Collaboration and A Focus On Students Leads To Success For Career Services at Montana Technological University

Sarah Raymond, career services at Montana Tech

Career Services at Montana Technological University has a very clear mission: to help students and alumni be prepared to achieve their career goals and help them find quality jobs and internships.

We are proud to share that recently Montana Technological University received recognition in the Princeton Review Top 20 Best Schools for Internships. We congratulate Career Services at Montana Technological University for this recognition of their hard work and dedication to our students.

Career Services recognizes the partnership they have with amazing faculty to help encourage students to get experience sooner rather than later. This collaboration allows Montana Technological University students to understand that hands-on experience is part of their ROI.

Coincidentally April is National Internship Month, making it a perfect time to check in with Director of Career Services Sarah Raymond.

What percentage of students at Montana Technological University participate in internship programs?

How are internships beneficial to students?Collectively, internships are one piece of a larger “Experiential Learning” pie. That said, our office is interested in being able to report anything related to the student’s future career. This includes summer jobs, co-ops, research, job shadows, as well as internships. This is something that has always been hard to track because it relies on students sharing those details, only students who request internship credit are required to report details.

With that, in the neighborhood of 300-400 students annually report working in a position that would qualify as Experiential Learning. Our new career management system, allows students to see if companies have recently hired Montana Tech students or recent grads. Students can see job titles, locations, and offer dates for both internships and full-time positions, providing a great opportunity to do some research for future possibilities.

How are internships beneficial to students?

What services are available to students seeking internships through career services at Montana Tech?Montana Tech is historically known for hands-on learning. While that happens in the classroom, experiential learning is an expectation from Day 1! There is a huge benefit for students to gain industry experience. Not only does this help to validate the student’s choice of major, but also helps them connect what they are learning in the classroom to what they will be doing in their future career. I have seen this transformation with students who may not be as engaged in the classroom, suddenly switch and have a better understanding and more enthusiasm after their first internship.

According to the Job Outlook 2021 Spring Update from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), “Internship experience is the most influential factor employers consider when deciding between two otherwise equally qualified job candidates.” According to employer responses, “Internship experience in their industry has an edge when making a hiring decision.” This is also echoed by the employers recruiting at Montana Tech.

How are internships beneficial to our industry partners?

An internship is a primary means for an employer to “test drive” the student for knowledge, skills, and abilities. Think of it as an extended interview process. Internships provide an avenue for the organization’s future talent. Think succession planning and a known pipeline. This is while the company can have someone work on important real-life projects and utilize the student’s strengths and new technologies.

What services are available to students seeking internships through Career Services at Montana Technological University?

Career Services has a number of services for students to utilize. All of the jobs our office receives are posted online in DIGGERecruiting – DR 2.0. Every registered student (and alumni) has access and can log in using their Montana Tech credentials. Our office proactively reviews every resume uploaded in the application materials to help ensure success with how the student presents themselves on paper. There are numerous additional services to help students with their career objectives. From the application to the interview, there are resources as well as our staff who are here to help.

The way companies recruit is constantly changing and so are resources available for students. It is important to get help before, during, and after the job search process. Our office helps students if they have a specific company who does not recruit on campus. Career Services staff are here to help all students with all of their career-related questions.

Share with us, the benefits of students attending the Career Fair(s) and company-hosted information sessions?

Career Fairs and company information sessions provide an opportunity to learn about various organizations that a student may never have encountered before coming to school. Every year there are new organizations that are attending on-campus events because they need employees with the specific degree offered at Montana Tech. This is a fabulous way for students to build their professional network! I always tell students there are more companies recruiting their major than they have summers to do an internship with, so start your company research! Making time to meet companies when they are on campus will help ensure that students make the right decision for that full-time job offer (hopefully) before graduation!

Campus events also offer a great chance for students to practice their elevator pitch (self-introduction) and ask what the recruiters look for in successful candidates. This can help them adjust their talking points or learn what skills will be needed for the ideal internship or full-time job!

What advice do you have for students seeking an internship?

What advice do you have for students seeking an internship?Be proactive and meet employers who are recruiting your major! Hands-on experience is highly valued by employers (regardless of if the student interns with them specifically or not). Internships provide experience and help to build a student’s confidence. Be open to what is available and get experience. This will help you be more marketable, have specifics to talk about in an interview, and land the full-time job you want for full-time. I always tell students: ‘You can go anywhere and do anything when you know when you start and when you will finish. ’My advice is, don’t limit yourself, now is the time to learn and get experiences that will help you in your future.

If companies are interested in recruiting Montana Technological University students how can they contact Career Services?

Employers are always welcome to call the office, 406-496-4140 or email, careerservices@​mtech.edu

Check out the information available on our website, mtech.edu/career/employers.html which includes mailing lists for the upcoming career fairs, information about posting jobs, or additional ways to connect with Montana Tech.




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