Pictured here Sewell Marketing Team with John C. Maxwell, keynote speaker for the Sewell Leadership Conference. UTPB intern, Leonardo Bonelli featured on the left.
Diversify Your Talent Pipeline

Texas has added over half a million jobs in the past year and unemployment is at 3.5% in Odessa and 2.6% in Midland, so recruiting in the Permian Basin has its challenges. Many companies are looking for ways to expand their recruiting efforts. While there is no silver bullet, hear how one local company is expanding their talent pipeline and hiring international students through the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT) programs. UTPB proudly serves students from 47 countries and offers international students a rewarding experience in a supportive environment. Let’s hear what VP of Operations, Andrew Marshall, with the Sewell Family of Companies has to say about his experience working with our talented Falcons like Leonardo Bonelli. Leo is from Italy and is Sewell’s newest team member in their Marketing Department. Leo recently graduated with his Bachelor degree in Business Management and is partnering with Sewell for 1 year under the Optional Training Program to gain industry experience in his field of study.

Andrew, what was the recruiting and hiring process like?

We utilized Handshake to find Leo and have recruiting conversations. It was an easy process on our end. Once we identified a fit, he followed a three interview screening process just like we do for all other team members.”

What are some benefits of hiring an international student?

Leo redefined “hard work” in his department. For that matter, all international students I’ve hired have proven to be incredibly hard working. I appreciate the different culture and perspective they bring to the table. The diversity of West Texas’ population is increasing, so their perspective is of great value to us as a company. They also have such a deep appreciation for having a job/career with Sewell that it keeps the rest of us grounded in sincere appreciation.

Do you have any suggestions on how other companies can get involved?

“Show up on campus, go to the events, and ASK! I learned that the international students at UTPB have a tight-knit community and they introduce each other to us. We only had to get to know one international student and then we met all of the others through him and their network.”

As we gear up for the fall semester, this is a great time to get plugged in and meet Falcons including our international students. There are not any fees to the company when partnering with our international students in CPT & OPT programs. Our students take the initiative to complete the required documentation for the approval process. Some information from the employer is required so be prepared if students ask for items such as a formal offer letter and copy of the job description. We also have dedicated staff at UTPB that help facilitate this process and can answer any questions. Ready to start diversifying your talent pipeline? Contact Career Services at careerservices@utpb.edu to learn more.

By Megan Baeza
Megan Baeza Executive Director