Last summer alone, U.S. Bank had 24 Carlson students in its Twin Cities internship program. “Carlson has a wonderful program that produces knowledgeable, well-rounded graduates,” says Katherine Houston, U.S. Bank’s campus recruitment manager for the Twin Cities. “We’ve been impressed with the skills that students bring into the workplace, such as problem-solving, presenting, written communication, understanding of core concepts within their majors, and technology skills.”

Houston says U.S. Bank looks for students who not only succeed academically, but also get involved in activities outside of the classroom, like clubs, sports, or work. “Showing interest in the world around you is essential, since our employees have such a variety of opportunities to give back to the community,” she says. “Innovative problem-solvers and lifelong learners stand out to us. The pace of change is only getting faster, so creative thinking and a willingness to learn are crucial characteristics in our employees.”

Change is also apparent in students. “Today, we’re seeing that students want to personally identify with the company’s values, culture, ethics, and social responsibility initiatives before signing on,” Houston says. “We also know that students want to build and grow a strong career. Students are looking for a place they feel comfortable, supported to be themselves, and supported to grow.” If students don’t find that in their positions, they aren’t afraid to leave. “Which is why it’s important that we provide development opportunities and encourage transparent communication throughout all levels and areas of our organization,” she says.

U.S. Bank hasn’t had to change much to meet these needs. “We’re consistently recognized for our commitment to ethics and inclusion,” Houston says. In 2017, U.S. Bank was named to the Human Rights Campaign’s Best Places to Work list for the 11th year running and scored a perfect 100 on its Corporate Equality Index. The bank also was recognized by the Ethisphere Institute as a 2017 World’s Most Ethical Company for the third year running— the only large U.S.-based bank ever to make the list.

“We’ll continue to look for candidates who have a strong drive to learn new skills and think about creative, innovative ways to meet the ever-changing needs of our stakeholders,” Houston says. “In the midst of all of this change, the most important characteristic an employee can cultivate is their ability to stay nimble and open-minded—and not afraid to try new things.”

 

This feature originally appeared in the Spring 2018 Carlson School Alumni Magazine.

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