For incoming freshmen and other new students, it takes some time adjusting to the college routine, way of life and everything in between. For engineering students entering classes for the first time at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Omaha, they might just have a leg up on their peers before their first class.
A record 511 students registered for this year’s edition of Nebraska Undergraduates Becoming Engineers (NUBE), which took place on August 16 and 17. The collaboration between the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development and the UNL College of Engineering gives students the opportunity to meet with faculty, peers and mentors within the college of engineering and also tour various industries throughout Lincoln. This year, 18 different companies offered tours on August 17’s Industry Day while 20 different companies exhibited at the LPED company expo as well.
The chance to meet with those in the industry continues to be a huge selling point for NUBE, which continues to grow year after year. Rachel Placzek, Director of Talent Strategy for the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development, says the program pays dividends for not just the students, but also for the representatives of the companies that take part in NUBE.
“NUBE is a win for everyone involved. Companies get to meet the newest crop of engineering talent in Lincoln before everyone else.”
“The students get a hands-on glimpse of their careers before they’ve even started class.”
There were numerous events to combine into the two days, with the second day providing a rigorous but beneficial itinerary. The morning featured tours of engineering companies and project sites that corresponded to the chosen major within engineering, giving the students a glimpse into what their daily schedule and job responsibilities could look like once they enter the workforce.
Lunch was then served at the Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel and a special guest speaker also spoke to the students about what engineering careers could entail for them. Keynote speaker Doc Chaves from presenting sponsor LI-COR Biosciences, spoke to the students about what not only his company is looking for in its next group of potential employees, but how many different possibilities await them in the broad field of engineering related careers.
The company expo after lunch gave the students time to mingle and interact with the 20 different companies in attendance. The company scavenger hunt rewarded students for speaking with at least five companies, as they would get a sticker for speaking to each booth they stopped by and then redeeming those stickers for a custom Lincoln t-shirt in “Nebraska colors” from the LPED booth.
Finally, the day concluded with more tours of companies and project sites, wrapping up an eventful and educational two-day experience for the NUBE participants. Combining the chance to meet with influential employers in the area in their course of study and interacting with a large number of their peers and potential colleagues made for another great experience for the students according to Placzek.
“Everyone comes away having met someone new and learned something new.”