Before Peter Collier (’16 Marketing) accepted an internship with SafeTec, a chemical compliance company, he was blown away by the opportunities afforded him by the WSU Vancouver Carson College of Business.
Faculty members Jane Cote, Tom Tripp, and Ron Pimental made him feel a part of the college before he was even admitted. Before school started, Pimental helped Collier get a summer internship selling life insurance with Northwestern Mutual. Additionally, Tripp gave him honest feedback on what schools are best suited for different kinds of learners, which made Collier aware of the college’s integrity and dedication to empowering students.
“I toured countless universities and sat in classes, but in comparison to other schools, WSU Vancouver has a community,” says Collier. “That’s what drew me in, along with the Carson College’s integration into the business community.”
MAP PROGRAM BOOSTS CONFIDENCE
As a freshman, he was able to talk with graduating seniors who had participated in the Business Growth Mentor and Analysis Program (MAP), a student-led consultancy that gives students real-world experience and helps develop small businesses. He had never heard about college students having the opportunity to influence their community in a way the MAP program does.
He says he learned more in the MAP program than in any of his other courses combined because instructors do not provide students with a linear approach to business problems or opportunities. He admits this creates frustration, but rarely does a business situation have a clear answer or goal. MAP “provides students the opportunity to truly understand how dynamic we need to be to have success,” he says.
After an instructor declined to provide insights on how to move forward with a client, Collier realized that he and his team already had the expertise to make a difference for clients.
“From that point, my confidence skyrocketed,” says Collier. “From client meetings to financial analysis, I knew I had the tools to be a business leader.”
ANALYTICAL TALENT LEADS TO INTERNSHIP, THEN CAREER
His confidence and hands-on experience paid off when Cote called him to meet with SafeTec recruiters on their visit to campus that same day. With no time to prepare, he had to describe what he knew about SafeTec and make a pitch on why his talents would be a good fit for the company.
Two weeks later, he was invited for a formal interview, and the company decided to create a position for him as a marketing research analyst. During his year-long internship, Collier was the primary researcher for a go-to-market software product. Over time, he began to lead more projects, including vertical micro-sites, a tool to analyze the movement of industry customers throughout SafeTec’s website. He built 10 micro-sites for each industry served, giving SafeTec the capability to understand what variables would have the strongest conversion into sales.
In January 2016, the Health and Safety Institute acquired SafeTec as one of its brands. Before completing his internship, SafeTec’s Vice President of Marketing Christie Perrott offered him a position as a market research analyst under the new leadership.
“Peter is truly an exceptional talent. He’s creative, intelligent, insightful, and curious,” says Perrott. “Since joining SafeTec in 2015, he quickly became an indispensable team member—not only to the marketing department, but across the entire organization.”
Collier began his new position in June 2016. He is responsible for participating in marketing and launch planning, data analysis and reporting, market size quantification, and customer segmentations, among other things.
Collier was once told he would never run again after breaking his neck in an accident five years ago. Today, he not only competes in marathons but is running toward his future as a creative, analytical business leader who helps communities protect and save lives.