Negotiation Advice from Alumni

The Palumbo-Donahue Student Advisory Council (PDSAC) and the School of Business held the second annual Negotiating Job and Internship Offers Panel Discussion on February 5, 2020.  Attended by nearly 70 students, the idea for the event evolved out of discussions with the PDSAC membership and Dr. Dean McFarlin.

The PDSAC meets with Dean six times each academic year.  The Council, an engaged group of student leaders, is co-chaired by Dr. Dean McFarlin and marketing/finance double major Anna Zuefle for the 2019-2020 academic year.  The president of the Student Executive Committee also serves as co-chair of the PDSAC.

This spring, students invited two distinguished Duquesne alumni to serve on the negotiating panel with Dr. Dean McFarlin.

  • Anne Herman (MBA’02) is Vice President of Global Operational Excellence and Chief Customer Officer for MSA—Mine Safety Appliances. Anne received the School’s distinguished Alumna Award in 2018 and currently serves on the Graduate and Executive Programs Advisory Council.
  • Joe Rusnic (B’82) is Senior Vice President and Commercial Associate Director for Huntington Bank. Joe is also a member of the School’s Professional Sales Advisory Council.

You have a job offer. Now what?

The panel provided strategies, tactics and perspectives about negotiating job and internship offers.  Students learned that negotiating is a valuable part of the employment process and part of advancing their careers to a higher level from the start.  They were advised to consider a variety of possibilities when negotiating and to evaluate how closely the job aligns with their career goals.  Other key takeaways included:

  • How you conduct negotiations is as important, if not more so, than what you are asking for (always be professional, gracious and understand the company’s perspective)
  • Do your homework in advance about what similar jobs are paying
  • Be flexible—many aspects of an employment offer may be negotiable besides salary (e.g., signing bonuses, vacation time, moving expenses, etc.)

After the enlightening panel discussion and question-and-answer session, moderated by Anna Zuefle, students enjoyed a networking reception.

 “The Negotiations event was extremely valuable for me as a senior about to graduate from Duquesne.  It opened my eyes to the opportunities available to a successful negotiator.  I am thankful that I have learned skills to better prepare me for future business negotiations. ”

Anna Zuefle, B’20 Candidate,
President of the Student Executive Committee and Co-chair of the PDSAC