[Excerpt] On March 24, 2015, Bill Dirksen joined ten students from Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations for a lunch and career chat. An alumnus of the school’s graduate program (1985), Dirksen came to Cornell after graduating from the University of Notre Dame with an economics degree. He currently serves as Vice President for Labor Affairs for Ford Motor Company. He is a key negotiator for the firm, and has been responsible for both internal and external labor relations and human resources. He has also worked in a number of Ford business units and locations, including a stint in Australia and one with Ford Credit.