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Thanks to the University of Wyoming’s new state-of-the-art welcoming center, the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center, UW’s Center for Advising and Career Services will be better able to serve students and the companies that visit campus to recruit them.
“When prospective students come to visit, seeing juniors and seniors in suits and interviewing and seeing company banners will help them start to think, ‘Well, that could be me,’” says Jo Chytka, director of the Center for Advising and Career Services (CACS) and the Peter M. and Paula Green Johnson Career Center. “And we’re doing a lot of work with our students right now to say, ‘Begin with the end in mind. Why are you coming to college? What’s your end goal? When you graduate, we’re going to help you connect and exit through the gateway to the real world.’”
The Rochelle Gateway Center will be outfitted with 10 career recruiting rooms where employers can interview students. The rooms will contain video conferencing capabilities that will allow students to meet remotely with employers anywhere in the world.
While many view the Rochelle Gateway Center as the gateway to the University of Wyoming, the CACS sees it as the gateway to the next phase of students’ lives. It wants to make sure past, present and future students are given the skills they need to be successful when they leave the university.
The CACS provides academic support and advising for UW students and assists students and alumni with career development and job-search needs. Staff members help students explore careers and determine their majors; provide academic advising to undeclared students; assist students seeking academic reinstatement; assist students and alumni with finding jobs or internships; help students develop strong resumes and prepare for interviewing; and work with employers interested in hiring UW students.
Chytka explains, “Having this professional environment will help the students have confidence going in to an interview that ‘I’m at a school that sets the stage for me to be successful in this interview because it’s professional. It’s a glimpse into where my future could be in a corporate setting.’ The employers see that not only do we have strong academics, but we respect the professions that they’re hiring for, and we want that conversation to occur in the appropriate facility. I think that’s a huge benefit to our students, and they’ll have the confidence going in that ‘I can do this because look where I’m interviewing.’”
The CACS offers several job fairs throughout the year, including the Nursing and Health Professions Career Fair, the U.S. Department of State Career and Internship Information Session, spring and fall job and internship fairs, a Pharmacy Fair, and an International Student Employment Information Program. It also offers a Career Bootcamp for students to practice their interviewing skills, learn to dress appropriately for interviews, and have their resumes critiqued.
Companies such as Anadarko E&P Onshore LLC, Baker Hughes Inc., BP America Inc., Farm Credit Services of America, Ivinson Memorial Hospital, Marathon Oil, Encana Corporation, Peabody Energy and T. Rowe Price, among many others, have come to UW seeking the talented students the university has to offer.
“For the corporations, it shows that we’re investing not only in the academic preparation for their new talent but in the professional appearance, and we’re really trying to support our students by creating that atmosphere for them to interview in,” Chytka says. “When we do information sessions, when we do job fairs, we want to put the university’s best foot forward for those companies to show that we respect what they do, we expect our students to succeed in their organization, and we’re going to create an environment where they can have that conversation and be comfortable. It allows us to showcase the talent that they are attracting.”
The Rochelle Gateway Center’s location and accessibility will make it more convenient for employers to conduct interviews and to search for potential employees on the UW campus.
The center is a remarkable statement regarding the impact of private fundraising on Wyoming’s university. It is funded completely through private support, including a $10 million commitment from Marian H. Rochelle to name the center, and a $6 million commitment from Mick and Susie McMurry through the McMurry Foundation to name the center’s two most prominent visitors’ spaces: the McMurry Foundation Grand Atrium and the McMurry Foundation UW Legacy Hall.
To learn more, go to www.uwyo.edu/gatewaycenter.