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University Relations Program Leader

Location: Chicago, IL, United States

Job Function: Human Resources

Req Number: 595

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We are a global leader in food & beverage ingredients. Pioneers at heart, we operate at the forefront of consumer trends to provide food & beverage manufacturers with products and ingredients that will delight their consumers. Making a positive impact on people and planet is all part of the delight. With a deep-rooted presence in the countries where our ingredients are grown, we are closer to farmers, enabling better quality, and more reliable, traceable and transparent supply. Supplying products and ingredients at scale is just the start. We add value through our unique, complementary portfolio of natural, delicious and nutritious products. With our fresh thinking, we help our customers unleash the sensory and functional attributes of cocoa, coffee, dairy, nuts and spices so they can create naturally good food & beverage products that meet consumer expectations. And whoever we’re with, whatever we’re doing, we always make it real.


Position Summary:


Reporting to the Senior Director of Talent Acquisition – North America, the University Relations Program Leader will play a pivotal contributing role in making early career talent acquisition and development real at ofi. The UR Program Leader is an individual contributor member of the HR team who will be responsible for building, implementing, and sustaining a robust university relations program across North America (US and Canada), with a strong focus on establishing and growing relationships with academic institutions, students, and early-career talent. This position offers high visibility to senior leadership and requires executive stakeholder management skills.



  1. Program Development and Strategy:
    • Drive execution of a comprehensive university relations strategy aligned with our business goals.
    • Manage internships, co-op programs, and entry-level hiring initiatives in the context of the overall early career talent framework.
    • Collaborate with cross-functional teams to ensure seamless integration of university relations efforts with other talent, diversity, and company brand-building initiatives.
  2. Relationship Building:
    • Cultivate strong partnerships with universities, colleges, and other educational institutions.
    • Represent ofi at targeted campus recruiting events, career fairs, and conferences.
    • Engage with faculty, career services, and student and recent alum organizations to promote our company brand and opportunities.
    • Function as UR program point of contact for students during their ofi internships and co-ops
    • Plan and coordinate institution-level engagements (e.g., ofi Leaders as guest lecturers and adjunct faculty, school program sponsorships, philanthropic contributions, etc.) between ofi and targeted universities.
  3. Talent Sourcing and Screening:
    • Curate top-tier early career talent pools from targeted universities.
    • Screen and assess candidates for internships, co-ops, and full-time positions.
    • Maintain ongoing communication with candidates throughout the hiring process.
  4. Executive Stakeholder Management:
    • Present program goals, progress, and results to senior leadership.
    • Collaborate with executives to align university relations efforts with organizational priorities.
  5. Budget Management:
    • Develop and manage the university relations program budget.
    • Allocate resources effectively to maximize impact.
  6. Metrics and Reporting:
    • Track program metrics (e.g., conversion rates, time-to-fill) and provide regular updates.
    • Use data-driven insights to optimize program effectiveness.



  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred.
  • Minimum of 5+ years of experience in university relations, campus recruitment or talent acquisition required.
  • Proven track record of building university relations programs from the ground-up.
  • Executive stakeholder management experience is essential.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively to small and large groups and the ability to interact with all levels of leadership is required.
  • Significant experience creating slide decks and delivering presentations is required.
  • Ability to influence and collaborate across all levels of the organization.
  • Strategic thinking and problem-solving abilities.
  • Previous experience managing program budgets is strongly preferred.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and appropriately handle sensitive information with tact and discretion is required.
  • Willingness to travel extensively (up to 40%) during peak recruitment seasons.





Note: This job description is not intended to be all-inclusive. Employee may perform other related duties as negotiated to meet the ongoing needs of the organization.


ofi provides equality of opportunity for all persons with respect to hiring without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation. All employment will be decided on the basis of qualifications, merit and business need. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, you may contact us for support at: [email protected]


At ofi, we celebrate our diversity. Olam Americas Inc. is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace.