A University of Wisconsin-Stout junior received a $500 scholarship after being named the No. 2 draft pick at the annual Internship Draft Day at Lambeau Field in Green Bay on Nov. 14.
Blake Kirby, a junior majoring in manufacturing engineering, was presented the award by Mark Murphy, Green Bay Packers CEO.
“The draft pick is based on the interviews I took place in,” Kirby said. “Each interviewer grades you on your interviewing skills.”
Kirby, of Freedom, said he was shocked to win the scholarship because during four hours of interviewing he was not listed on a posted leaderboard.
More than 150 students from Wisconsin and Michigan colleges attended the event co-sponsored by the Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance and the Northeast Wisconsin Educational Resource Alliance. Students interviewed for more than 300 paid internships with Alliance member companies. Eighteen UW-Stout students participated.
“Internship Draft Day is a great opportunity for UW-Stout students to get one-on-one face time with multiple employers in one setting,” said Katie Hauge, employer relations manager for UW-Stout’s Career Services. “Not only is it a great networking opportunity, but also the employers who attend are actively hiring for internships and co-ops.”
Having Kirby be one of the winners was very exciting, Hauge said. Last year UW-Stout engineering technology student Austin Wheaton, of Sturgeon Bay, now a senior, earned a $1,500 scholarship after being named the top draft pick.
“Participating in internships and co-ops are a great way to explore different careers and really learn what type of career paths and company cultures are a good fit,” Hauge said. “They provide an opportunity to take what students are learning in the classroom and apply it to real-life situations.
“By getting this hands-on experience, students add to and strengthen their skill set, making them more marketable to potential employers. It’s also not uncommon for employers to make a job offer to interns and co-op students,” she said.
Kirby said it was a good experience. “I would encourage students to attend the event to get their name out there to companies and to practice interviewing,” he noted.
Over the past 37 years, there have been nearly 22,500 co-op enrollments at UW-Stout, 1,058 in 2017-18, supporting the university’s polytechnic designation. Students experience an active and applied focus on learning in their field.
Career Services hosts a Spring Career Conference, which is on Tuesday, March 3, and Wednesday, March 4, and a Fall Career Conference. This past fall 415 employers participated, and 2,000 students attended.