For many generations of Spartans, the choice to attend Michigan State University is influenced by their family members or relatives who chose to study along the banks of the Red Cedar before them.
Take the Sitek family, where Christine (B.A. Material and Logistics Management ’89) was drawn to MSU for the Broad College’s highly respected supply chain program. Her two children, Alyssa (B.A. Supply Chain Management ’17) and Jake (B.A. Finance ’20), followed in her footsteps and became Broad Spartans, too.
“The Broad College of Business has a great reputation, and I knew it would be the perfect fit for my career,” Jake said. “Michigan State University was an easy choice for me and my future.”
There’s something special about the Sitek family besides the fact that they bleed green — they also share the same employer. Thanks to their strong family ties with Michigan’s automotive industry, the Siteks are making business happen at General Motors, the largest American automobile manufacturer.
“My husband, Glenn, and I both grew up in automotive families,” Christine said. “My grandfather, uncle and Glenn’s father all retired from General Motors. My husband’s grandfathers worked at Chrysler and Packard Motor Car Company. The industry and GM literally took care of several generations of our families.
“In addition, we both always had a passion for the industry and for cars,” she continued. “Our kids were raised in this environment where we always talked about vehicles, the exciting pace and challenge of the industry and its opportunity. I believe too that they saw us both have positive career experiences that drew them not only to the industry but to GM.”
Christine and Glenn both started their careers at the Detroit-based company in 1986, while still in college. Today, Glenn — a Central Michigan University alumnus — works in engineering for GM’s Advanced Vehicle Development group, leading a team that creates and virtually tests vehicles for the future. Christine is an executive director of global purchasing and supply chain, responsible for program management and Mexico. She leads the team that creates vehicle sourcing strategies and is accountable for execution through the product lifecycle, including launch readiness and profitability. Amid the pandemic, she led GM’s efforts to secure roughly one-third of the parts necessary for ventilator production.
Alyssa works as a seat complete buyer, where she collaborates with her mother’s team daily. “The Global Program Management team is the voice for all buyers into the individual vehicle program teams,” Alyssa said. “They help us execute and launch all vehicles successfully.”
Most recently, Jake joined as a financial analyst for GM’s Global Capital Management, consolidating monthly forecasts, reporting performance to leadership and making suggestions for how to reach financial targets.
Although the Siteks each bring a unique perspective to their role, one thing is universal for this family: GM is a great place to work.
“No matter what your automotive interests or passions are, there is a place within GM where you can use your unique talents to positively impact your community and the automotive future,” Glenn said.
“Being a part of GM’s journey during this transformational period in the automotive industry is what makes the company so great,” Jake said. “We are constantly faced with new and exciting challenges as we make strides to an all-electric future.”
Christine is motivated by the company’s vision and culture. “I am so proud of this company that is using its scale and resources to drive a better, more sustainable and inclusive future,” she said. “GM’s vision is one with ‘Zero Crashes, Zero Emissions and Zero Congestion.’ Most importantly, the culture enables me to bring my authentic self to work and empowers me to contribute in a meaningful way.”
When Alyssa’s position as a seat buyer was announced, she received emails from colleagues across the world, welcoming her to the new team and creating an instant connection. “When you join a company like GM, you are joining a family. Everyone wants to see you succeed,” she said.
Like thousands of other Broad Spartan alumni scattered around the world, the Siteks are applying the knowledge and skills they gained at MSU to make a difference in their work every day.
Christine’s time on campus helped her become confident and knowledgeable in her professional career as well as forge lasting relationships that she maintains today. Jake’s experience at Broad set him up for success immediately upon graduation, where he could bring value to the company on day one.
For Alyssa, being active with GM’s recruiting efforts and mentoring current Spartans on how to succeed has been the most rewarding.
“My previous experience with MSU allows me to mentor and coach current students on how to be successful Spartan leaders at General Motors,” she said. “When we see our Spartan students succeed at General Motors, it is honestly the best feeling in the world.”