Corporate prospects have the potential to be your university’s best donors if the relationship is cultivated correctly. To make these gifts come to fruition though the company must see real value in the relationship such as a solid recruiting pipeline and productive partnerships with your faculty. One engagement strategy that incorporates all of these activities into a single campus visit is the “corporate car wash.” This is a whole day that is dedicated to your corporate prospect as they connect with faculty, host a recruiting table and conduct a speaking engagement. These activities are promoted to the campus community for weeks prior to the visit to ensure optimal attendance. Below are some tips on each area of the “car wash” campus visit:
This is an opportunity to get a group of your best faculty in front of the company to discuss various ways to partner. Make sure to talk to the company in advance to get their feedback on what faculty they want in the room. Also ensure that they appoint a person that can speak to the faculty about the needs of the company and current projects. Examples of productive topics that can arise from these conversations include joint research, advisory boards, corporate training classes, student projects, curriculum suggestions, student mentoring, product testing and recruiting tips.
Hosting a recruiting table is an excellent opportunity for the company to brand their name and meet individually with students to collect resumes. Make sure the company is set up in a high traffic area on campus with tables and any tech needs they may have. The company should plan to spend a couple hours at the table to ensure a steady flow of student interactions. This is also a good time for the company to demo any of their new products and technologies.
A speaking engagement is beneficial for getting in front of a large number of students in one setting. The company can give an in depth presentation about what it is like to work there while fielding questions. It is a good idea for the company to bring alumni employees that can speak on why they like working there and what specific projects they are working on. Make sure to add in mingling time after the talk because students will stick around to ask questions and submit resumes.
Overall the corporate car wash is an efficient engagement opportunity that focuses on what is really important to companies: recruiting students and productive faculty partnerships. Below is a sample schedule for the day:
11:30 pm – 1:00 pm
1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
4:30 pm – 5:30 pm