Last April, Wells Fargo teamed up with the Mercyhurst AIM program as five senior representatives came to the school to host professional information sessions for the students.
Since then, the partnership has only grown. Wells Fargo returned to Mercyhurst on Nov. 15 to continue career counseling and development support for students on the autism spectrum.
The main goal behind this partnership is to help AIM students gain valuable professional knowledge and experience, as well as providing Wells Fargo with the chance to further their commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Michael Riesmeyer, a wholesale credit manager based in Boston, is the leader of the Wells Fargo Program with Mercyhurst. Riesmeyer has a personal connection to Mercyhurst as his daughter, Megan Riesmeyer, is a sophomore in the AIM program.
Through his daughter, he gained exposure to the program and to the needs of college students on the spectrum, prompting him to lead this initiative.
On Nov. 15, a team of recruiters met once again with the AIM students, students from the Learning Differences Program and interested students from other disciplines. Jose L. Garcia, senior vice president, Diversity Talent Acquisition Leader of Wells Fargo; Monica Victorino, Talent Acquisition Diversity Strategy Leader; Michael Bohley, Exam Manager; and Tyler Leech, Operations Processor, were all at the event to provide their expertise for the AIM students.
According to a news release by Mercyhurst about the November followup with Wells Fargo, the day built upon April’s workshops in “mentoring, résumé review and mock interviews.”
The goal of the day is “preparing AIM students for possible career opportunities at Wells Fargo and local businesses while helping Wells Fargo team members learn how best to interact with people on the spectrum.”
Brad McGarry, director of the AIM program, found much value in last April’s workshops. For him, the benefits are experience for the students with awareness and hiring practices improvement for Wells Fargo.
Riesmeyer hopes to build the program with AIM in order to expand opportunities for “people with diverse abilities.”
This mindset is fully supported by Wells Fargo as they teamed up with SS+K to launched their “With, Always” campaign. According to Wells Fargo, the “With, Always” campaign is dedicated to “showing what’s possible when people are given the opportunity to realize their professional dreams.” The company wants to establish their commitment to “working with people with disabilities, always.”
As part of a worldwide corporation that employs more than 250,000 people, Riesmeyer and the team know that workshops and partnerships with colleges are valuable, so they hope to expand the partnership outside of the AIM program as well.
After the workshop, Wells Fargo presented President Michael T. Victor and McGarry with a donation of $15,000 to the AIM program to promote the goals of building self-advocacy, social skills and sound academic progress for college students on the spectrum.
Victor stated in the news release from Mercyhurst how valuable opportunities like this are for students in the AIM program, for Mercyhurst and for Wells Fargo.
“We at Mercyhurst have long sought to galvanize change through partnership, and we are indebted to Wells Fargo for their interest, their commitment and their ongoing support aimed at engaging autistic adults for long-term meaningful employment,” Victor said.