experimental classroom

Employers endorse the concept of a liberal education.

74% would recommend the concept of a liberal education to their own child or a young person they know. Liberal education is similar to the liberal arts tradition; however, it is geared even more toward empowering students to deal with complexity, diversity, and change in the 21st century.

Source: It Takes More Than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success, Hart Research Associates, 2013.

74% of employers endorse the concept of a liberal education

"I look for individuals that are able to present themselves well and articulate their ideas. Our business is relationship based, so they (need to) be able to network well with the business community. A grasp of new technology and the use of it are important. Knowledge of general business practices are also important – the Appalachian degree brings that. It is equally important that the candidate has a sense of community and is willing to give back. Further, a candidate should continue to be involved with his or her university."

- Jimmy Barnes ’84
NAI Carolantic Realty Inc.

"Appalachian’s risk management program is one of the best in the country. (The students) come to us very well rounded, thinking analytically and critically but also with the ability to communicate and interact from a relationship standpoint with our customers. (An employee) needs to be open to opportunities to build a deeper and broader background of experiences. It’s important to recognize the way to the top is not always a straight line. A person needs to be willing to move laterally and pick up a skill set that will complement skills they already have."

- Mike Harrington
Liberty Mutual Regional Vice President

"In my business we look for the traditional, valued qualities that have not changed: a strong work ethic, demonstrated by an internship or a history with a job or two, someone who is involved with campus activities and the community. An ideal graduate has good analytical skills as well as interpersonal skills. He might have a 4.0 GPA, but if he cannot relate and communicate with his teammates he cannot be a leader. I appreciate a graduate who comes in willing to do whatever it takes. The (Appalachian business school) graduates seem to have common sense, a willingness to roll up their sleeves – maybe they just want it more."

- J. Cantey Alexander III ’86
Regional President for the Triad Region, BB&T

"College graduates need experiences that will prepare them to transition from classrooms to boardrooms through progressive leadership and engagement on campus – whether it be through athletics, student government or wherever their passions lie. Translating this passion into the work force with curiosity, a willingness to listen and to learn, and the desire to make a meaningful contribution are critical for a recent grad to find success in the workplace."

- Sharon Decker
N.C. Secretary of Commerce

“When hiring, we look for strong writers who are curious, adaptable, world aware and (who) learn new technologies quickly. The Department of Communication does an excellent job instilling in its students the importance of writing as a skill and preparing its graduates for a career filled with lifelong learning.”

- Kathryn Blanchard ’84
President, Crown Communications Inc.

“New hires (must have) a strong work ethic, a positive attitude, a sense of humor, and a thirst for lifelong learning.”
- Livian L. Jones ’87
Business Development Manager W.M. Jordan Company