Ford CEO Mark Fields Comes to Michigan Ross to Recruit

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Students who gathered on the patio outside Michigan Ross' Davidson Winter Garden on Sept. 15 expecting to talk to Ford Motor Co. representatives about a career at the automotive icon got a surprise when CEO Mark Fields showed up to chat with students.

Fields, who is on the advisory board for Michigan Ross and gave last spring’s Commencement keynote, told students that he can remember when Ford would not get much interest from MBA students who were instead looking for jobs in the tech sector or Wall Street.

“It’s different today, because we are not so much a car company anymore, but rather a tech company. When you see companies like Alphabet and Apple getting into the mobility business and seeking our partnerships, it changes the game a lot in how people see us,” Fields said.

“We are growing globally and are committed to finding the best prepared employees we can to meet these extraordinary challenges," Fields said. "The world we are working in and living in is changing fast as it relates to mobility and connectivity. And we know that we can find those people at Michigan Ross."

While visiting Ross, Fields was met by a satellite truck and did an appearance on CNN from the steps of the Ross building.

When it comes to cutting technology, Ford in recent years has not only pioneered in-vehicle telematics with its SYNC platform, creating new aluminum vehicle chassis, and electric and hybrid powertrains, but it is a leader in advancing autonomous driving technology.

Today, Ford has a small fleet of autonomous Fusion hybrid sedans running around its corporate and research-and-technology home in Dearborn, Michigan, as well as in Arizona and California. Ford’s objectives for the program include putting its Dearborn fleet into employee shuttle service in 2018, putting Ford autonomous cars into urban ride sharing fleet service by 2021, and making autonomous cars available to the general public by 2025. Ford is one of the University of Michigan’s industry partners with with the Mobility Transformation Center, which is assisting the entire mobility industry in solving changing technology needs to meet 21st century solutions for greater, safer mobility.

Ford was at Michigan Ross recruiting in all disciplines including sales and marketing, finance, product development, and more. Fields was also making a stop that same day at the College of Engineering.

Jim Gawron, MBA/MS '19, was one student who got to chat about his plans with Fields. Gawron is in a dual degree program offered through the Erb Institute, which is a partnership between Michigan Ross and the School of Natural Resources and Environment.

A Michigan native, Gawron calls the possibility of working at Ford “a dream job.”

Gawron graduated from the UM College of Engineering with a BSE in Earth System Science in 2010 and a ME in Space Engineering in 2011. He then went on to a five-year career as a systems engineer in the aerospace industry before returning to UM to focus on sustainable business and clean technology.

“It's crazy to think, but after graduating from this program I will have four degrees from UM!” Gawron said.