By Maura Jensen
CyraCom International – a language services company founded in Tucson – has employed over 30 Eller graduates since 2009, both for internships and full-time positions. The company, which provides live interpreter services over the phone and allows users to be able to connect to an interpreter for over 200 languages almost instantly, recently opened a new business development office in downtown Tucson. The new operation includes four Eller graduates and six Eller interns.
Chris Liebner, an Eller alumnus, is currently the Director of Strategic Business Development for the office. Liebner said that it made sense for the business to open an office downtown with all the growth that the area is experiencing. “The downtown office is located in the historic Pioneer Building across the street from the downtown library,” he said. “It’s in the heart of the city and has panoramic views of Tucson, and more importantly, Arizona Stadium.” Nearly 500 of the 1,000 Arizona-based CyraCom employees are in Tucson, in several offices around town.
The downtown office has made the company more accessible to interns from the University of Arizona due to its proximity to campus. Danielle Scheller, a business development intern and marketing major at Eller, said that the responsibility that the company gives them is one of the things that really makes the internship valuable. “I conducted research in the education industry and formed an in-depth understanding of how a company enters a new market,” she said.
The team environment at the business development office is an important component in the interns’ professional experience. “Our interns work on individual objectives with experienced supervisors that help them grow professionally,” Liebner said. CyraCom often comes to McClelland Hall to participate in events such as Idea Funding, which is sponsored by the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship, and to recruit talent.
The company’s hiring process is demanding, consisting of a phone interview, two in-person interviews, and a writing assessment. Liebner said that the reason he likes to hire Eller students and alumni is not only to support his alma mater, but also because of the strong applicants that come out of the Eller College. “Eller’s focus on building a communications skill set is what I view as the College’s core competency and greatly contributes to our Eller alum’s success in business,” he said.
Top photo of Annabelle Romero, Strategic Account Manager, courtesy of CyraCom.