Student Experience offers brighter future for U student careers

Kelly Pearson

Almost all students have wondered what careers are right for them or how they’ll get a job after graduation. The Student Experience aims to ease those students’ minds.
The Twin Cities-based company works with college students to help them gain experience by matching their career goals with experiential learning opportunities.
The company hopes to better prepare students when they transition from the academic world into a career, according to the company’s Web site.
Founded in 1987, the Student Experience works with the seven Twin Cities colleges to place students into working and learning environments best suited for their career goals. For now, the company focuses on professions in the health care, education and psychology fields but hopes to expand in the future.
Through the program, students in those fields work one-on-one with a child or adult who has a disability to help with daily living skills within the home. Depending on the area the student is interested in, the interaction with the child or adult will be different.
Availability, career goals, and employee majors are taken into consideration when matching them up with clients.
Student Experience recruiter Melanie Peterson said students involved in the program are motivated, energetic and willing to learn.
Peterson said the Student Experience is one of the most worthwhile ways for students in health-related fields to get experience because the company offers more than just a paycheck.
Free classes and training, textbook reimbursement, scholarships, letters of recommendation and career development are all offered to Student Experience employees.
The program also gives students the opportunity to explore their major, gain references and experience, and see the family dynamics created by children with disabilities. Health care involvement can help “further your communication skills, your confidence, your willingness to learn, and your initiative,” Peterson said.
“Through our pay scale,” she said, “we have also incorporated job shadowing, informational interviews, and contacts in the community,” to help students transition and establish a career.
“This (experience) has given me confidence in my abilities and an increased awareness about the importance and effectiveness of being the one to initiate communication,” said University senior Libby Weibel, one of the 40 to 50 Student Experience employees from the University.
The Student Experience supports and teaches five characteristics of success, helping students to foster them in the job field. The five, Peterson said, are strong communication skills, work and volunteer experience, goals and ambitions, credible references, and the ability and openness to learn.
The goal, Peterson said, is to make “the Student Experience a natural part of all students’ lives.”
For more information, contact the Student Experience at (651) 638-3019 or check out the Web site