With a traditional Hawaiian blessing, the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa unveiled its newly renovated Corporate Interview Rooms on September 25 thanks to a $150,000 gift from First Insurance Company of Hawaiʻi, Ltd.

The Corporate Interview Rooms will be used to conduct job interviews and to prepare students for internship opportunities and entry into the job market. The rooms received electrical upgrades, furniture, video equipment for mock interviews and several large digital monitors to conduct long distance interviews via Skype.

“We and the local business community in general benefit from having a world-class business school in our backyard,” says Jeff Shonka, CEO of FICOH. “Our funding of the Corporate Interview Rooms is another way for us to support this symbiotic relationship.”

This is just one of many successful programs and services offered by the Office of Internships and Career Development that have led to a steady growth of internships and career opportunities for students. Last year, the college placed more than 500 students in internships.

We and the local business community in general benefit from having a world-class business school in our backyard.
—Jeff Shonka, CEO of FICOH

In a recent survey of undergraduates, nearly 40 percent were placed in jobs one month before graduation and an amazing 88 percent were placed in jobs within three months after graduation with 86 percent in their major. Among this group, 75 percent were placed in Hawaiʻi, 18 percent on the U.S. mainland and 9 percent internationally.

Last year, more than 40 companies held interviews or informational sessions in the interview rooms through Shidler’s Business of the Week program. Some of the companies who participated in the program included: PWC Los Angeles, FICOH, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Matson, Servco, The Queen’s Health Systems and Merrill Lynch.

“We are extremely grateful to First Insurance for their continued support of our students,” says Vance Roley, dean of the Shidler College. “Every commitment we receive from the private sector will help us provide new resources and opportunities for our students.”

people standing in a newly renovated interview room
From left, Donna Vuchinich, UH Foundation president and CEO; Vance Roley, UH Mānoa Shidler College of Business dean; David Lassner, UH President; Kelli Sunabe, UH Mānoa Shidler College of Business student; Unyong Nakata, UH Foundation executive director of development and Jeff Shonka, First Insurance Company of Hawaiʻi president and CEO.

Visionary Initiative modernizes key spaces at the college

First Insurance’s gift is the first commitment of the Visionary Initiative to modernize key spaces and rooms at Shidler and assures the legacy of our most steadfast alumni and friends with their names. Residual funds after renovations will go towards enriching the general endowment, which serves to provide critical funds for alumni outreach, new programs and scholarships.

Other First Insurance gifts to Shidler include: a $1 million endowed professorship in risk management, a $100,000 endowed scholarship, $160,000 to the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship, and the title sponsorship of Business Night for the past 12 years.

—By Dolly Omiya