Greater Waco Chamber connects students to local companies

Students talk to potential employers at the The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce's Student Internship Fair. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Branch | Director of Existing Industries & Workforce Development

By Julia Vergara | Staff Writer

Students looking to gain hands-on experience through an internship can look for their opportunity with local employers at The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce’s Student Internship Fair.

The event, which is open to all college students in the Waco area, will take place Thursday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Waco Convention Center.

Lexy Bishop, a research intern in the economic development department, said that internships and hands-on experiences are important in today’s workforce.

“So many people are getting their bachelor’s degrees and getting into the workplace and realizing they’re not as marketable as they thought they were with just a bachelor’s degree and so those internships and hands-on experiences really tells employers that you mean business and that you have that experience to bring,” Bishop said.

Students can expect 30 local employers to be at the student internship fair. Coca-Cola, the Heart of Texas Fair and Rodeo and the Texas Department of Public Safety will be included in the list of employers along with the event’s sponsors: Sanderson Farms, Caterpillar, JRBT and ExtraCo Bank.

Bishop said that the student internship fair will give students the chance for face-to-face interaction with what opportunities are available in Waco.

“Many may not know what’s available in Waco because they are either in the ‘Baylor Bubble’ or so focused on other things and there really is a lot that Waco has to offer,” Bishop said.

A photographer will also be available from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. to take professional headshots for LinkedIn profiles.

According to the event page, the fair is for students of Baylor University, TSTC in Waco, McLennan Community College, Texas Tech University at Waco and Tarleton State University – Waco.

Director of Existing Industries and Workforce Development Jennifer Branch said that students are encouraged to register in order to receive a name tag at the event. However, it is not required.

According to Branch, one of the strong focuses of economic development is to attract major employers and to do so, they have to ensure that Waco has the talent for those companies’ workforce. Their goal is to create an environment where students not only come to Waco to learn but also choose to stay long-term.

The more students that choose to stay in Waco, the more talent there is available to new and current employers, Branch said.

“There are a lot of bright, bright students here in Waco,” Branch said. “And we want them to stay in Waco because that only furthers our economic growth.”

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