Volvo Group addresses students on Preferred Talent Partnership

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Representatives of the Volvo Group spoke to a crowd of approximately 150 Penn State students and faculty on Thursday (April 11) during a visit celebrating the Academic Preferred Talent Partnership agreement recently signed between Volvo Group and Penn State. The presentation focused on the Volvo Group’s global operations, corporate culture and research initiatives, as well as areas of collaboration with Penn State. The event also served as an employment networking opportunity for the attending students.

“It would be an understatement to note that I really, really appreciate Volvo’s support of Penn State and recruiting our talented students from the University,” said Career Services Director Jeff W. Garis in introducing the Volvo Group’s presenters.  

The new three-year partnership, signed last fall, provides Penn State students with co-op, internship and mentoring opportunities, and offers talent recruitment benefits to Volvo Group. The talent partnership enhances Penn State’s relationship with the Volvo Group, which had previously been formalized through a Preferred Research Partnership signed in 2010.

“We are really happy to be here and to sign this contract,” said Lena Lind, Volvo Group’s senior vice president for Talent Management. “We believe a lot in these selected partnerships,” Lind said. Penn State is one of only eight universities worldwide that Volvo has chosen as a Preferred Talent Partner, and only the second such university in the United States.

“It opens up opportunities for the students,” Lind said of the partnership, but she also noted its reciprocal value. “And we want to establish relationships with all of you,” she told the assembled students. “We want to see to it that we can recruit talents from this University, and that you can help us shape the future of Volvo.”

The Volvo Group manufactures trucks, buses, construction equipment, and marine and industrial drive systems, which are sold in more than 190 world markets. “We are actually a big player in terms of the global network of logistics and transport solutions,” Lind said. That significant global impact “means opportunities for all of us working here,” she explained. “It also means challenges — challenges in terms of having people across cultures and geographies working together in a smooth and efficient way.”

The need to respond to the differing demands of customers in these varied countries and markets, she said, “means we need people inside our organization with different perspectives, different experiences and different knowledge bases. So we are really keen on having a diverse workforce.”

Hans Persson, the Volvo Group’s vice president for Technology & Innovation, discussed the company’s ongoing Preferred Research Partnership with Penn State. He described the company’s emphasis on both internal and external collaboration in its research efforts, and indicated that it sees collaboration with partners like Penn State as crucial in meeting daunting challenges in areas like energy efficiency and sustainable power, and automation and intelligent vehicles.

Persson praised the Penn State facilities, such as the Millennium Science Complex, that he and his colleagues had toured earlier in the day. In discussing the competencies that Penn State brings to the partnership with Volvo, he pointed to such initiatives as the Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute, the Materials Research Laboratory, and the Battery and Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Center.

Garis also highlighted Penn State’s strength as a source of corporate talent, stressing the quality of the University’s relationships with recruiters, which the partnership with the Volvo Group exemplifies. “It’s not just that companies come here to recruit,” he said. “Many companies target Penn State as one of the few targeted schools nationwide to focus their efforts.”

Representatives from more than 500 companies come from across the country to talk with students at Penn State's fall career fair, while more than 300 companies attend the spring career fair. In a 2010 Wall Street Journal survey, recruiters ranked the University as their top destination for high-quality graduates.

Hans Persson, vice president for Technology & Innovation at the Volvo Group, spoke to students and faculty during an event celebrating an Academic Preferred Talent Partnership agreement recently signed between Volvo Group and Penn State. Credit: Matthew BellingeriAll Rights Reserved.

Last Updated April 27, 2013