Stephan Buol, California State University – Chico
Title: Northern California Area Sales Manager
Employer: Vulcan Materials Company
“CIM provides exposure to the industry, and conversely industry member exposure to future talent, that I believe is unmatched by other programs. In this program, companies and students are afforded the opportunity to get to know each other over an extended period of time. ”
What kinds of activities, events and opportunities do the Patrons provide for CIM students?
In addition to the many internships that are offered to the students, many of the Patrons open their facilities to plant tours or field trips. Also, during the student socials and board meetings, many of the Patrons sit down and speak with the students one-on-one about our industry and possible careers. Lastly, many of the graduated students are hired by the Patrons.
Why are the Patrons such a critical part of the CIM program?
The ability of the Patrons to give input on what skill set is needed for potential future leaders of our industry is a key component. Also, the financial backing of the Patrons’ group is a huge consideration in this day and age. In addition, the exposure the students get to the current leaders of our industry is, in my opinion, invaluable to the students.
What made you decide to serve as a Patron?
For one, I truly believe that a career in our industry is a rewarding and vital career. I want to pass that sentiment along to the students. I am a graduate of Chico State and I am an extremely proud alumnus. I am always eager to take advantage of any opportunity that I can get to promote our wonderful industry and the “Chico Experience.”
What is your favorite part of being a Patron? What has been the most difficult part of it?
I would have to say that my favorite part is when I am invited to be a guest lecturer. To think that I used to sit in those same classrooms so many years ago, and now I am standing up front, it just makes me proud. As far as the most difficult part, it is probably judging the capstone presentations. They are all so good and it is usually very hard to pick the best one.
What advice would you give to someone considering becoming a Patron of the CIM program?
Give it a try. I think that once you are involved, you will wonder why you didn’t participate earlier. It is up to us, the members of our industry, to pay it forward, pay it back and do our part in succession planning. The future leaders of our industry are developing now.
In your opinion, what is something the CIM program offers that no other programs in the country do?
CIM provides exposure to the industry, and conversely industry member exposure to future talent, that I believe is unmatched by other programs. In this program, companies and students are afforded the opportunity to get to know each other over an extended period of time. Each individual is able to spend time and benefit from this exposure. It only helps achieve a better understanding of all parties involved.