Every spring, a number of business majors receive an opportunity to act as consultants for a Fortune 500 company. And they get to enhance that company’s bottom line as part of the Executive in Residence Program (EIRP).
The company that acts as both benefactor and beneficiary of the students’ insights is Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc., a firm that provides a full suite of financial management and consulting solutions for its corporate clients.
Through EIRP, students are immersed in the company’s proxy management services. Broadridge, based in Edgewood and Lake Success, Long Island, runs the board elections for almost every U.S. public company and delivers proxies and other financial statements to 80 percent of North American households.
“The point is to recruit high-achieving students when they are registering for courses in the spring so they can consider being part of this course to enhance Broadridge’s productivity,” said College of Business Professor Margot Palermo.
The students, whose GPA must be 3.2 or better, often number around 14 per semester and work in teams of four or five, brainstorming ideas to add value to the Edgewood, New York-based firm.
The actual strategies are proprietary, but a hypothetical project might be to design an app so that consumers can easily access and consolidate a broad range of health data across a broad spectrum of the healthcare field.
The culmination of their project at Broadridge is to present their strategies in a boardroom setting. “By presenting in a boardroom environment the students gain real-life experiences and apply their skills to the real world,” said Palermo.
Broadridge partners with Stony Brook in numerous ways, including sponsorship of the Innovation Lab in the new Computer Science Building. It’s a fruitful and mutually beneficial collaboration.
Samantha Mitchko ’20, a double major in business management and psychology with a specialization in marketing and minor in creative writing, has benefited from her time of service with Broadridge.
“It was an opportunity to work with a team of peers using faculty as mentors rather than lecturers,” she said. “This was my first time truly being a leader of a team so it was a perfect chance to put my communicative and analytical skills to the test and it paid off. In short, this will be a big talking point on my resume as I pursue my first job after graduation.”
Some graduating students have been retained as Broadridge employees.
Brian Wong ’19 is now an associate with Broadridge’s Career Foundations Program. Wong, a double major in economics and business management from New Hyde Park, NY, says the EIRP gave his career a jump-start.
“From working on AI projects to learning the product management lifecycle, the program forced me to learn how the largest financial institutions in the world use our systems to run their businesses,” he said.
MBA student Samantha Vallarella currently works at Broadridge as part of an oversight project. Vallarella, a product of both undergraduate ’17 (BS, Business Management with a specialization in Finance) and graduate work at Stony Brook, credits her employment at Broadridge to SBU. Campus recruiter Erika Zizzo helped secure her an internship that led to a part-time position during her final undergraduate semester. Today she works on a Strategic Deal and Pricing Advisory team as a financial analyst and is approaching her two-year anniversary as a full-time associate.
“My undergraduate degree armed me with a repertoire of basic data analysis and communication skills,” she said. Today she continues to work with Stony Brook University students through EIRP.
“I’m extremely passionate about and invested in the EIRP initiative,” she said. “It’s been mutually beneficial for both involved parties as the students gain real-world experience by developing and presenting a viable business plan for a large organization. Broadridge not only benefits from the unique and creative perspectives the students share on the organization’s processes and products but also the cultivation of a talent pipeline.”
Palermo summarizes the symbiosis this way: “It’s a wonderful way to build a relationship with the community, a potential source of employment for the students and adds value to the organization. That’s why it’s a win-win for the students, the College of Business and Broadridge.”
— Glenn Jochum