The chance to play in Spartan Stadium lured Michael Dinkins (BA Finance ’76) to Michigan State University, and it was his winning mindset that accelerated his career after college.
Dinkins, currently executive vice president and chief financial officer of Integer Holdings Corporation, returned to the Eli Broad College of Business as the semester’s final presenter of the Roy S. Pung Executive Speaker Series.
Integer Holdings Corporation, located in Frisco, Texas, specializes in the selling and manufacturing of high-end medical components and devices. Integer Holdings Corporation’s customers range from medical manufacturers to environmental and military markets. “If you know someone with a pacemaker or a defibrillator in their body, there is a 95 percent chance that there is a component from Integer in the product,” Dinkins said.
“What I like about being part of Integer, is that yes, we are in business, but we really are in the business of making lives better for our patients,” said Dinkins.
Dinkins spoke with current Broad MBA students, walking them though the life of a CFO and how to apply ideas from text and lectures to careers. When Dinkins posed a question to the students, “what is the best way to get someone to cooperate with you?” he replied with one simple answer, “talk to them.”
He discussed the idea of “stakeholder analysis,” the recognition of who, especially board members, will care about the decisions made to get the job done. “Because ultimately, I have to convince people to get on board with the decisions of who I select and why as part of a deal,” Dinkins stated.
“I got a unique perspective for working with and for a board of directors. I served on the board of directors for four years, and we decided we were going to change CFOs. I was part of the search committee to pick a new CFO. Then, I ended up being that CFO!” said Dinkins.
Dinkins stressed the importance of understanding people’s personalities, and how personalities impact jobs and decision-making. “Learning interpersonal skills will help you be successful in corporate America,” said Dinkins. He emphasized the same concept of understanding others, it should be applied to oneself and knowing how your own personality will affect the situation.
“Mr. Dinkins shared the humanity in business. You think about these big deals and you don’t get the personal interaction focus. You are dealing with people and different personalities and getting to know how they tick really improves business deals going forward,” said Rose Glendinning (MBA Human Resources ’17).
Primarily, his role is to ensure the company has enough capital to operate; but Dinkins has found that no matter how large a deal may be, it can only be accomplished through the personal interactions.
“I can’t really say I planned my career except for this fact: I just wanted to do what I wanted to do. I honestly believe that success happens when someone finds themselves and does what they really want to do,” said Dinkins.