A Professional Connection Built on the Global Network
For a Smurfit and Yale graduate, the Global Network was a powerful tool, making a connection that led to a new career path.
Recently, Workday, the U.S.-based human and financial capital resources company, was expanding its global footprint and needed to build out its talent in Dublin. Nathaniel Hundt, a 2013 graduate of Yale SOM, and a business development analyst at the company, was looking for someone with on-the-ground knowledge to help execute a new product.
“We were building a new product for our customers, which are all over the world, and our design process emphasized going out and talking to folks that don't live in the U.S. to help source ideas and gain empathy. Our development process was similarly global,” Hundt says. “So I thought back to my experience with the Yale Global Network for Advanced Management. Can I use the network to find another connection for an open position at Workday?”
Hundt was shaped by his Global Network experience. He was at Yale when the network was founded in 2012, and was among the first students to participate in Global Network Week, then known as Immersion Week. He traveled to Koç University in Turkey, an experience that showed him the value of being exposed to diverse ideas and cultural approaches.
“What’s happening in one part of the world is definitely impacting what’s happening in another part of the world,” he says. “I think of it like inputs: the more access you have to these information inputs, the more access you can get to better solutions.”
Fast-forward to Hundt’s time at Workday, a provider of enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources. He contacted UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School’s careers department. That’s when he learned about Cian Collins, who was getting his MBA, and was already interested in the position at Workday.
The two got together over breakfast in 2015. It turned out that Collins, a 2015 graduate of Smurfit who had worked at Twitter, had also been shaped by the Global Network—and by Yale SOM. In 2015, he traveled to Yale to participate in the student-run Integrated Leadership Case Competition alongside students throughout the network.
Collins and his team prepared on weekends for months leading up to the competition, and took home the best team dynamics award. “The competition was an amazing experience, and I was thrilled to have won that award but never expected what it could lead to,” Collins says. “It was invaluable meeting Nate, and I never would’ve done that without that connection.”
Collins was a strong Workday candidate—he had global experience and had worked for Twitter as the social media giant was expanding its operations. But their shared experience through the Global Network is what helped Collins and Hundt bond.
“He thought highly of that experience and that stood out to me,” Hundt says.
That encounter led Hundt to recommend that the company hire Collins. Now Collins works as a product manager at Workday, developing HR tools that allow managers in different countries to find the tools necessary to employ foreign workers.
“When he’s seen opportunities, he’s alerted me to them,” Collins says. “We’ve built a friendship from a shared connection. While we work on different teams, we help out each other.”
For Hundt, the experience reinforced the value of his Global Network experience. As leaders learn more about different cultural approaches and make new global connections, he says, they only stand to benefit.
“It helped me develop my global exposure, and it definitely has taught me that my work life is an important part of who I am,” Hundt says. “It’s not just a job. With the network, you have this shared experience. It’s a foundation that can help you get through the door.”