Employer Development

The Employer Development (ED) Team develops and expands strategic relationships with leading companies locally, nationally and globally. As representatives of the Smith School, they generate employment opportunities for all student populations while assisting employers in building brand awareness on the Smith School campus.

The ED Team

As primarily a corporate-facing organization, the ED team is often on the road meeting with employers and working to build bridges on behalf of students. There are some opportunities for students to engage directly with the ED team, which they value highly. There are additional built-in channels for students to submit target company lists twice a year plus message through the coaches who sit on the industry practice teams that associate with the job functions each coach supports. Here is the ED team:

Tucker Ophof
Director, Employer & Business Development
Stephen Bennett
Assistant Director, Employer & Business Development
Suite 2570 301-405-8840
Jesse Kellner
Assistant Director, Employer & Business Development
Emily J. Ruggiero
Assistant Director, Employer & Business Development

15-Industry Practice Alignment

Each member of the ED team is assigned a set of industries to focus their efforts:

Tucker Ophof Stephen Bennett Jesse Kellner Emily J. Ruggiero
CPG Energy Aerospace & Defense Retail
Logistics / Transportation Financial Services Consulting Technology
Manufacturing Hospitality Professional Services Healthcare & Pharmaceutical
  Real Estate & Construction Media, Entertainment & Sports Government, Non-Profit & Education

Collaboration Across the Smith and UMD Enterprises

The team works across all OCS sub-teams, internal Smith School partners and students to identify and maintain an optimal list of employers in each of the target industries. The ED team works with employers to develop strategies that increase brand awareness among employers and UMD stakeholders while expanding domestic and global corporate recruiting partnerships. The team collaborates on multi-student campaigns to identify internship and full-time opportunities for Smith talent, working to ensure positive employment outcomes.

Travel and Global Representation

Part of the ED strategy is to think beyond our "backyard" and explore opportunities across the country and the world. Annual trips are taken domestically to employers in areas such as Seattle, Silicon Valley, Chicago, Dallas, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Charlotte and Boston. The ED team also attends various employer conferences such as National Black MBA, Prospanica, MBA Veterans and Informs. Beyond our borders, multiple trips are also made to China and Hong Kong to help cultivate relationships abroad.

Alumni Focus

The ED team actively researches, identifies and engages our Smith alumni working in leading firms around the globe. Our goal is to create groups of "Alumni Champions" focused on increasing recruitment activity and creating professional growth opportunities for our students at target companies. Our alumni are an invaluable resource and actively participate in classroom discussions, panels, alumni mock interviews and other employer events.