Sean Baker | Haworth College of Business News | Western Michigan University

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Sean Baker, B.B.A.’11 – Building Strong Relationships

After graduating with a degree in management, Sean Baker, B.B.A.’11, landed a position at Command Transportation as a national account executive in the carrier sales division, a position that requires him to prospect new business, provide customer service and creatively solve problems.

Baker landed the position by communicating with Command recruiters while being a part of the executive board in WMU’s Sales and Business Marketing Association. He credits the opportunities within the college to gain real world experiences as a major factor that contributed to his career success.

“I have been fortunate to have a lot of early success in my career, and I attribute that to the lessons I learned at the college of business,” says Baker.

One of his favorite experiences from the college is one he still participates in to this day. As a part of a social entrepreneurship class, led by Dr. Timothy Palmer, associate professor of management, Baker worked with start-ups trying to rebuild New Orleans from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. During the trip, Baker says he was especially moved by Palmer’s suggestion that students can look at their careers as an opportunity to do more than just make a living.  Baker was able to open a dialogue on social responsibility and understand that there were many ways to contribute to the community as a graduate and professional.

“I was determined to find a company that provided the opportunity to have a career and grow the passion I have for community outreach,” says Baker. “With Dr. Palmer’s instruction, I identified Command Transportation as a company that would provide such an opportunity.”

Command makes a constant effort to stay engaged within the Chicago community. The company donates monthly through Command Coffee, a program in which employees can purchase their daily coffee while donating at the same time. Through the program, Command has raised more than $16,000 in the past year and a half for the arts and crafts program at the Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

Baker has had a role in developing another company-wide community outreach program recently. Command holds two intra-office events and two out-of-office fundraising events annually to raise money for specific causes. A network has also been developed to give employees a way to raise awareness for individual causes they are passionate about. The goal is to get every Command employee engaged in the community by the end of 2013. Baker also helped connect Command to the Chicago chapter of Rebuilding Together; the company will be working with the organization in April for National Rebuilding Day.

With his passion for social engagement, Baker continues to work with Palmer on Urban Plunge, a trip led by Palmer during which students engage in community service work in Chicago. “It gives me the opportunity to stay connected to the students at WMU and experience the various community outreach events available in Chicago.”

He says that he enjoys demonstrating to students what kind of opportunities are available to them after graduation and took the event a step further this past semester by coordinating a tour of Command. “My role in the trip as an alum is to reinforce the positive aspects of the Plunge to the current students as they relate to the real world,” says Baker. “The visit was a great opportunity for the students to have an open dialogue with our leaders and learn more about Command and our impact on Chicago.”

Baker looks forward to continuing to build the community outreach program at Command and connect with not only future business partners, but also with WMU students looking to connect with their own community and beyond.

Editor: Cindy Wagner
Haworth College of Business
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