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ACUITY Human Resources Specialist Tracy WusterbarthACUITY has hired more graduates from Lakeland College over the past five years than from any other college or university in the state, said ACUITY Human Resources Specialist Tracy Wusterbarth during a visit to Lakeland on Tuesday afternoon.

Wusterbarth said that when it comes to finding employees for the highly successful, fast-growing and nationally renowned property and casualty insurance company, Lakeland graduates are trusted and coveted.

"They are really producing for us, and that's fantastic, because Lakeland College is literally in our backyard," said Wusterbarth, whose department processed about 4,000 applications for employment last year.

"The people we have on board from Lakeland are doing very well, so yes, we really like Lakeland graduates. We don't want to spend our time visiting campuses that are not producing, so we did a study and found out that Lakeland was our top school in terms of employees over the past five years."

Tuesday's event, free for Lakeland College students, was sponsored and organized by Lakeland's Career Development Office. Wusterbarth was joined by Lakeland grads and current ACUITY standouts Adam Beltran, Brittany Ryan and Nicole Shavlik. The trio of Lakeland grads talked about how satisfying it is to work at ACUITY and how current students can best launch a career there.

Beltran, a 2012 computer science graduate, works as a commercial line system programmer. Ryan, a 2012 business management/marketing graduate, is an inside claims specialist. And Shavlik, also a 2012 business management graduate, is a commercial lines underwriter.

ACUITY, which is based in Sheboygan, Wis., has established a reputation with numerous awards as one of the best places to work in the state. Wusterbarth said ACUITY's retention rate is much higher than the national average.

In the upcoming months, there are expected to be at least 19 openings for information technology (programming) as well as 14 commercial processor positions and 18 underwriter positions.

Wusterbarth said graduating students' major does not make or break them as applicants at ACUITY.

"We have business analysts with English degrees," she said. "It's more about whether or not the applicant is a cultural fit. And the ability to communicate effectively is more important than what your degree is in."

Wusterbarth stressed that the culture at ACUITY, which is about to exceed 1,000 employees nationwide (including more than 750 at the Sheboygan headquarters building), is "family oriented."

"You feel valued at ACUITY," Wusterbarth said. "It's a very happy environment."

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