by Kara Miller
In just over a year, the STEM Professional Practice Program has shown me, and many other students, all it has to offer. Students have the opportunity to meet with the program’s coordinator to discuss the opportunities offered to them, like constructing a resume and landing an internship. Students are also offered a variety of resources like career development and professional etiquette techniques. The opportunities for students are always growing with new grants and programs being added all the time.
As a STEM student who works with the STEM Professional Practice office, I have seen the opportunities offered to students and how the students benefit from them. The program teaches students the differences between co-ops and internships, how to construct an effective resume and cover letter, and how to find openings in the online database for current co-op/internship positions. Students are now participating in co-ops and internships with companies like Diebold, General Electric, and General Motors. These opportunities don’t stop at our borders either. One student has participated in an international internship with a company in Seoul, South Korea. Now students can utilize appointments for quick resume reviews, go through the entire co-op/internship process, and gain valuable professional experience with the direction of the STEM Professional Practice office.
The STEM Professional Practice Program also coordinates the STEM Co-op/Internship Expo for students. This expo is designed to bring area businesses with open co-op and internship positions onto campus for a student-oriented networking event. Expos are to be offered in fall and spring semesters, to accommodate employers seeking interns according to their needs. Last October, the STEM College held its first expo in conjunction with the Williamson College of Business Administration. Over twenty-five companies sent representatives to campus to seek potential student interns. For the next expo in February, the colleges plan to increase the number of companies to offer students more opportunities to enhance their professional careers.
This spring will be a busy semester for the STEM Professional Practice Program. Over the course of the last year, the amount of students that are aware of the office and its abilities has more than tripled. With the increase of student traffic, the STEM Professional Practice Program has many new programs in the works. For example, new funding from the Ohio Board of Regents will provide greater opportunities for co-ops and internships in areas of advanced manufacturing and related fields. The STEM Professional Practice office is organizing information for students about our services, as well as raising awareness for the spring expo. As this great chance for success approaches, multiple workshops are set to teach students how to get the most benefit from expo. With all of the events happening in the STEM Professional Practice Program, the benefit to the students keeps growing as the program grows.