Category Archives: Career Exploration

“Placemaking” – One Community’s Approach

Opening Night Reception held at the Appleton Platinum Flight Center
Opening Night Reception held at the Appleton Platinum Flight Center

In today’s economy, the war for talent requires you to compete against other hiring organizations.  Millennials are also interested in learning about the community itself.  It is extremely difficult for a single company to emphasize culture, volunteerism, work-life balance, and the host of other things that help define a place.  

The Appleton, Wisconsin area’s approach was organized by the Fox Cities Regional Partnership.  2017 marks the the fourth year for the Talent Upload placemaking event which brings college students from a variety of universities into the city.  

A focus on volunteer organizations held at a repurposed church
A focus on volunteer organizations held at a repurposed church

The event is organized by the Fox Cities Regional Partnership and is described as: “an immersive three-day event to for students and employers to build relationships in the Fox Cities.”  During the event, the students were provided plenty of networking opportunities with potential employers, tours of facilities, participated in a scavenger hunt, and had time to explore on their own.

The students who attend the event are surveyed about their perceptions of the region and seeking employment there before and after the event.  The results show a significant positive shift in the attitudes of the attendees.  


Michigan Strategic Fund Board Approves $2.66 Million in Funding for University Technology Commercialization Programs

MEDC

LANSING, Mich. – October 24, 2017 – The Michigan Strategic Fund – the oversight board of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) – today approved funding totaling $2.66 million for the Michigan Corporate Relations Network (MCRN) and Technology Transfer Talent Network (T3N), both of which are administered by the University of Michigan (U-M) and support collaboration with all institutions of higher education in the state. MCRN will receive $1.4 million and T3N will receive $1.26 million for a one-year period to support university research and university industry collaboration.

 

“Renewed funding of the MCRN and T3N programs represents the value and continued investment placed on spurring Michigan’s economy through the exceptional talent and vast resources available at the university level,” said MEDC university relations director, Denise Graves. “Providing mentors, supporting collaborations among all universities and creating partnerships between Michigan’s companies and university assets have proven incredibly beneficial for Michigan.”

 

MCRN started in 2011, with the support of MEDC and Michigan Strategic Fund, as a collaboration between six of Michigan’s leading research universities: University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, Michigan Technological University, Western Michigan University, and University of Michigan-Dearborn. MCRN now supports collaboration among all institutions of higher education throughout Michigan. Its mission is to help small companies become aware of university resources and identify and secure the resources available to meet those company’s needs. Resources include the Small Company Innovation Program, which provides matching funds of up to $40,000 to small businesses to help cover the cost of conducting a research project at any state of Michigan public university.

 

MCRN also supports the placement of student interns, with a STEM focus, into small companies by providing matching funds to the company for the internship with the goal of hiring the student on a full-time basis. In 2016, MCRN supported 51 interns, in which over 50% were hired on a full-time basis. The program is on track to support more than 130 student interns for 2017.  In 2016, the Small Company Innovation Program provided funds, matched by the companies, for 21 research projects that created 42 patents and three license agreements.

 

“MCRN has had a tremendous impact on university students and small businesses in the state of Michigan. The collaboration of public universities within the state to support research and talent is one of the most unique programs of its kind in the nation. The University of Michigan is so proud to be a part of this effort,” said Stella Wixom, Executive Director of the Business Engagement Center and Principal Investigator of the MCRN grant.

 

T3N was created in 2011, also with support from MEDC, to spur the commercialization of university projects with talent programs and resources. Hosted at the University of Michigan, the network serves to share best practices and provide mutual support among lead research universities including: University of Michigan, Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, Oakland University, Wayne State University and Western Michigan University with growth to support all institutions of higher education in Michigan.

 

Talent resources include a fellowship program, mentors-in-residence program, university post-doctoral fellowships and a statewide talent resource network. Investment from the state, along with matching funds from participating universities, have developed and retained entrepreneurial talent, provided key support for startups and the commercialization of their products, attracted resources to Michigan universities, and increased the pace of the contributions of Michigan universities to their communities throughout the state. In 2016, the network supported 32 mentors who contributed to 187 projects that have produced 45 patents, 18 startups and over $11 million in follow-on funding.

 

Additional information on these programs can be found at www.michigancrn.org and www.techtransfer.umich.edu/stories/medc/.

 

MEDC’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation initiative establishes Michigan as the place to create and grow a business by providing high-tech start-up companies with access to a variety of critical resources, such as funding and expert counsel, from ideation to maturation. For more on MEDC Entrepreneurship & Innovation, visit michiganbusiness.org.

 

For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit MichiganBusiness.org. For Michigan travel news, updates and information, visit michigan.org. Michigan residents interested in seeking employment with any of Michigan’s growing companies should check mitalent.org, where more than 98,000 jobs are currently available in a variety of industries.

 

Pure Michigan


ArcelorMittal – 10+ Years of Sustainable Campus Commitment

ArcelorMittal is a steel company committed to creating sustainable products. Their partnership with Michigan Technological University continues to produce the next generation of employees. For over 10 years, ArcelorMittal has invested in student organizations, student projects, educational outreach, and professional development have helped current students prepare for their careers.

37199495926_d5f0b049be_oStudent Projects
ArcelorMittal has been a long-standing industry partner of Michigan Tech’s Enterprise Program. This partnership began in 2008 when ArcelorMittal sponsored and mentored their first Enterprise project with the Advanced Metalworks Enterprise (AME). This was an open-ended project whereby AME students were challenged to identify possible solutions to sequestration of CO2 in the steelmaking process. This multi-year project yielded innovative approaches that ArcelorMittal admitted they would not have developed on their own. Ten years and several projects later, ArcelorMittal remains highly involved in Enterprise. The program’s ability to help ArcelorMittal identify, track and recruit some the best and brightest students to the steel industry is a primary reason for their continued involvement.

For 2017, ArcelorMittal is engaging with two different Enterprise teams on three student projects. Highlighting opportunities in steel production for electrical engineering students, a team of students from the Blue Marble Security Enterprise is continuing work on a system that optically verifies the length and width of a cast steel slab. The real world project, mentored by an industry professional at ArcelorMittal, provides the students with real insight into what a career in the steel industry could entail.36746734564_b7eb938e20_o

The other two projects supported by ArcelorMittal for 2017 are in the Advanced Metalworks Enterprise. One project focuses on the growth of nodules that affect the quality of the steel slabs. The current Enterprise student team is further exploring the interactions of ceramic coatings on the production equipment and nodule formation on the steel based on the work of previous Enterprise student teams. Working closely with the industry mentors, the team has determined ways to duplicate the steel environment on a lab scale within Michigan which allows the team a truly hands-on experience. The second project has a student team building a delayed fracture test fixture for a high strength automotive grade steel. Working with the ArcelorMittal mentor, the team has to consider multiple constraints including exposure to an acid accelerated hydrogen test environment. The test fixture designed by this student team could aid in future material evaluate at ArcelorMittal while showcasing the real-world challenges faced by Engineers in the steel industry.

As another method of engagement with the Michigan Tech student body, in 2012 ArcelorMittal provided funding to establish the Steel Warehouse Program. This program offers funding for steel purchases (up to $500) made by Senior Design or Enterprise teams. Since its’ inception, the Steel Warehouse has provided steel to more than 30 student teams for use on their projects. As an attempt to include a realistic purchasing and documentation experience, teams are required to gather quotes from multiple steel vendors to attain approval for use of Steel Warehouse funds. The approval process has resulted in students teams saving over $6,000 on material costs. ArcelorMittal has recognized the success of the program and recently provided three additional years of funding for the Steel Warehouse.

Professional Development37374286491_f9024382f8_o
ArcelorMittal continues to sponsor Michigan Tech’s Career Center at the Silver Level. Through their generous support, along with the other partner’s, Career Services is able to provide students with innovative career readiness programming, technical platforms (Brazen, Xello, People Grove) and coaching. Significant levels of support include:

  • Through their Career Services campus spending account, ArcelorMittal provided financial support to national “Make A Difference Day,” a community-based event which celebrates neighbors helping neighbors. Last year, 56 student organizations (497 students) served 57 community service sites.
  • Members of the ArcelorMittal team participated in the Resume Blitz events. Through the combined efforts of all corporate volunteers, 348 resumes were reviewed, in two-four hour sessions in advance of the fall recruiting fair.
  • The ArcelorMittal team sponsored and participated in both the Automotive and Steel Industry Days. These highly interactive events introduced students to potential career pathways within these industries. The events were attended by a total of 800 students.

Recreation
Michigan Tech Athletics and ArcelorMittal have teamed up for the past 5 seasons to sponsor the 7th man promotion. This promotion is a week-long event which starts with Drivetime radio show, midweek live remote somewhere on campus, and then ends with the first game of the season when we hand out 1000 Seventh Man T-shirts to the first 1000 fans who enter the arena.

P1000398

Education
Because business is constantly changing, academics must maintain a focus on keeping curriculum relevant. ArcelorMittal employees volunteer their time to participate on academic advisory boards on campus to provide valuable feedback to the University in shaping topics and methods of teaching for future students. Currently, representatives participate on the boards of the College of Engineering, Electrical Engineering Technology, Material Science, and Electrical and Computer Engineering programs.


Black & Veatch – Building a World of Difference

 Black & Veatch 2

Black & Veatch has been helping invest in Michigan Technological University students for over 25 years.  They have contributed to student organizations, student events, and scholarships throughout these years.

 

Scholarships

Black & Veatch has provided direct financial assistance to students since 1993.  The Black & Veatch scholarships benefit students pursuing their Electrical Engineering degrees.  

 

Diversity

Support of organizations housed within the Center for Diversity and Inclusion have helped members of these student organizations and their efforts to build a more inclusive community on campus:  B&V’s contributions have directly supported:  

 

Student ProjectsBlack & Veatch Ad

Their support of student projects has included being a Supporting Partner of the Michigan Tech annual Design Expo.  The Design Expo features the Senior Design or Enterprise project work of more than 1000 students.  The coveted Black & Veatch “Building a World of Difference ®” Student Design Award recognizes the best Senior Design projects presented at Design Expo.

 

Career Services

Black and Veatch has a history of hiring Michigan Tech students for intern and full-time opportunities.  They are a Silver Member of the Career Services Partner Program which provides valuable career education and career development services for all students.  Their volunteer efforts at Career Fair has provided peer mentoring and practical advice for future alumni.

Black & Veatch recruits at Michigan Tech because it is a premier engineering university. We know Michigan Tech engineering graduates are well prepared to help us take on challenging infrastructure projects for clients in: Electrical transmission, distribution, generation; in addition to Oil & Gas, Water and Telecommunications. Our professionals are our most important resource and we know Michigan Tech graduates will help us successfully complete complex projects during their careers with Black & Veatch.

-Dan Hamill, Associate Vice President, Ann Arbor Office Manager, Power.


Michigan Tech Receives $50,000 Grant from the DENSO North America Foundation

DensoMichigan Tech’s Enterprise program has received a $50,000 grant from the foundation of a major global automotive supplier. The DENSO North America Foundation (DNAF), a long-time supporter of the University, has provided the funding to support the Enterprise program.

A feature of the Pavlis Honors College, Michigan Tech’s Enterprise program is a collection of student-driven, multidisciplinary teams that work like companies on real-world client projects.

The DENSO North America Foundation $50,000 donation will support three areas within the Enterprise program. The first will provide continued support of the Advanced Motorsports Enterprise (AMS) vehicle development activities. These activities will promote experiential learning and hands-on experience.

The second area of support will fund improvements to the designated design space used by AMS teams focusing on computers capable of supporting today’s design software.

Improvements to the AMS dynamometer, an instrument that measures the power output of an engine, comprise the third area of support.

Joe Thompson, sponsored programs manager in the Pavlis Honors College, says the college and the AMS are grateful to the DENSO North America Foundation for investing in Michigan Tech students. “The automotive industry needs well-rounded engineering graduates who have been exposed to powertrain control, can understand thermal impacts on engine performance and the general manufacturing challenges associated with automotive systems.”

Thompson says students who participate on the AMS teams are developing “significant hands-on experience in these automotive technologies.”

The $50,000 contribution to Michigan Tech is among the nearly $1,000,000 in overall funding to more than 20 institutions and educational programs in North America provided by DNAF. Since 2001, the foundation has advanced the auto industry through grants to colleges and universities, providing students with technology, tools and experiences similar to that of the professional workplace they’ll experience after graduation.

Doug Patton, president of the DENSO North America Foundation and Chief Technology Officer of DENSO International America, Inc. says innovation throughout the manufacturing industry will continue to produce more growth opportunities for students in skilled trades and technical fields.

“Companies will lean on this young workforce for years to come, and in order to succeed we need to empower students by giving a better sense of what they’ll experience in the workplace,”

-Doug Patton

Now in its 17th year, Michigan Tech’s Enterprise Program attracts undergraduate students who are looking to differentiate themselves by taking ownership of a portion of their education and working on projects that closely align with personal and professional interests. The program currently consists of 25 teams and more than 800 students.

The DENSO North America Foundation is dedicated to helping students advance their education in engineering, technology and other related programs

DENSO Corp., headquartered in Kariya, Aichi prefecture, Japan, is a leading global automotive supplier of advanced technology, systems and components in the areas of thermal, powertrain control, electronics and information and safety. Its customers include all the world’s major carmakers. Worldwide, the company has more than 200 subsidiaries and affiliates in 38 countries and regions (including Japan) and employs more than 150,000 people. The company employs more than 23,000 people at 30 consolidated companies and affiliates across the North American region, including Michigan where its North American headquarters resides. Interested in a career at DENSO.


Ford – Helping Power Michigan Tech STEM Efforts

A key component of Michigan Technological University’s STEM outreach efforts is hands-on learning.  When Ford Motor Company agreed to help sponsor some programs, it seemed appropriate that the ceremony should be hands-on.

Check Presentation, September 2016

Always willing to help, Ford had one of their Michigan Tech student interns produce an oversized check for the ceremony.  The check even featured Henry Ford’s image in the watermark!  

After the check presentation, Cindy Protas Hodges (Michigan Tech Alumni and Chassis Supplier Technical Assistance Site Manager for Ford) got to learn first-hand how to make ice cream using Liquid Nitrogen (LN2).  We gave her the appropriate gloves and safety equipment and let her get to work mixing a batch of chocolate ice cream.

Chocolate Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream

Our Michigan Tech students are a lot like the middle school and high school students that attend our events – nothing draws a crowd of students like handing out free treats!

Ford’s STEAM sponsorship for this year includes helping Summer Youth Programs for Women in Computer Science, Women in Engineering, Junior Women in Engineering, and MindTrekkers events.

 

 


Mind Trekkers: Create Excitement for STEM in Your Own Community

Industry across the state and nation depends on young people with high-tech skills to grow our economy by solving challenging technical problems globally. Yet, there is a shortage of students pursuing education and careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields.

Michigan Technological University is tackling this issue head-on through its signature pre-college outreach program, Mind Trekkers. Mind Trekkers is Michigan Tech’s traveling K-12 outreach initiative founded in 2010. The group brings the excitement of STEM directly to K-12 students. Mind Trekkers travel to STEM festivals, expos, and events throughout the nation to showcase engaging, hands-on experiments and activities. Undergraduate and graduate student volunteers serve as a pipeline, connecting thousands of prospective K-12 students to higher education and STEM career opportunities while enjoying a one-of-a-kind experience.

Mind Trekkers can’t do any of this without the help of other partners. In order to share our passion for STEM and to bring this out to the communities, Mind Trekkers must partner with industry and many Mind Trekkers logoother organizations to host and participate in STEM festivals. Industry participation is especially important since they are the ultimate beneficiary of STEM outreach by inspiring K-12 students to consider STEM careers within their companies.

Learn how your company can be a Mind Trekker partner and associated benefits here.


ArcelorMittal – A Long History of Student Involvement

ArcelorMittal has a long history of investing in Michigan Tech students.  This consistent investment has helped many students with their education, campus life, and careers.   For ArcelorMittal, campus involvement is more than simply attending the Career Fair.  It is a comprehensive approach across campus.

April 2016 - "Signing Day"
April 2016 – “Signing Day”

ArcelorMittal has consistently attended the Career Services Advisory Board meeting to help guide and direct student career development.  They volunteer to help with resume and interview preparation in the weeks leading up to the Career Fair.

March 2016 - Factory Tour
March 2016 – Factory Tour

To help students understand the true experience of working in a steel factory, several trips to facilities have been scheduled.  These trips help students gain an appreciation for life in the factory but also why leadership, attention to detail, and a focus on safety is important in both the workplace and through every aspect of life.

Real-world projects for students to learn design and project management help augment classroom education with practical applications.

September 2016 - Steel Day
September 2016 – Steel Day

Steel Day started four years ago with a simple premise: “Help students understand the depth and breadth of careers in this industry”.  ArcelorMittal has attended each of these annual events and brought new technology and new displays each time to showcase how the Steel Industry continues to change.

The next generation of Huskies continues to benefit from these experiences that enhance the educational experience for all Michigan Tech students


Encouraging Students to Get Their P.E.

je2_casual_closeupIn the Fall of 2015, Career Services had a full slate of CareerFEST programming.  Despite the variety of offerings, none of these days targeted career opportunities for students to help the design of buildings and structures.

As a member of the design team at Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, Senior Electrical Engineer John Eberly (’83, PE)  wanted to make sure students could learn about these careers as easily as they could learn about other industries.  Additionally, John wanted to make sure that students understand the importance of obtaining their Professional Engineer (PE) license.

ftch_2103_logoIn partnership with Career Services, John helped Michigan Tech develop its first “Construction and Building Systems Day.”  Industry Days are designed as informal events for students to meet with companies and discuss their career options.  The day was designed to attract students beyond traditional Civil Engineers.  Instead of focusing entirely on the design of structures, the day also included construction equipment, manufacturing equipment, and high-tech displays of designs.

nspelogoJohn and the team at FTCH spearheaded development efforts.  They organized conference calls, helped connect companies to Michigan Tech, and helped sponsor the event.  Without the help of an alumni and resources of the company he works for, this event would not have happened.  Throughout the event, John returned to his passion and explained the benefits of obtaining your PE license to all students that approached him at the booth.


Pavlis Honors College Inspires New Entrepreneurial Venture – Airmax Aerial

Michigan Tech’s Pavlis Honors College (PHC) supports highly motivated Michigan Tech students from all programs to achieve the highest standards of academic excellence.

“We encourage the unexpected by challenging the norm. We push you outside of your comfort zone. We urge you not to be a passive player on campus; instead embrace the values of the institution and the reasons you came here. Take charge of your education to create your future.”

These words helped inspire current student, Aaron Kostrzewa, a sophomore majoring in Civil Engineering to enroll in the PHC. The PHC serves highly motivated students to enhance their college experience and take full advantage of the amazing opportunities that Michigan Tech has to offer by customizing their education to suit interests in industry, innovation, research, domestic service and other global engagements.

Airmax Aerial
Michigan Tech students, Aaron Kostrzewa and Max Casler

Aaron and fellow student, Max Casler, a sophomore majoring in Mechanical Engineering, were excited to see the resources available for entrepreneurs in the PHC and that entrepreneurship is encouraged on campus. Both Aaron and Max developed a passion for the emerging technology of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) during their first year at Michigan Tech. Together they acquired equipment and developed skills to use the drones to photograph the amazing beauty of the Keweenaw Peninsula and their hometown of Traverse City, MI. This led Aaron and Max to start an aerial photography and cinematography company that utilizes unmanned aerial systems to capture the world from a new perspective. AirMax Aerial, LLC, the vision of Aaron and Max, now use top of the line drones to create captivating photos and videos for their clients.

Engineering minds aren’t just good for designing systems and solving problems. Max uses his engineering skills to design a business and learn how to grow an idea into a company. Aaron has previous experience in business ownership from a lawn business he started in his hometown. He combines his existing client interaction skills with the technical skills learned at Michigan Tech to create a business that can compete in 21st century markets.

Aaron and Max are also staying current on all air traffic laws. Because small, unmanned commercially available aerial vehicle use is somewhat controversial, AirMax Aerial is taking all recommended precautions for safe and legal flight. Some of these include filing information with the appropriate governmental agencies, contacting local authorities before flying, clearing flights near airports with air traffic controllers, and educating people interested in these systems.

Aaron and Max realize that the commercial drone market is expected to be saturated in the coming years. Therefore, AirMax Aerial is making ample preparations to stay ahead of the game. Specialization is the key. Through business connections, they have established contacts in the golf and boating industries. However, signing a client is only half the work. Exceptional video editing, customer relations, marketing, and branding are all essentially to future business. AirMax Aerial seeks to be highly professional and to build a high caliber company to compete and excel in the marketplace.

As a member of the PHC, Aaron is able to improve the business through the vast resources available through the PHC and at Michigan Tech. He has a mentor for business advice and support, while classes through the PHC challenge him and allow him to grow as a leader. AirMax Aerial is benefiting from training, mentoring, business counseling, and access to a rich network of resources through the Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship which is housed within the PHC and was recently established to leverage experience in technology commercialization and startup business development on-campus with related off-campus connections to serve students who have a passion for transforming ideas into commercial opportunities and ultimately into capital.