Huntsman Post

Logan-Based Conservice Seeks Out Huntsman Students

By Steve Eaton

Sometimes it’s hard to talk Huntsman graduates into leaving Cache Valley to get their first job. They like it here. They want to stay. Earlier this month students learned of one career opportunity that promised to let them keep the Wellsville Mountains and fall football days as an ongoing part of their life.

On Nov. 7 it was difficult to walk about the George S. Eccles Business Building without seeing reminders that the day was all about Conservice, a Logan-based utility management company that already employs more than 70 people who are Huntsman students or graduates. Executives from the company spoke to 18 classes that day, and Conservice T-shirts were showing up everywhere. Students and graduates who work at Conservice were on the main floor near the elevators passing out freebies and answering questions about the company.

People mingling at a Conservice Information Session

Huntsman students and graduates who work at Conservice answer questions about the Logan–based company.

David Jenkins, co-founder, CEO, and president of the company, spent much of the day at the Huntsman School of Business. He said Conservice was happy to have the company’s opportunities highlighted, not only because it hoped to entice top-quality students and graduates into its work force, but because it wanted a chance to give something back to Utah State University. The executives candidly shared life lessons and insights with the students during the day, which also included receptions that created networking opportunities for faculty and students.

Mr. Jenkins, who graduated from the Huntsman School of Business in 1995 with a degree in business management and a master’s degree in 1999 in human resource management, said that the company has found Huntsman students and graduates to be hard-working employees who appreciate the opportunity to work, and require very little supervision. They often start as part-time employees and advance in the ranks. He said they had one simple message they expected to repeat during their visit, “Start here. Stay here.”

At a reception he talked with students about the culture of the company where the executives do not have administrative assistants and where employees are free to approach management on any level with issues or ideas to improve the work. Mr. Jenkins said he personally passes out pay checks every two weeks and does so with a cart stocked with candy and fresh fruit. Apparently, employees get a tasty bonus with each check. He attributes his unique approach to running a business to his HR background and his dedication to taking care of Conservice team members.

Conservice, which now serves more than 1 million service addresses across the United States has more than $40 million in billings and employs more than 430 team members. It is one of the fastest growing third-party utility billing companies in the country. In August of 2012, Inc. Magazine recognized Conservice for the fifth consecutive year as one of the fastest growing companies in the United States, and Utah Business put the company on a list of the fifty fastest growing companies in Utah. Mr. Jenkins was awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2011 for the Utah Region.

Dave Patel, assistant dean, said this was the first time a company has undertaken this type of all-day recruiting effort and said he believes the students benefited from the visits.

“It’s one thing to talk about options, in general,” he said, “but this gave our students a chance to talk with not just the executives but recent graduates who could tell them what it’s like to work for Conservice. Even if they don’t want to work for Conservice, the executives offered them valuable insight that can help them prepare for their careers. We are grateful David and others from Conservice were willing to invest so much time in our students.”