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Published May 16, 2019
Thirteen University of Wyoming students recently participated in a “Live Local, Work Local” career experience in Campbell County. The program provides students opportunities to live and work in Wyoming.
This event was the third program of its kind UW has had in three semesters.
The Campbell County Commission office was integral for the planning of the program, organizing a two-day schedule packed with events that helped students understand the driving forces within the community, says Jennie Hedrick, a UW student adviser in the Peter M. and Paula Green Johnson Career Center. The center is located in the College of Business.
Students toured the North Antelope Rochelle Mine, the Wyodak Power Plant and Area 59, which is a part of the Gillette College Center for Innovation and Fabrication. Students also learned about the state’s program ENDOW (Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming) and the Wyoming Integrated Test Center, which is conducting a study near the Dry Fork Station to study the feasibility assessment of an integrated carbon capture and storage project.
Day two of the trip consisted of “immersion tours” where students were put into smaller groups and provided more niche schedules based on their areas of interest, Hedrick says.
Olakunle Ogunsakin, a graduate student in chemical engineering from Lagos, Nigeria, along with other students interested in engineering and energy, visited L&H Industrial, Cyclone Drilling and Rig 39.
“I had the most gracious opportunity of witnessing the display of incredible engineering feats,” Ogunsakin says.
“The ‘Live Local, Work Local’ event was a definite highlight of my college career,” says Emma Temples, a senior majoring in energy resource management from Longview, Wash. “It provided us with unique opportunities I wouldn’t have been privy to otherwise. I was able to talk directly with employees from a company I admire very much and make contacts with those in the field I want to pursue after graduation."
Students interested in social work visited Children’s Developmental Services, the Campbell County School District Science Center/Adventurism and met with Campbell County administrators.
“This trip had a ton of networking opportunities with the dinner, lunch and meetings. It seems as though, everywhere we went, there was some type of networking opportunity,” says Alyssa Bjorkquist, a social work major from Cheyenne.
Heaven to Earth, AVA Community Arts Center, CAM-PLEX, Pizza Carrello, Alla La Cupcakes, Gillette Brewing Company, Ice Cream Café, Big Lost Meadery and Campbell County Recreation Center hosted other students who were interested in small businesses and entrepreneurship.
“It allowed for so many networking opportunities and being able to connect with people who have experienced the workforce firsthand,” says Baylie Buckmiller, a business management major from Moorcroft.
One graduate accounting student, Kia Hageman, from Casper, met with Above the Line CPAs and Benett, Weber and Hermstad CPAs.
“I was surprised at how applicable the entire experience was to my career path as well as becoming a more sociable person,” Hageman says.
Campbell County community and business leaders who hosted students at various parts of the visit included state Sens. Michael Von Flatern and Jeff Wasserburger; Mayor Louise Carter-King; city Councilmen Tim Carsrud and Bill Montgomery; county Commissioners Mark Christensen and Bob Maul; Paul Hladky with Cyclone Drilling; Scott Durgin and Clayton Kyle from NARM; and the Anschutz Exploration Corp.
“One thing that stood out was the sense of community that exists in Gillette,” Hedrick says. “Gillette has a lot more to offer beyond coal. It seems that most of the businesses we visited had a genuine interest in supporting other businesses in town. Gillette residents welcomed us with open arms and were very excited to host this group of students.”
Students participating in the Campbell County event, listed by hometowns and majors, were:
Buffalo -- Kyle Jensen, energy resource management.
Casper -- Kia Hageman, accounting.
Cheyenne -- Alyssa Bjorkquist, social work.
Colorado -- Raghad Abbadi, architectural engineering.
Craig, Colo. -- Kaylee Durham, business management.
Evanston -- Todd Muller, chemical engineering.
Franktown, Colo. -- Ryan Jardee, petroleum engineering.
Highland Park, Ill. -- Christopher Kingwill, geography.
Lagos, Nigeria -- Olakunle Ogunsakin, chemical engineering, and Opeoluwa Olawale, petroleum engineering.
Longview, Wash. -- Emma Temples, energy resource management.
Moorcroft -- Bayli Buckmiller, business management.
Mountain View -- Tia Owens, elementary education.