Greater Waco Chamber encourages students to stay local

Students and Waco citizens check out booths at the Waco Convention Center Thursday. William Barksdale | Multimedia Journalist

By Julia Vergara | Staff Writer

The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce connected college students to local employers by hosting an internship fair to encourage students to stay in Waco after graduation.

The fair took place from 2 to 6 p.m.Thursday at the Waco Convention Center and had a number of local companies offering internships for a variety of majors.

Lexy Bishop, a research intern in the economic development department of the Greater Waco Chamber, said that when students see all the companies that are actually in Waco, it makes them more inclined to stay because they see companies they are interested in, or companies that are looking for skills they have.

“I think a lot of them have been surprised as they’ve walked in the room that these companies do exist in Waco, which is basically our goal—getting the word out of what the Waco industries are,” Bishop said.

Bishop said she thinks a lot of the students are thankful because they were able to easily find their majors being met because employers were offering a diverse variety at the fair.

Allen sophomore Rebecca Suk said that when she first arrived, she was expecting to only look for hospital internships since she is studying to go into the medical field. However, as she spoke with different employers, she said she learned about different companies she could work at and different uses for her major.

Cincinnati sophomore Andrea Springman said that it was neat to see that there are so many companies in Waco that are interested in hiring college students.

“At Baylor, you feel like you’re in that bubble and you don’t see the companies that are here,” Springman said.

Employers were excited to hear the Greater Waco Chamber was hosting this fair because it gave them the opportunity to interact with students very early on, Bishop said.

Michelle Ramirez, systems manager for the Heart O’ Texas Federal Credit Union, said that she had met with a lot of students at the fair. While some students were looking for paid internships, others were looking for college credit or just to gain experience over the summer.

“Ultimately, you go to school to get your education and you’ve got to follow the jobs so it’s very important for Waco to put in the effort to make the students aware that there are jobs available here,” Ramirez said.

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