When Kalamazoo College students network, there’s no place like home. Seventeen Kalamazoo College students took advantage of a fall break day to network with professionals at Steelcase, a company local to southwest Michigan, in Grand Rapids.
Steelcase provides architecture, furniture and technology products and services designed for office environments in the education, health care and retail industries. The trip was the latest K-Trek offering from the Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD). K-Treks involve in-person, immersive discussions K students have with leaders in various industries. Many of the leaders are K alumni.
“When students think of their K network they often think of connections across the country and abroad, but they should also think about their network closer to campus,” said Richard Sylvester, the CCPD assistant director of experiential opportunities.
Some K-Treks are multi-day experiences in cities such as San Francisco, New York City and Chicago, and there are plans for K-Treks to Washington, D.C., and Detroit. This K-Trek, however, was about thinking locally through a one-day trip. And networking in southwest Michigan provides a distinct advantage to students looking for an internship now or local job openings when they graduate.
Other local K-Treks have included K to Stryker and K to Kellogg’s, and a K to Bell’s Brewery trip is scheduled. The Bell’s tour will be Feb. 8, 2019—a break day in the winter term—and will cover careers in business and science.
The event increased student awareness of a local employer, showed students how the company operates and opened students to the idea of interning at Steelcase in logistics, information technology, marketing, sales, project management, product development and engineering. Those internships can be 12-week summer opportunities or year-round posts. Some internships allow students to work remotely.
K to Steelcase included facility tours, a warm welcome and introduction to Steelcase from Director of Global Talent Management Isabelle Medellin, a panel discussion and lunch with the panelists. Sylvester said a participant survey is planned to help the CCPD measure the event’s success, although early anecdotal feedback indicates it was a day well spent.
“Students were engaged and insightful, and they showed they were interested in Steelcase and what it offers,” Sylvester said. “What more could you want when you otherwise have a break day?”
Learn more about K-Treks events such as K to Steelcase at our website.