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Career program takes UW-River Falls students to visit area businesses

Falcon News Service

February 1, 2017

This semester marks the second one that Career Treks has helped students at UW-River Falls get a better understanding of what they want to do after college.

Career Services has partnered with the College of Business and Economics to create the program that allows students to explore different job opportunities and help market themselves to employers. The program takes students to businesses in Wisconsin and Minnesota. One Friday a month students get on a bus to visit one or several area businesses. There students get a chance to explore how these companies are run.

“I was hoping to see the different ways that a company can be run and how each approach is a bit different, yet they all lead to the same mass goal,” said business administration student Rachel Anderson.

“We are going to different organizations and the organizations are such that they would hire all the majors within the College of Business. So while the program is new, we didn’t want to be focus on just accounting firms. We wanted it to be more holistic,” said McKenna Pfeiffer, assistant director of Career Services.

Businesses are chosen based on networking and connections. Most of the places that Career Treks visits are businesses that have a large amount of UWRF alumni, are interested in developing in River Falls or have had success in connecting to the community.

Another way that businesses are chosen for the program is based on where students would like to visit. All of the businesses that Career Treks visits are looking for students in entry level jobs or internships. To help students get a better understanding of the businesses they are visiting, Career Treks takes them to the corporate headquarters.

Any student can register to join a Career Treks field trip. Some business classes reach out to students to join the program. Anderson said she heard about the program through one of her business courses.

If students choose to participate in Career Treks and miss classes because of it, they will not get penalized for it; it is considered a University-sanctioned event. Students can register online. The College of Business and Economics provides the bus to and from the business they are visiting.

Although this is only the second semester of Career Treks, it has been successful. In November, 48 UWRF students visited the corporate headquarters of Kwik Trip convenience stores in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Anderson went on the Kwik Trip visit and said the program was a great way to market herself. Students got to meet with different division leaders and hear about open positions. When the company is hiring, students will learn what they need to do before they graduate to be applicable for that position.

This semester, Career Treks plans to visit Knoke’s Chocolates and JETPUBS Inc. in Hudson, as well as Best Maid Cookie Co. in River Falls, on Feb. 24. On March 24, Career Treks will visit American Family Insurance in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. The final visit of the semester is April 21 to Andersen Windows in Bayport, Minnesota. Students can register online for any of these trips.

Further information about the Career Treks program is available online at bit.ly/2kiaaMa.