Students at Augusta State University’s Hull College of Business learn and discuss business concepts every day, but Thursday, they were able to hear how those principles play out in the real world.
Rural Sourcing Inc. CEO Monty Hamilton talked with business students as a part of ASU’s Visiting Executives Week 2012, fielding questions about how to succeed in business and sharing insights from his career.
“We do a great job of bringing classroom experiences to our students, but until they hear it from the guy who’s putting it into practice, it’s just theory,” said Marc Miller, the dean of the Hull College of Business. “This makes it come alive.”
Hamilton shared his story of being the first in his family to graduate from college and the first to hold a white-collar job.
As students raised their hands with questions, he gave advice for job interviews, suggested how to make a good impression and revealed what makes RSI tick as a company.
“Successful workers are well-educated, hard-working and want to make a difference in the world and in a community they care about,” he said.
The company has found Augusta to be a city with forward-thinking leaders, he said, and a workforce with a high work ethic.
RSI has a turnover rate of 5 percent, compared with the industry standard of 20 percent, and he attributed that in part to the company locating in a smaller metro area.
“Now that we can work remotely, the industry is a lot more conducive to a balanced family life,” he said.
As the hour came to a close, one student asked whether he could distill all of his advice into key points for young people just beginning to succeed. Hamilton did not hesitate.
“Hard work … and be nice,” he said with a smile.