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"Through his work with the Office of Professional and Career Development, Mike’s job is to bring the best employers to hire our graduates. But as a parent and an alumnus, we can say he is the definition of a true Auburn man who cares for each student no matter the stage of their college journey.” — Tarleton Family, Columbus, Georgia
Mike Stover relishes making an impact on young people’s lives. Whether it’s sitting down with an incoming freshman and discussing career goals or steering rising juniors and seniors toward internships and career opportunities, Harbert College’s Assistant Director of Employer Relations in the Office of Professional and Career Development arrives at Lowder Hall every day with the goal of serving as a connector between young people and their dreams.
“The most rewarding aspect of my job is when a student is very excited because they get a job or an internship offer from a company that was referred to them by me,” said Stover, who works with companies across all industries to increase the quality and quantity of job and internship opportunities for Harbert College students. “Maybe the student previously hadn’t heard of the company and I was able to facilitate an introduction, then that results in something that's going to make a real impact on their career trajectory.”
A natural networker, Stover’s work with students and the college’s industry partners has resulted in countless opportunities that kick-start graduating seniors on a successful career path. For his dedication to his role, and simply caring about each and every student and their families, Stover was recently recognized by Auburn University’s Parent and Family Association with the annual Faculty and Staff Award.
Established in 2017, this award recognizes outstanding faculty and staff who have had a positive impact on Auburn students or their families. According to the Auburn University Parent and Family Association, “These recipients have both demonstrated the heart of what it means to be an Auburn person as well as encouraged it in others.”
“Mike Stover is an Auburn man,” wrote the Tarleton Family, of Columbus, Georgia, in a nomination letter. “He loves Auburn. He loves the Harbert College of Business. He loves one thing more than Auburn, and that is helping Auburn students. We found this out when our daughter, Mattie Alan, now a sophomore, came for her official visit. He took a genuine interest in Mattie, who knew she wanted to go into business, but was unsure of the exact paths available. By asking her a series of strategic questions, he was able to help guide her into looking at the possibility of a double major. After spending an hour talking with Mattie that day, we left knowing that she was making the right decision based on their conversation.
“We know now that meeting with a prospective student was not in his job description, but Mike continued to check in with Mattie to make sure she was utilizing all of the resources available. Through his work with the Office of Professional and Career Development, Mike’s job is to bring the best employers to hire our graduates. But as a parent and an alumnus, we can say he is the definition of a true Auburn man who cares for each student no matter the stage of their college journey.”
Stover said it’s important for students to have an ally who can serve as a conduit between college and career.
“We have so many faculty and staff in the Harbert College and across campus that truly care about the success of our students," he said. "I enjoy being one of those people that help them on their path to succeeding in whatever career option they might choose.
“There are some students who come to Auburn with a very well-connected network, but we have many who do not. For them, there's an opportunity to make an impact by helping them meet others they wouldn't have had an opportunity to meet otherwise or use my network to build a personal network for them.
“The most rewarding thing is being able to help someone and a then couple of years later they call and say, ‘Hey, I got promoted and my company wants to hire more Auburn graduates.’ I don’t get people jobs, they do that themselves because we have such outstanding students. But If I can make an introduction, they can win that job and ultimately succeed and represent the college well. There's a little piece of that that I helped with, and that's the best.”