Site Visit to Sherwin-Williams

On Tuesday, November 11th, a group of 18 students and 2 staff members loaded up onto an OSU bus and headed north for the day. We participated in a corporate site visit for the Sherwin-Williams company.

Here they are, looking super awake at 8:00am on their day off:

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When we first arrived at their headquarters in Downtown Cleveland, we took a few minutes to admire their gorgeous building. It has so much character, and we later learned that each of the countries flag hanging represents over $1.5 million in sales in that particular country. You can find their products in 122 countries currently, but look for them in about 150 countries within the next 5-10 years.

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Inside the office, we were given a tour of the Center of Excellence, which was kind of a mini-museum that discussed the history of the company, how they’re growing (and BOY, are they growing!) and the culture of the company.

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You could definitely tell that Sherwin-Williams is a values-based company. They have immense pride in what they do, and that pride is reflected in each and every employee.

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It was also really interesting to hear about the evolution of the products and services offered by the company, particularly in the last few years. Did you know they are the largest producer of paints and coatings in the United States???

This showcase of collectors items was a glimpse into how Sherwin-Williams has been an icon in American culture.

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From the Center, we were treated to lunch (thank you S-W!) where students networked with professionals and each other. Then, we moved into a theater of sorts where our guide, HR Coordinator Desiree Gwynn, had lined up an impressive panel of speakers.

The students were amazed at how many senior-level professionals came to speak with them. The list included Ellen Stephens, VP of Human Resources-Corporate; Susan Keough, VP of Human Resources – Global Supply Chain; Allen Mistysyn, VP – Corporate Controller; and Thomas Liebhardt, Senior VP, Marketing – North America. As you can see, we had a room full of extremely talented, extremely successful individuals, and we hung on every word.

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The other amazing point to note was that for all except one of these folks, they all started out in entry-level roles with the company and worked their way up the ladder. This is an exciting concept, because it shows that not only does Sherwin-Williams have a positive culture that people want to join and stick around, but they promote from within and are committed to the happiness of their employees.

Fun fact: The CEO of Sherwin-Williams, Christopher Connor, is an OSU Alum! GO BUCKS!

Though we wished we could stay longer, at that point, it was time to head back to Columbus. We want to thank Sherwin-Williams, Desiree Gwynn, and the entire team that helped make this day such a success.

If you’re interested in learning more about Sherwin-Williams and their job/internship opportunities, check out their website at

(Hint: They start posting their summer internships in late February/early March)

A Day at Abercrombie & Fitch

On May 2nd, myself and 6 students were welcomed into the Home Office of Abercrombie & Fitch for a corporate site visit.

photoA&F, founded in 1892, has called New Albany, Ohio it’s “home” since 1988. Driving up to headquarters, I felt like I was driving into a state park. Beautiful trees everywhere. If I hadn’t just come off of Route 161, I would have thought for sure I was about to go camping in the wilderness.

Melissa (2011 graduate from Fisher and Honors Cohort alum) was there to greet us and provide an overview of our day. It began with an introduction to the Home Office and the company. A&F is a powerful company with revenues of over $4 billion that also owns Abercrombie Kids, Hollister Co, and Gilly Hicks. They see themselves as a “Casual Luxury” lifestyle brand, and I could see that brand embedded into every aspect of the Home Office. No detail was left unnoticed – the structure, the design, even the lighting embodied the brand perfectly.

From there, Melissa and 3 other campus recruiting representatives gave the students an overview of their internship programs. During their 10 week program, interns gain exposure to the multi-billion dollar retail industry through Merchandising, Inventory Management, Finance or IT. I highly recommend that Fisher students check out these unique opportunities! I could tell a great deal of thought and careful planning went into the design of their internship programs. Though competition is fierce for these highly coveted positions, working for such a well-known brand would be a great way to kick start your career.

From there, we met with 3 Fisher alumni who came through one of A&F’s Leadership Development programs, specifically Merchandising, Inventory Management, and Finance. It was so fascinating to hear first-hand how these Fisher graduates have taken their education and training and turned them into rewarding, fast-paced careers.

A&F Leadership Development Program from AnF Careers on Vimeo.

Then, we went on a tour to different parts of the campus, which included their IDC and a mock Flagship store. The IDC had me pretty geeked out, because I loved learning about the different ways they make their clothing, and all of the details that go into making every single garment. And touring their mock Flagship store, designed to be a reflection of their Flagship store in Milan, was was a truly unique experience as well. The company also has exclusive Flagship stores in New York City, Los Angeles, London, and Tokyo.

After the tours, A&F kindly treated us to lunch in their AH-MAY-ZING cafeteria. I will try not to put all of the focus on this aspect of the tour, but oh my goodness… talk about a perk of working there. (For those curious, I had Creole Crabcakes and they were delicious). If I worked there, I’d probably go overboard in that cafeteria, but mercifully, there’s an on-site gym for employees. Good call. We had lunch with a few other Fisher alums who helped explain the corporate culture to the students. From what I gather, employees at A&F have a unique combination of drive, attention to detail, and optimism. The alumni we spoke with gave us a very positive impression of the company and their individual roles.

Finally, we gathered together to wrap-up and discuss the day. The students on the tour were all sophomores, so they will be candidates for the internship program interviews this fall. I would like to think these students will have a great advantage in the interviews, since they’ve been on site and know some great insider details now!

photo1Thank you Melissa and A&F for having us – it was a great day!

To learn more about corporate site visit opportunities for Fisher students, contact Audra at