Today more than ever, institutions of higher education have a responsibility to actively engage in activities that promote economic development for the community while offering skill-based opportunities for students.

Robert DelCampo

Recognizing this responsibility and acting on it is a top priority at the UNM Anderson School of Management, so we created our Corporate and Community Engagement Office. It’s through our efforts to engage employers and our community, locally and regionally, that we seek to enrich learners at all levels and create growth opportunities for the communities we serve.

Anderson serves the university and the community in a number or ways, most importantly to link the resources of New Mexico’s flagship business school to our local economy. We provide opportunities for local businesses to hire interns and facilitate class projects in partnership with local businesses, entrepreneurs and faculty members. In addition, we provide access to learning opportunities for community members looking to re-skill or upskill to equip themselves for change or growth in their careers.

It’s estimated that over the next 10 years, 50% of workers will find their skillset to be inadequate. In response to growing trends for skills-based training and micro-credentials relevant to specific industries, Anderson has built several new programs to educate those traditionally not addressed in the post-secondary education landscape. Here are four opportunities businesses can take advantage of to enhance their current employees’ skillsets and expand their employee bases through student assistance.

Access professional education: The market for these services grew to $10 billion in 2020 and Anderson is committed to providing access to these offerings for our local market and beyond. We have developed a set of valuable and engaging executive and professional education courses to meet these needs, including micro-credentials in digital marketing, business analysis, entrepreneurship and human resource management.

Engage custom training: Anderson also offers custom leadership training solutions for any business looking to create a specialized session for its employees. Custom training can be tailored to the specific needs of our community business and nonprofit partners, providing a valuable and highly personalized option for employee leadership training.

Connect your business with student interns and micro-interns: In addition to supporting our community businesses with training and hiring opportunities, it’s Anderson’s mission to connect them with our talented students who are eager to engage with local businesses.

We strive to offer opportunities for them to engage with the business community and we’ve created an internship program that benefits both our students and the local economy. Internships facilitated through Anderson provide employers the opportunity to hire a student for a semester or an academic year to give them a realistic job preview so they can assess fit of their skills and aspirations to those sought by the organization.

We recognize that some businesses cannot commit to hiring interns but may still need short-term assistance. We can connect these businesses with students looking to complete micro-internships: single-student projects that range from five to 40 hours in length or instructor-led class projects.

Receive business development support: Anderson impacts business development with significant success. Now under the Anderson umbrella, the UNM innovation Academy has helped form almost 150 revenue-generating student companies in the past five years. These firms range from dorm room e-commerce businesses to biotech start-ups and have raised over $2 million from outside investors.

Similarly, the Small Business Institute provides support from our student body for small and emerging business. Community members can work with the Small Business Institute on solutions to their pressing issues, consulting projects or scaling advice. Recognizing the impact of small business in our community is the cornerstone of our commitment to community, and these opportunities provide our students rich opportunities to apply their classroom learning.

New Mexicans serving New Mexican business is paramount to the success of our shared economy. Anderson wants to be the conduit for students and alumni to engage with our local economy, whatever its needs might be. We’re excited to offer these new programs to connect students, alumni and local business to each other as our economy recovers and ultimately grows.

 

More information about Anderson’s Corporate and Community Engagement Office is available at http://mgt.unm.edu/cce.

Robert DelCampo, Ph.D., is senior executive director of Anderson’s Corporate and Community Engagement Office, executive director of the University of New Mexico Innovation Academy, now housed once again at the Anderson School, and a Rutledge Professor of Management. Anderson offers more than a dozen concentrations at the bachelor’s and master’s levels and is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business in the top 20% of business schools in the nation. The executive’s desk is a guest column providing advice, commentary or information about resources available to the business community in New Mexico. To submit a column for consideration, email [email protected]