Alumni Reception Highlights State Farm, University’s Partnership

By Melissa Graham  |  May 9, 2019

Since State Farm opened its state-of-the-art CityLine regional hub at just a few miles from The University of Texas at Dallas in 2015, the insurance giant has quickly become a valued University supporter, establishing scholarships, supporting STEM camps and veteran programming, and offering unique internship experiences to current students. Additionally, State Farm employs more than 300 graduates of UT Dallas.

“State Farm invests in students, programming and efforts across the University,” said UT Dallas President Richard C. Benson to a group of about 50 State Farm employees gathered for a UTD alumni reception in April. “We work together to encourage financial literacy, enhance K-12 outreach and expand the impact of STEM camps.”

Thanks to executive involvement on University advisory boards, State Farm is able to provide input on the type of talent they look to hire and the skills students will most likely use in corporate environments.

“It’s important to make sure the curriculum and what’s being taught are the skills they’ll utilize,” said Mike Miller, an enterprise technology executive at State Farm. “It’s to our advantage to try to establish a pipeline early and get the best and brightest to State Farm.”

The company’s continued investment in UT Dallas also encourages engagement from alumni employees, who are given even more opportunities to stay connected with their alma mater.

“Just a few weeks ago, I was able to be a part of a panel for women in technology,” said Erin Crawford BS’15, a cyber-threat intelligence analyst at State Farm. “Being able to participate and to see the level of students coming out of UTD, I’m always impressed.”

The benefits of the partnership between State Farm and UT Dallas are also recognized by current students, who are able to gain work experience early on through State Farm’s remote internship program.  

“They’re trying to help us succeed, so that they can succeed,” said Karema Sallam, a senior in the Naveen Jindal School of Management who attended the recent event. “They understand that the students are the future of employment and development.”

Through the State Farm internship program, computer science majors work on projects in a cooperative working space in the Synergy Park North building. Interns receive hands-on professional experience and enjoy opportunities to network with mentors from State Farm’s local offices.

“It benefits us because we get the young, contemporary talent,” said Eileen Flynn, vice president of operations for State Farm and Jindal School Advisory Council member. “We get to hear firsthand what they’re learning, and we can take that and become a better company.”