Posted on September 24, 2021
Ector and Midland County ISD are two of the top employers for University of Texas Permian Basin grads, as are the hospitals and energy companies.
In her role as director of internships and employer relations, Megan Baeza said she tries to partner with students to explore careers and get them some field experience.
Midland Memorial Hospital has a robust internship program for nursing students, Baeza said. In the spring, she said there were at least 17 interns at MMH.
“… So that when they graduate, they know where they would like to be placed at the hospital and that transition rate is pretty large, too, of people going full time after their internship,” Baeza said.
“… Midland Memorial also partners with them to help them with some tuition and testing for their NCLEX, so just lots of great benefits for that program,” she added.
A new partner is IDEA Public Schools, which Baeza said has done “a lot of recruiting and been at our career fairs.”
At UTPB, she said, they have a new platform that began in November 2020 called Handshake.
Baeza said it is used by colleges all over and there are positions on it from all over the world.
“It is our one-stop-shop for students. On Handshake, they can find full- and part-time jobs, internships, co-ops so it’s really the place that we encourage our employers to post positions if they’re looking for diverse new talent,” she said.
Alumni can also use it.
“We have lots of employer partners that recruit locally, but if you were just to go on looking for a job there are 7,500 opportunities today, so it’s fantastic,” Baeza said.
UT System has developed a program called Seek UT that she said is featured on the UTPB website where you can see historical data of students’ graduation rates vs. their loan rates and their salaries in the first year, five years and 10 years.
She said you can also compare it to other institutions.
“It’s really neat to see how UTPB, especially in the salary here in the Permian Basin really is kind of the market leader,” Baeza said.
Last year, she said there were limited internships but they are seeing a lot more opportunities right now in oil and gas.
Internships are usually 120 to 200 hours a semester and co-ops are longer.
“I’ve been here for the last year and I was hired specifically for internships and I feel like that’s been a major focus and a major priority for the university,” Baeza said.
She noted that they are a valuable experience.
“We definitely have seen, I feel like, an uptick in internships, especially with Handshake having that online opportunity that companies can post internships and that we’re here directly helping market those internships to students. I think that has helped build those connections,” she said.
Career education also offers services such as resume review and mock interviews to help students prepare.