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November 7, 2017

College welcomes corporations to UW-Madison to show students life after graduation

Written By: Staff

Oshkosh Corporation and Georgia-Pacific hosted several Corporate Days on Campus in mid-September 2017 to show students not only their innovative developments, but also the potential for careers at companies with deep roots in Wisconsin.

Oshkosh Corporation is headquartered in Oshkosh, while many of the Georgia-Pacific operations are located in Green Bay. The University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering hosted Oshkosh Corporation and many of its vehicle brands Sept. 12, 2017, to showcase vehicle design and structured optimization and multi-body dynamics, and educate students about opportunities for internships, co-ops, and full-time positions. Jill Steffek, chief engineer and a member of Oshkosh’s campus recruiting team (and a UW-Madison alumna), has been interacting with students on campus since she began working at Oshkosh 10 years ago.

“Our name is getting more and more noticeable on campus; our real intent is to show students what they could do with their careers, but also show them how great of a company it is to work at: the culture we have and interacting with us here,” Steffek says.

Oshkosh is dedicated to encouraging students to embrace STEM fields well before college. The team also works with elementary, middle, and high school students to demonstrate how exciting and interesting math and science can be. Oshkosh hopes to make a difference and expand its reach by starting locally and growing outward, which is why its long-term relationship with UW-Madison is important to the company.

“Students can get engaged in the company and our employment programs where they can have an experience unlike other companies,” Steffek says. “They get to meet the CEO, do a lot of professional development with the executive employees, and go and see activities within the community … on top of going into the community to doing legitimate project work.”

Representatives from Georgia-Pacific came to campus the next day eager to interact with students about the company’s technology before the biannual engineering career fair. They held information sessions, tech talks and an innovation workshop to showcase students’ potential at Georgia-Pacific. Like many recruiters who hand students logo pens or fidget spinners, GP reps gave away one very important item: toilet paper.

Alum Mark Schrimpf says he enjoys visits to UW-Madison to help students become excited about GP, and Georgia-Pacific Day is a great way to ignite interest.

“Our goal in partnering with the College of Engineering is to increase brand awareness so students know of our technology and what we’re doing, and also know of opportunities not only in Wisconsin but throughout the country,” Schrimpf says.

In the late afternoon on Sept. 13, a GP representative gave a tech talk about the company’s advances in vision inspection technology, which automates the manufacturing processes, and its application in the industry. GP’s innovation is recognized worldwide, as the company is a leader in paper manufacturing products. GP has six offices throughout Wisconsin, but opportunities throughout the country for students to grow in their career.

“We want to maintain this regular presence on campus because it helps people speak with us before the career fair in an informal way to learn about what we do, what life’s like at GP, and what people working there are like,” Schrimpf says.