The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

55° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Expo gives students jumpstart

Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat
The season continues to bring a range from blue skies, to light drizzles and down pours around UA campus and the surrounding areas.
Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat The season continues to bring a range from blue skies, to light drizzles and down pours around UA campus and the surrounding areas.

Nearly 1,000 high school students and more than 100 teachers and company representatives met in the corridors of the Tucson International Airport despite pouring rain to talk about colleges and careers in technology.

Steve Peters, the conference coordinator for the Key to Employment for the 21st Century expo, brought in representatives from the UA, businesses and several other schools including Pima Community College, to fill more than 60 tables and a dozen theatres in the airport.

“”This year is by far the best,”” said Susie Bowers, assistant director of recruitment and outreach for the College of Engineering at the UA.

“”I’ve talked to more people in the first hour today than in the entire three last time,”” she said.

Bowers and the College of Engineering have been involved with the expo for the last several years.

“”The point of the expo is for students to get a head start on their career,”” said Rebecca Myren, a student involved in women’s programs outreach and retention in the UA College of Engineering.

For many, this year’s expo feels different from last 15 years.

“”It’s grown,”” said June Webb-Vignery, director of the Metropolitan Education Commission, which is in charge of the event. “”It’s gotten even more focused on high-tech and more focused on math and science.””

When the expo started, the focus was on jobs in Pima County but has since transformed to serve the “”need of the future,”” Webb-Vignery said. “”Students have gotten paid internships from this. Many come back and say this is where they got the idea for their career.””

Even students who were involved in the expo for the first time said they understood the impact of the event.

“”It’s crazy,”” said Stacey Sires, a representative of the Environmental Development Group. “”I didn’t expect so many kids here, but there’s been a real variety of schools. I mean, a fourth of these kids already know what they want to do.””

The event is designed to help high school students transition into college. The UA encourages students to utilize the facilities of the institution right in their backyards.

Katie Schwertz, an optical sciences masters student, came to the event to inspire interest in science careers.

“”I’m here to get people aware that a career in optics even exists,”” Schwertz said. “”Here, we show them what they can do with optics and what they need to do to get there.””

There were also representatives from schools and jobs focused on fashion, hospitality, construction, and many other education and career paths, said Webb-Vignery.

More to Discover
Activate Search