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Forming Corporate Partnerships for
a Holistic Approach to Learning

FAU Grads working at City Furniture: (front) Janet Price Wincko, (center, l-r) Cheryl Young, Mindy Hileman, (l) Bob Forde and Garry Ikola

The FAU in Broward program was developed to connect with businesses within Broward County in order to recognize FAU alumni and communicate the educational opportunities that are available at the University. Here is an example of one of the partnerships forged through that program.

When FAU partners with local companies, students enjoy a taste of the real world along with their academic training. Thanks to a team of FAU alumni at City Furniture, the company is becoming a pioneer in developing programs with the university that help students gain hands-on experience and exposure before they receive their degrees. With so many FAU graduates at the company, additional efforts to cultivate and recognize corporate alumni, such as a FAU Day at City Furniture, also are being formed.

City Furniture's Director of Learning Janet Price Wincko has been at the forefront of many of these programs. A founding member of the Broward Career Advisory Council, which was formed by Assistant Vice President of Community Relations-Broward Carolyn Stewart, Janet helped produce a reality TV event that taught students about important career development skills, such as dressing for success and handling interview questions. Company tours at City Furniture, individual practice interviews and "Career Bites" workshops over lunch to educate students about the employment process are additional programs launched with Janet's help.

"It’s a holistic experience," said Carolyn about the importance of the FAU/corporate partnership. "The more opportunities students receive to understand how business really works, the better employees they will make."

Janet, who joined City Furniture shortly after earning a bachelor's degree in business from FAU in 1989, agrees that when universities and businesses work together everyone benefits. She earned a master's degree in business administration in 2003.

She continues to oversee a number of programs aimed at reaching out to potential City Furniture candidates. In addition to the company's internship program, which is available to college students throughout the state, she conducts City Furniture class tours and presentations and periodically speaks to classes about human resources topics.

Click here to read the full article from the Broward campuses community relations web pages which details several other top City Furniture executives who are graduates of FAU, including Kevin Koenig '71, the founder of Waterbed City, which became City Furniture in 1994; Senior Vice President of Operations Bob Forde; Senior Vice President of Sales Garry Ikola; and CFO and Senior Vice President of Finance Jerry S. Wilder.

 

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