Alumni Success Story: Bill Smitley ’07

Since graduating with his MBA in human resources, Bill Smitley ’07 has quickly built a career as a corporate recruiter and human resources professional.  By packaging Bill’s energetic, service-driven personality and the MBA education he received at DU together, he was able to obtain his dream job as an HR Generalist at DP Fox Ventures. Bill believes the skills he learned and people he met while at DU prepared him for success, stating, “group projects helped me develop new approaches to resolving differences and providing feedback.” We are proud to feature Bill Smitley ’07 as our alumni success story this week. Read Bill’s full Alumni Success interview below.

Tell us about yourself, Bill!

I moved to Michigan 21 years ago from South Bend, Indiana where I was born and raised.  I graduated from Ball State University with a marketing degree in 1994. After college, I had an interesting career path. I had jobs at JCPenney in merchandising, Universal Forest Products in marketing, and Gordon Food Service in management. I worked at DU in admissions for a few years while I taught management, marketing and public relations courses online. I earned my MBA with a human resources focus from DU in 2007, soon after I started working at Service Express, Inc. as a corporate recruiter.  Over a year ago, I accepted the Human Resources Generalist position at DP Fox Ventures where I am responsible for employee relations and recruiting.

Why did you pick the MBA program with the HR focus at DU?

I feel HR is a perfect fit for my personality. I took a strengths finder test and the results were not surprising. I am “woo” and “communication.” I like striking up conversations with new people and building a great rapport.  I describe human resources as the vehicle that connects the dots for employees, almost like match making for careers.

What was your experience like at DU?

I really enjoyed my experience at DU. I received the hands-on experience I needed to obtain a job in human resources. The group projects helped me develop new approaches to resolving differences and providing feedback on performance, which has helped me greatly in my role as a HR Generalist. Davenport set me up for success.

Tell us about your job as a HR Generalist for DP Fox.

My main focus is employee relations.  I help with recruiting and retention, creating avenues for employee empowerment and enforcing policies and regulations.  One of the coolest things about my job is the variety of jobs I get to recruit for.  DP Fox Ventures is a diversified management company with interests in real estate, transportation, fashion, sports and entertainment. A lot of the recruiting I do is for Fox Motors, which is fun.

What do you do when you are not working?

I enjoy spending time with my wife of 16 years and our three children. We spend a lot of time at their sporting events and activities. I also enjoy creating online scrapbooks.

What advice do you have for recent graduates?

Put your phone down and develop social skills. Don’t be afraid to talk to people face-to-face. I am a happy-go-lucky guy and I am not afraid to have fun at my job.


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