Students enrolled in the Columbus School of Law’s “In House Counsel” class were treated to a special guest lecture on March 21 when Mario Guevara, chief executive officer of the BIC Group, spent more than an hour giving them a tour of his company’s corporate philosophy and answering questions about legal practice in a corporate setting.
Guevara was invited to speak before the students by instructor Steve Burkhart, BIC’s general counsel and a 1989 alumnus of CUA Law, who is teaching the class for a second year.
BIC is one of the world’s most successful companies, selling 45-million products such as pens, disposable shavers and lighters in 160 countries every day. Guevara has served as CEO since 2006.
“This is really unique, to have the chance to ask someone questions about so many business perspectives,” said Burkhart by way of introduction.
In his remarks, Guevara urged the students to think carefully about the core values of a company that they may someday aim to join as general counsel.
BIC’s operating principles, he said, have served it well since its founding in 1950 and continue to inspire loyalty among its 9,600 member workforce today. BIC’s core values include ethics, responsibility, ingenuity, simplicity, and teamwork. The legal department, explained Guevara, plays a key role in the company’s success instilling and fulfilling these goals.
The company believes in honoring its past, building simple and reliable products, and always being responsive to customer habits and preferences.
“These values are like the lighthouse that will guide you through the fog,” said Guevara.
Since its establishment in the spring of 2012, the law school’s In House Counsel course offering has proven popular with students and brought in a number of prominent in-house practitioners as guest speakers.
Prior to the class lecture, Guevara and Burkhart joined Columbus School of Law Dean Daniel Attridge for lunch.