Michigan Company Hiring Talent

Steelcase

TALENT RETENTION & ATTRACTION

Featured Talent: Jennifer McVey
Position: Director, Business Manager to the CEO at Steelcase
Education: University of Michigan, Ross School of Business MBA, 1998
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Websitewww.steelcase.com

For more than 100 years, Steelcase has been creating furniture in Grand Rapids; but what they create has changed dramatically. Today, Steelcase is a global company focused on helping people work more effectively. The company also actively recruits from URC universities.

Jennifer McVey, a graduate of the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business, was recruited to Steelcase 16 years ago, straight out of graduate school. At the time, Steelcase was transitioning from an emphasis on furniture to integrating architectural and technology products. With a background in architecture, she recognized Steelcase’s focus on the future. “It was a natural fit,” McVey said. “It’s been a fantastic place to work.”

Raised in Cincinnati, she laughs acknowledging the irony of being from Ohio and going on to graduate from U-M and choosing to stay to work and live in Michigan. She quickly came to feel at home on the state’s west side. “In the interactions I’ve had since working here I find that there’s a little bit of mystery about this side of the state, it’s not as well-known, but there’s a lot of innovation that happens in West Michigan,” she said. “A lot of times people come to our offices at Steelcase and they are struck by the depth of thinking, creativity and insights.”

She’s had a few roles at Steelcase since she started and currently is director of the Steelcase Executive Team. McVey said Steelcase continues to recruit talent varied in background because of the diversity of work at the 103-year-old company.

 

“In most cases, I don’t think universities need to train you for a particular job. They need to train you to have critical thinking skills, and how to take those skills and adapt them to what you are being asked to do.”

Jennifer said, “The job I have now is one I could not have imagined when I started at the company. What my university education did, really well, was to prepare me for problem-solving and adapting to new challenges. I built on this foundation at work, where I learned the specifics of the job.

“At Steelcase, on-the-job learning happens when people with unique experiences collaborate,” McVey continued. “One of the ways we do this is by hiring the best talent and working with forward-thinking partners. URC institutions such as the University of Michigan have been exceptional in this regard.”

 

“Michigan is rich with resources, and one of them is talent. It’s important to keep it here. We need great universities and great companies to make this happen. I think Michigan has both.”

Feature Photo: Jennifer McVey, Director, Business Manager to the CEO at Steelcase