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Career Event Provides UW Students Look Into State Industry

April 3, 2018
A group stands near wine-making equipment
Students on the 2017 Student TREK tour the J. Lohr Vineyard and Winery in San Jose, Calif. Outreach events like this help UW students see industry firsthand. (Photo courtesy Ann Jones)

Opportunities for employment and internships will be on display for two dozen University of Wyoming students at the next “Live Local, Work Local” student career experience.

The Enterprise Committee of Sweetwater County and Rock Springs, Wyo., Chamber of Commerce will host UW students for the event April 4-5. Business professionals in the area will meet students, discuss internships and employment opportunities and showcase southwest Wyoming. Four UW departments partnered with Sweetwater County and the Chamber of Commerce to organize the event. Chamber of Commerce personnel will guide students to company site visits, a “Young and Professional” dinner networking event with UW alumni, a business meeting for networking experience, and mock interviews.

After a competitive application process, students from various UW majors were selected to attend. The departments co-sponsoring the event include the College of Business Johnson Career Center, College of Engineering and Applied Science Center for Student Success, the Advising.Career.Exploratory Studies Center, and the School of Energy Resources.

The experience was made possible through ongoing outreach efforts between UW and area employers who have hired UW students and graduates for full-time jobs and summer internships. Sweetwater County company representatives were a driving force behind the event, including UW alumni Bruce Pivic (electrical engineering ’84), Amy Allen (civil engineering ’86), and Bret Pizzato (electrical engineering ’86), all of whom are all well connected in area business circles. Jones says there is a desire for more engagement with UW students for learning experiences, as well as post-graduation employment. Additionally, several UW career services professionals worked with Dave Hanks from the Rock Springs Chamber and Kayla McDonald with the Sweetwater Economic Development Coalition to help make it a reality.

While this is the first event of this magnitude, the roots of “Live Local, Work Local” began in spring 2017 when Jo Chytka, director of the UW Advising.Career.Exploratory Studies Center, worked with a group of Laramie employers to organize a networking event for UW students.

“We want to grow UW students’ awareness of potential employment opportunities in Wyoming by exposing them to companies and careers they likely haven’t been aware of,” Ann Jones, associate director of career services in the College of Engineering and Applied Science Center for Student Success, says. “It provides a stage for companies to showcase their sustainable and growing businesses in the community in which they live, work, and support.”

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