Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Introducing our Assistant Vice President, Employer Relations: Malik Brown

At Peirce, we’re committed to supporting our students beyond classroom walls.   This means building connections with area employers, nonprofits, and government entities, and forming relationships that directly benefit our students: with our alumni, with  job opportunities, co-ops, and with a broader community network that’s invested in their success. Joining us in this commitment of fulfilling our mission is Malik Brown, Assistant Vice President of Employer Relations at Peirce College.

You may have seen Malik on campus before, but we wanted to officially introduce him on the blog, just in case you haven't had the chance to meet him yet!

Q: Hi, Malik! To get started, can you tell us a little about yourself?

A:  Sure! I’m a Philly native, from Mount Airy.  I went to Clark University in Worcester. MA. .  I currently live in West Oak Lane with my wife and two little girls.

Like many Peirce students, it has taken me some time to find my sweet spot.  I started my career in accounting after earning my MBA in finance, but I realized it wasn’t the path for me. After moving back to Philadelphia, I stumbled onto a career in diversity and talent management with an organization by the name of INROADS.  Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to work at Accenture, United Way, and most recently, as Director at the Dixon House Community Center in South Philadelphia, where I actually got to know and work with some Peirce students and alumni.

I’ve always been passionate about education and workforce development, so I’m excited about working for Peirce  in higher education.  I could not have made a better career choice. And, because I am a dedicated lifelong learner,  I feel right at home at Peirce and among our students.  

Q: Help break it down for us.  What exactly is Employer Relations at Peirce College, and how does it benefit our students?

A: The role of employer relations is to build mutually beneficial partnerships with different organizations, so that these organizations will be willing to invest in the mission and vision of Peirce College.

What does that mean for our students?  It can mean many things-- job opportunities, scholarships, professional development, mentorship, and a wider resource network that’s connected to Peirce and invested in our students.  Ultimately, the goal of Employer Relations at Peirce is to cultivate strategic relationships  that translate into resources and opportunities that our students need to fulfill their academic, career, and life potential.

Q: What are some things you’ve learned since joining Peirce?

A:  I’ve been a member of the Employer Relations team for about 13 months, and it’s definitely been an interesting journey .  I’ve learned a lot about the industry of higher education, and I have learned  a great deal about Peirce--especially regarding our 151 year history of providing working adult learners with practical, employer-valued skills and credentials.

Peirce has a long history of aligning our offerings and innovations with the needs of business and industry..  We have a great history of developing corporate partnerships, as well as nonprofit, community and government relations with the city and region. Now, we want to expand and amplify those partnerships across sectors in a strategic and thoughtful way.

In my conversations with those in the business community, I’m learning that there’s a real need and appetite for higher education to re-imagine what we can offer companies in terms of strategic partnerships.  I think Peirce has a unique opportunity and ability to do that work, and help employers address their workforce development and talent management needs.

Q: What's the best piece of advice you’ve learned in your own career that you would impart to Peirce students?

A:   I’d say that while functional and technical skills are important, the most important skills in the workplace are the soft skills; things like being able to problem solve, build trust, work as part of a team, and be innovative. Focus on those and you can go far.

Q: This year, Peirce College has really changed the landscape of higher education with our introduction of Peirce Fit™, a revolutionary new learning format that allows students to choose week to week if they’d like to attend class on campus or online.  We’ve also introduced our first competency-based bachelor’s degree (CBE) in IT and expanded our Healthcare portfolio to include Graduate Studies.  With all of these innovations, what are you most excited about on the Employer Relations front?

A:  We’ve spent a lot of time now talking to employers, listening to their pain points, and brainstorming solutions.  With these innovations, I’m excited to start delivering on these solutions and to begin to really dig in and address industry concerns!  It’s especially exciting to see employers give the CBE delivery their stamp of approval.  Future students can be confident that a CBE bachelor’s degree will increase their marketability and value in the workplace!

Q: You’ll be a contributor here on the blog moving forward. What types of topics do you look forward to covering?

A:  I’ll be speaking to the new innovations at Peirce, and how they’re relevant to employers.  I’ll also be sharing more about the evolving partnerships Peirce is developing in Philadelphia.  Finally, I’m excited to share stories about how our students and alumni are taking advantage of job and internship opportunities that arise, and showing the impact that Employer Relations can have on turning their Peirce degree into a career pathway.

Q: How can employers reach out to you to learn more about Peirce?

A: Follow me on twitter or LinkedIn! I’m always excited to have a conversation about how Peirce can help address their needs.

Welcome to the blog, Malik! We’re excited to read more of your insights.

To learn more about Peirce’s 151 year history of providing working adults with a customized path to employer-valued skills and credentials, click here.