Road trip introduces college talent to Michigan engineering firms

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KALAMAZOO--About 20 Western Michigan University students will tour industry-leading companies around Michigan during their spring break, Monday through Friday, March 5-9.

The Michigan Industry Road Trip, coordinated by WMU's Career and Student Employment Services, is a new program that gives students majoring in engineering or the applied sciences an opportunity to connect with employers and visit exciting communities around the state.

Participants will visit four companies, including Stryker Corp. in Kalamazoo, Gentex Corp. in Zeeland, a Consumers Energy generating complex along the Lake Michigan shoreline near West Olive, and Chrysler in Auburn Hills. Additionally, they will take part in LiveWorkDetroit!, a state-led program for college students and job seekers set for Friday, March 9, that showcases opportunities for living, working and playing in downtown Detroit.

During the road trip, students will tour company facilities, network with professional engineers, receive advice from WMU alumni working in industry, and learn more about internships and careers in engineering and technology.

Plus, tours have been scheduled so participants can explore downtown Grand Rapids, Lansing and Detroit and learn more about new options for housing, dining and recreation in communities where they may want to work after graduation. Also being planned is a visit to the Michigan Capitol to speak with WMU alumni in the state Legislature about living and working in Michigan.

"Networking with potential employers is a natural part of career planning. This new program gives our students an opportunity to visit companies and see firsthand what it's like to be an engineer in Michigan," says Christopher Sell, WMU assistant director of Career and Student Employment Services.

"Employers throughout the state are eager to identify students studying engineering and technology, and Gov. Snyder's administration has put tremendous emphasis on attracting college talent to Michigan and keeping it in the state. We're proud to note that WMU is known for graduating engineering and applied sciences students who are job ready. This trip will help connect Michigan companies with some of these incredibly talented students."

For more information about the 2012 Michigan Industry Road Trip, visit wmich.edu/career or contact Christopher Sell at christopher.f.sell@wmich.edu or (269) 387-2745.