By Julie Barker
Education is a big concern of Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo. He spearheads with Alan Schwartz of Guggenheim Partners the Governor’s Committee on Scholastic Achievement, a program to mentor New York City inner-city kids.
Within Verizon, he has made sure the financial organization focuses on training promising accounting majors and keeping them. A program he started brings in college sophomores who get two-year internships with six-month rotational assignments while they earn their CPAs or certifications as management accountants, financial planners, or whatever else may be their interest. In order to qualify for the program, the students must agree that they will get certified. The company helps individuals’ efforts with review courses.
Result: “We have a lot of new people with a lot of energy,” says Shammo. A second phase focuses on people who have been in the department for 3 to 10 years, offering them rotational assignments that will allow them gain experience and move up. They, too, are encouraged to go back to school to differentiate themselves with an MBA.
Shammo says that there are now more than 200 people in his finance organization working toward certification.