Notre Dame Welcomes AT&T for MBA Challenge Aimed at Engaging Millennial Employees

03 Nov 2016 | Bill Soards

Tagged: Engaging Our Workforce, People, Possibilities, Aspire,

What, exactly, do millennials want out of a future employer? Which social issues mean the most to them? And how do they want to spend their volunteer time?

AT&T recently wrapped up a first-of-its-kind Masters of Business Administration (MBA) challenge with the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business that tackled these kinds of questions – and then some.  

More than 130 MBA students participated in the challenge that began with AT&T representatives providing an overview of the company’s Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR) programs, such It Can Wait, Digital You and Do One Thing.

Once the students were brought up-to-speed on the impact these programs can have on people and communities, they were tasked with addressing “live business issues” that included:

  • Engaging Millennial Employees in Global Citizenship Activities
  • Smart Cities & Internet of Things Technology
  • Safe & Responsible Use of Technology – It Can Wait and Beyond

Organized into teams of 5-6 members, the students worked with Mendoza College of Business instructors on important business fundamentals like decision-making, research and preparing to speak. In between the lessons, the teams worked on developing their proposed solutions, as well as rehearsing their presentations.

The teams presented their final ideas before a group of AT&T judges who are active in CSR efforts in the Midwest.

“Engaged employees are typically more productive, more likely to stay with their employer and more customer-focused,” said Bill Soards, president of AT&T Indiana. “While we have a strong history of providing opportunities for employees to engage in our communities, we are always looking for ways to increase their engagement in cause-related activities.” 

“Learning from the best-in-class and seeing how important CSR is to their business has made a strong impression on our students, who are the business leaders of the future,” said Bill Brennan, senior associate for the Mendoza College of Business.” It was truly a win-win-win endeavor and a learning experience that will resonate with our students throughout their careers.”

About the Author

Bill Soards

President of AT&T Indiana

IN_Soards author

Bill Soards is president of AT&T Indiana.  A Butler University graduate and former Indianapolis City-County Council member, he joined AT&T in 2000 (then SBC Ameritech) as director of government relations.  In 2006, Bill helped lead the effort to deregulate the telecom industry and establish a statewide system for cable video competition.  That legislation, the Indiana Telecom Reform Act, was signed into law in 2006 and today continues to attract jobs and investments across the state.  In 2007, Bill worked in Chicago as AT&T’s assistant vice president of public affairs for the Midwest region, and April 2009 saw him appointed president of AT&T Colorado, a position he held until he returned to the Hoosier state in 2013.