By TYLER ELLYSON
KEARNEY – As a human resources manager, Robby Renshaw oversees campus recruiting for Lutz.
She visits colleges and universities across the state to connect with students and promote internship and career opportunities with the Omaha-based company, which provides accounting, consulting, financial, technology and talent acquisition services.
One of her favorite stops is the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She’s on campus several times a year to meet with Lopers, and she always walks away impressed.
“The professionalism, the caliber and quality of the students, the investment – everything is just top-notch at UNK,” Renshaw said. “Quite frankly, I think it’s unmatched.”
Lutz is one of nine Employer Partners that work directly with the College of Business and Technology Career Center to prepare students for life after graduation. These employers are invited to campus for multiple events throughout the year, allowing them to develop relationships with students that are mutually beneficial.
“We want to make sure that each student has a job offer before graduation and that the job offer they get is the right fit to begin their career,” said Dustin Favinger, senior director of career development and graduate programs for the CBT Career Center.
UNK students start connecting with Employer Partners as early as their freshman year and these interactions continue throughout their time on campus. The Career Center hosts Employer Partner Days in the spring and fall, as well as Company Connections events, and Academic Advising and Career Development organizes campuswide career fairs each semester. Employer Partners are also involved in program-specific events, classroom presentations and student clubs and organizations.
“By the time a student is a senior, they could have 20 or more touchpoints with these companies,” Favinger explained. “Students have the opportunity to develop trust and relationships with several employers while at UNK, which makes the internship and job search process a lot smoother.”
The statistics show these efforts to bring employers and students together are paying off.
Over the past five years, 93% of College of Business and Technology graduates landed a full-time position within their field of study or were accepted into a master’s program. Among students who complete an internship for credit, about two-thirds are offered a full-time job with that company. Students who complete an internship for credit also earn more money, according to CBT Career Center data, with their average salary starting about $6,000 higher.
“If you complete an internship for academic credit, you are more likely to get a job offer within your field and there’s a good chance of starting out with a higher salary,” Favinger said. “And the best way to find an internship is to go to these kinds of events. It begins with the access and the opportunity, then it evolves into the internship and a career.”
Autumn Graham can attest to that. She was hired as a human resources specialist at Kearney-based Parker Hannifin prior to graduating from UNK in spring 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
The Plattsmouth native saw the opening on LinkedIn, then met with a Parker Hannifin representative during a career fair on campus. A couple weeks later, she attended the inaugural Employer Partner Day, where she participated in a mock interview with another representative from the company.
“I really liked the people and the opportunity,” Graham said. “I felt like it would be a good steppingstone for the beginning of my career.”
Graham joined Parker Hannifin, a global provider of filtration products and services, in a part-time role before transitioning to her current position after graduation.
“It’s really good to make those connections because there are so many different options out there and you never know which one might be the best fit for you,” she said. “As long as a student is willing to put in the time and effort, I feel like UNK makes it pretty easy for them to set themselves up for success.”
With a total workforce around 350 employees, Lutz has plenty of opportunities for students interested in internships and full-time positions. Obviously, that’s a focus when Renshaw and other Employer Partner representatives are on campus, but their impact often extends beyond recruitment.
“Yes, a huge part of my role is recruiting and, of course, I’m wearing that Lutz recruiting hat, but our partnership is much more than that,” Renshaw said. “I feel very strongly that our team can be a resource for students and help support them as they navigate a really exciting but kind of scary time.”
Along with the networking component, Employer Partners serve as “career coaches” during these professional development events. This includes activities such as panel discussions, mock interviews and resume reviews.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’ve met a lot of incredible people, but it is evident that the Career Center and the team of people there truly care about the success of students,” Renshaw said. “And you can see the great investment because the quality and caliber of students we’re seeing is so impressive.”
That’s why she’s always so excited to come back.
CBT Career Center Employer Partners
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