LORD Corporation CEO tells Penn State Behrend students to 'push the envelope'

The LORD Corporation booth is typically one of the busiest at the Penn State Behrend Career and Internship Fair. The company, a top global provider of adhesives, coatings and noise, vibration and motion-control systems, was founded in Erie and operates facilities in Cambridge Springs, Saegertown and Summit Township.

Ed Auslander, the company’s president and CEO, has long supported Penn State Behrend. He earned an M.B.A. from the college in 1991 and has served as an Alumni Fellow since 2014. He returned to the college April 12 to meet with students, a number of whom will begin careers at LORD this summer.

“I like to talk about the culture we have developed at LORD,” he said. “It gets students enthusiastic about maybe having a career with us.”

To succeed at the company, he said, members of LORD’s team need to believe three things:

It’s OK to fail. “That’s a weird thing to say, maybe, but I want people who push the envelope, and to do that, you have to be willing to try new things,” Auslander says. “You have to put yourself out there, even if it doesn’t always work.

“What’s important to me is how you handle that failure. If you learn from it, if you get right back up and try something different, I’m OK with that. Keep failing.”

The rabbit often wins the race. “Fast wins,” Auslander says. “That’s the dynamic of the market today. If you want to work with companies like Apple and Amazon, you’re not going to be successful if you take an old-school industrial approach, where you design something and work for a year to quantify it. Their products evolve a lot more quickly than that. If you want to succeed in those markets, you have to keep up.”

If you can’t communicate, we can’t do business. “Interpersonal skills are essential, no matter what your field,” Auslander says. “When I look at someone who wants to join our company, I ask three things: Can they collaborate? Are they good in team settings? Are they committed to the success of others?

“That last one might be the most important for me. If everyone we hire wants everyone around them to do well, then we win. It’s as simple as that.

“I have taken some of the same classes I visited today. I’ve sat at those desks. I know that if you are here and are performing well, you are solid on the technical stuff. What’s left is how well you can communicate it.

“If you graduate from Penn State, you are ahead of the game. You’re starting at a better place than many others at any company. I say, bring that knowledge. Bring that value. Be vocal, and contribute from Day One.”