Tucson Project and the WOW! Experience

 

Tucson Project hosted six undergraduate students from the University of Texas at Dallas’ Explore the World of Work! (WOW!) Externship/Job Shadowing Program during the week of spring break. The program is designed for undergraduate students of all majors to give them a firsthand look at the workplace in a career of their choice.  Tucson Project staff created a work environment for the students that included small projects related to the Company’s actual projects in the Governments Solutions Group. Students were assigned a variety of tasks including graphic design, web design, business development and research. Through exposure to a real work environment, the students will learn more about job requirements, employer expectations, and professionalism. All externships are an unpaid and non-credit volunteer experience. The program is also an opportunity for employers to conduct a week-long interview of the students and possibly consider them for current and future internship and job opportunities.  Veronica Parker, Tucson Project Senior Vice President welcomed the students and told the students; “… one key to your success will be your willingness to create your own personal brand comprised of continuous cycles of excellence and high performance. This will be a differentiator in your career quickly setting you apart and establishing you as an exceptional team member.”

Saamer, an extern majoring in Mechanical Engineering was assigned projects involving web development making use of his skills in JavaScript and HTML. Saamer was excited with the results of his projects stating, “I learned stuff that I thought I never would when I changed my major from Computer Engineering, but now I have fulfilled that dream.”

Many students, who are undecided about their majors and have many interests, participate in the WOW! Program to help them narrow down career options, while others participate to be connected to a local firm to experience their future career.  UT Dallas’ Career Center started the WOW!  Program four years ago with 20 students and has over quadrupled in size with almost 90 participants this year. The success of the program is largely due to the dedication of the staff at the Career Center as they do their best to ensure that both the students and the employers are pleased with their experience.  Local businesses of all sizes can participate in these types of programs nationwide to help shape the future workforce.