As an undergraduate, Ryan Knudtson attended the career conferences at University of Wisconsin-Stout. He knew it could be his connection to an important internship and, down the road, to a job offer.
Like so many UW-Stout students over the years, he was right. The packaging major landed an internship — through the Cooperative Education Program at UW-Stout — with Johnsonville, the Wisconsin sausage-maker. He made the initial connection with Johnsonville at a campus career conference.
The Fall Career Conference will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 24-25, in the Multipurpose Room of the Sports and Fitness Center at UW-Stout. About 2,000 students and 400 employers are expected to attend.
The event is full for employers, with a waiting list to take part. National, regional and local companies will be on hand. New recruiters for internships, co-ops and full-time positions include Crenlo, Hydra-Flex, Kluge Design and Verkada.
“Many more companies are attending our event for both days and securing additional space to meet with students,.” said Bryan Barts, director of Career Services.
The first day will be geared toward students and employers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and packaging; the second day will feature hospitality, business, construction, retail and education.
Separate Career Services employer events are held during the year for art and design companies; and for government agencies and nonprofit organizations.
More success stories like Knudtson’s are waiting to happen. After graduating in December, he’s now a packaging engineer with General Mills in Minneapolis. “Career Services does so much for the thousands of students on campus. It’s a huge gem of the university,” Knudtson said.
In April, Knudtson received the national Cooperative Education Student Achievement award in Chicago for his experience at Johnsonville, where about half of the packaging engineers are UW-Stout graduates.
Barts said the job market “continues to be strong for college students, especially as companies are putting more focus on recruiting students into co-op and internship opportunities.”
UW-Stout’s career conferences, including one in the spring, are among the largest in the Midwest, Barts said. UW-Stout has an employment or continuing education rate for recent graduates of 98.7%. Learn more from the annual employment report.
Career Services held career conference Prep Week events for students, such as resume writing, beginning Sept. 16.
Students and company recruiters talk during a career conference last fall at UW-Stout.