Wittenberg is excited to welcome back Tim McCarthy, class of 2002, as its first Professional-in-Residence for the 2022-23 academic year.
A new pilot program, Professionals-in-Residence volunteer a significant amount of their time to help guide students through the transition into career exploration as a young professional.
McCarthy, former owner of the Raising Cane’s Ohio franchise, served as the Class of 2022 keynote speaker during the 172nd Commencement exercises, May 14, in picturesque Commencement Hollow.
From English major to entrepreneur, social change advocate, and philanthropist, McCarthy has close to 20 years of experience in the business world, having spent many years building and focusing on RCO Limited, the Ohio Franchise Partner of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers founded in November 2003. Built up to be the largest franchise organization within the Raising Cane’s system, McCarthy and RCO Limited became known for their impressive results as well as the way they advocated for and supported their employees.
The franchise remains a reflection of McCarthy’s entrepreneurial spirit. Moving forward, he now plans to work on campus each Monday during the academic year from an office in the COMPASS: Sweet Success Center under the direction of Brittany House Conrad, executive director for career engagement & professional development.
“I am so excited to welcome Timmy back to Wittenberg as our first Professional-in-Residence,” House Conrad said. “His industry experience, appreciation for Wittenberg’s liberal arts curriculum, and genuine desire to help students will have a significant impact. Timmy will be working with students one-on-one and speaking in classrooms. This partnership will provide increased opportunities for Wittenberg University students to learn and develop professional and career competencies.”
McCarthy, who lives in Worthington, Ohio, is often a guest lecturer, sharing his experiences in building businesses with students at the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University, where he earned his MBA. He has spent time recently in Wittenberg classrooms speaking about his past experiences.
“I love this place,” McCarthy said of Wittenberg. “When asked to do the Commencement address, I fell in love all over again with Wittenberg and wanted to be a part of it. Being on campus helped me connect back with students and with the outside world.”
McCarthy had previously been invited to speak about his career in several classes on campus, mostly entrepreneurial-focused ones.
“I think that helping students navigate toward life goals, what they want to accomplish in life, and what job they choose after they graduate from college is something I would love to do,” he said. “I want to help make it be what they want it to be; it’s what I wish I had when I was here. It’s important to have someone or something to guide you and to help navigate you through the outside world and to help figure out what you can do in life. I want to be that for these students, and if I could do that for even one person, that would be amazing.”
McCarthy has been mentioned or featured in articles in Business First, Franchise Times, The Daily Reporter, The Lantern, Crain’s, and The Columbus Dispatch. After the recent sale of the Raising Cane’s Ohio franchise, he currently serves as a board member of The Business of Good Foundation based in Mentor, Ohio, and has helped to develop TheBusinessofGood.org and its practice of “Serving Those Who Serve the Very Poor.” He also hopes to encourage budding entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs to continue their development of community and national projects, as those are the sources of America’s future potential success.
Motivated by the social impact made possible by a successful business, and desiring to make this impact on a larger scale, McCarthy and his business partners have been investing in established businesses that care about their social impact. In July 2017, Cara Zale, a social capital investment company, was born. Through Cara Zale, McCarthy and his partners publicize that they are focused on “Growing Great Businesses by Developing People who Create Social Change.”
Beyond a one-time campus presentation, Professionals-in-Residence will be integrated into the life of Wittenberg as it relates to their career expertise. They will also bring real-world experience to conversations and educate students about the professional skills they will need to pursue their desired careers. Each Professional-in-Residence will share their own perspective on leadership, creative curiosity, and steps toward success, all drawn from industry experience. In turn, students, faculty, staff, and alumni will have opportunities to gain their own insights through their interaction with the Professional-in-Residence.
The “residence” arrangement is flexible, allowing each Professional-in-Residence to make a commitment based on their time availability.
“I will be speaking to classes, talking with faculty, and building the airplane as its flying,” McCarthy said. “Being an English major, I loved my college experience and what it gave to me; it helped me find who I am. I’m lucky to be here, this just feels like home.”
Professionals-in-Residence often advise students in areas such as:
- Skills and abilities required to succeed in a particular industry or company
- Job search strategies, internships, and full-time positions
- The value of experiential opportunities or graduate school in preparation for a particular career field (as applicable)
- Career path planning beyond the initial position
- Dealing with challenging professional or personnel issues
- Commercializing new business and entrepreneurial ventures
Other opportunities for engagement include:
- Consulting and collaboration with faculty and staff on research and other projects (as applicable)
- Community outreach by assisting with career-related partnerships
- Industry knowledge and industry, functional, and leadership expertise
- Case writing and/or competition judging
- Help with informational interviewing
- Alumni lectures, speaking, and networking experience
- Opportunities for classroom experiences, including guest lecturing and participation in panels/classes; exploration of First Year Seminar courses and/or FIRE week sessions; and student job shadowing opportunities
For more information on Career Engagement & Professional Development click here.