Angelique Nelson is a recent college graduate with a job. She was hired as a food service manager with Sodexoâ€™s Currey Ingram Academy in Brentwood, Tennessee, less than a month after graduating from the University of Central Florida with a degree in event management. Although her mother worked for the company for 25 years, most recently as a general manager at North Carolina Central University, Nelsonâ€™s interest was piqued at a college career fair. â€śThe recruiter made me want to pursue it more because of her enthusiasm and interest,â€ť says Nelson. â€śOnce I started doing research and found out [Sodexoâ€™s] mission and values, I just knew this was somewhere I wanted to go.â€ť
Sodexo, one of B.E.â€™s 40 Best Companies for Diversity, hired 70,000 employees in 2008, 38,000 of them ethnic minorities. The company has been actively recruiting college students and recent graduates like Nelson, 22, for entry-level positions at conferences and job fairs; through employee referrals, online job boards, and minority trade journals; and at 29 colleges and universities, which are networked with various company mentoring programs and its Future Leaders Internship Program.
Sherie Valderrama, senior director for Sodexoâ€™s Talent Acquisition Group, says that the company has been able to extend its outreach to younger applicants through social networking tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
â€śSodexo believes that college hires are the future leaders of our company,â€ť says Cassandra D. Caldwell, Ph.D., director of college and strategic relations. â€śCollege graduates bring fresh perspectives to our business lines, which gives us a competitive advantage.â€ť