Our staff at the BEC are rock stars. They inspire partnerships, facilitate connections, and serve as a key portal for 1200+ companies to engage at U-M.

Amy Klinke, Director at the BEC, shares a little about what makes her tick, what her goals are, and when to say yes…

Q: Before working at the BEC, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

Amy Kinke - office headstand

Amy, middle, with Tess Postema and Charmayne Wiley

A: Offshore salmon fishing in Kodiak Alaska

Q: Tell us three things most people don’t know about you…

  1. I have run 7 marathons, including an Ironman and though I consider myself a recovering triathlete, I still need to work out everyday
  2. I grew up in the middle of the woods, and had an adventurous childhood, which was mostly amazing, (My brother cut off my finger when I was 2 -don’t worry they sewed it back on)
  3. I have been to 6 of the 7 continents and 49 of the 50 states

Q: What are three career lessons you’ve learned thus far?

  1. Keep your inbox under 30 emails if at all possible
  2. Always be direct and kind and set expectations up front
  3. Maintain your network – even if you haven’t talked in a year – pick up the phone

Q: What do you like most about your job?

A: The relationships I have been able to build. It is so energizing to be at cutting edge of research and technology. Everyday I learn something new, and it is such a privilege to say I love my job and going to work everyday! 

Q: What are 3 words to describe the BEC?

A: Variable variable- in that every day is different, every industry interaction is different and there is no one way to do things

Birds Eye View – We have a really unique view into the University, we are agnostic as to who we work with, we want to create the best connection for our partners, so we get to see the University from a different view than other units across campus

Innovative – we are given the opportunity to be creative to come up with new and different types of partnerships based on how the world and technologies are changing

Q: What has been your favorite project at the BEC?

A: Definitely working with the School of Information on the creation of the Augmented/Virtual Reality Initiative. It is amazing to see how this technology will change the world. 

Q: What is on your wish list for the next 10 years with the BEC?

A: I hope to be able to put a clear structure in place with the tech companies on the west coast that I work with. Right now, west coast partnerships seem to focus on the west coast universities and I want to change that by making Michigan one of their key partners. 

Q: What does true leadership mean to you?

A:   True leadership is the ability to set a clear vision with your team and then to let your team work with flexibility on how to get to the goal. A true leader doesn’t micromanage, but helps strategize and helps to remove roadblocks. True leadership has honesty, kindness and courage.