Professional Exchange Visit Series: Dun and Bradstreet, Center Valley, PA
EACE Blog contribution by Jan Moppert, Director, Widener University
The unofficial slogan may be, “It’s all about the data,” but at Dun & Bradstreet, it is really about the relationships. And the 14 career services professionals who came to the D&B office in Center Valley, PA began valuable relationships with some key players at D&B on Friday, June 29.
Dun & Bradstreet has been around for almost 150 years. Four American presidents have worked at D&B, including Abraham Lincoln. For a company with a long, respected history, it’s an amazingly “cool” place to work, and D&B is looking for us to help them get the word out to our students and alumni.
D&B takes data and transforms it into insight, foresight, and action. They house, maintain, and manipulate data on more than 235 million private and public companies in more than 200 countries. The MBA in me was giddy as Cristina Rodriguez, D&B’s new university alliances specialist, and her colleagues explained all that D&B can do for companies…how they create new approaches to data, identify signals and proxies, and develop linkages. In the last few years, they have moved from a sales approach with their clients to a consultancy model, working alongside their clients to determine how to use the data more effectively and efficiently.
Cristina started with D&B in 2014 and has already increased their interns 69%, with plans for more. D&B is invested in talent providing learning and development for their interns and employees. They are looking for people who fit with their values:
- Data inspired
- Relentlessly curious
- Inherently generous
A panel of lead managers and interns met with us and shared that they are looking for people who have excellent communication skills (including listening skills), are collaborative and inquisitive, can take a project and run, have a desire to succeed, and in the words of one manager, “ are good humans.” He said book smarts are only 1/3 of the equation, although the internship has a 3.5 GPA requirement. Opportunities are there for undergrads, and there is a great need for graduate-level interns in statistics, mathematics, and analytics.
The coolness factor is supported by a Dress for the Day dress code, and we saw everything from coats and ties to shorts and t-shirts. The organization has recently changed from a performance management system to a performance agility system, which emphasized priorities and delivery instead of goals and objectives. This was not the stuffy corporate environment I was expecting. It was vibrant, open, and supportive. I was glad I learned more about the “good humans,” who work at D&B and hope that some of my students and alumni will find D&B as exciting as I did.
Jan Moppert joined Widener University as its director in October 2011. Previously she lived in New Orleans where she served in three roles in twelve years at Loyola University New Orleans. Most recently she was associate director of the Career Development Center for five years. Jan’s other roles at Loyola were the coordinator and recruiter for the MBA program and the coordinator of the College of Business’s internship program, and the service learning director.
Before entering academia, Jan had more than 12 years’ experience in marketing with some of the nation’s largest health-care companies, including Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), Tenet, and HealthSouth. This experience is complemented with a background in advertising and public relations. She received her master of business administration from Loyola University New Orleans and her bachelor of science from Louisiana State University.
Jan has been active in several community agencies from the World Affairs Council of New Orleans to the World Trade Center of New Orleans, and has sat on several boards. Currently she sits on the board for the Salvation Army in Chester, PA and Annunciation Mission, which focuses on supporting volunteers rebuilding New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina. She is a graduate of LEADERSHIP Philadelphia and a member of the Philadelphia Suburban West Alumnae Chapter of Kappa Delta sorority.
Jan loves to cook, especially Cajun and Creole food, and has many of the authentic fixin’s shipped up from Louisiana. You’ll find her rooting for the Saints most Sundays in the fall and LSU baseball on spring weekends.