OCTOBER 19, 2022 — Over the past few years, UTSA has increased the number and caliber of employers that actively recruit Roadrunners, providing more opportunities for students to secure internships and full-time employment with top organizations across Texas and the United States.
Employer recruitment strategy is a primary focus of the University Career Center (UCC). This important work has resulted in longstanding partnerships with USAA, GM Financial and the National Security Agency (NSA), new partnerships with companies such as Enbridge, H-E-B, HPOne Holdings, Allstate, AT&T, Cintas and LinkedIn, and elevated collaboration with Accenture Federal Services, Enterprise Holdings and Union Pacific Railroad.
Mario Vela ’04, M.S. ’08, assistant vice provost for Career-Engaged Learning and executive director of the University Career Center, was hired to lead the center in 2019. Vela, who previously served as the director of employer relations for the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, has worked to implement outreach efforts to new employers and develop the UCC’s employer engagement team.
In 2021, Michelle Schenk, an expert in maintaining and building recruiting partnerships with leading global employers, joined the UCC team as UTSA’s first director of employer engagement. Schenk leads the university’s efforts to nurture long-term relationships with premiere employers.
“In addition to world-class customer service, we are constantly reimagining recruiting events to create innovative ways to connect students and employers in this hybrid environment,” said Schenk. “For example, we invited one of our newer corporate sponsors, HealthPlanOne, to visit with students during Día en la Sombrilla to engage with the culture of our campus community.”
This January, the UCC hired Cristina Sanchez ’09, M.Ed. ’13 as assistant director of business development. Her sole focus is on building partnerships with new employers that are recruiting at UTSA for the first time.
In 2021, the Career Center spearheaded an effort to form the HSI Career Collaborative by bringing together several of the nation’s leading Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs). Through events such as the HSI Career Collaborative Summit, the collaborative is creating new opportunities for professional growth for students and alumni, raising the profile of HSIs among companies across the country and building a career ecosystem across HSIs.
“This partnership has been a game-changer for the university’s employer relations and ultimately, for our students and alumni,” Vela said. “UTSA has been able to leverage its leadership within the HSI Career Collaborative to create new employer relationships and deepen existing relationships. Over 150 companies that participated in the past two HSI Career Collaborative Virtual Career Fairs have historically not attended our UTSA career fairs, including Amazon, Citi, Discovery Inc., Meta, Microsoft, Square & Cash App and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.”
HSI Career Collaborative events have continued since, including a virtual Employer Summit that took place this summer with over 350 unique employers nationwide tuning in to this year’s summit theme, University Diversity Recruiting, Deconstructed.
The HSI Career Collaborative has received both local and national recognition. The San Antonio Business Journal named the collaborative a 2022 Diversity and Inclusion award winner. In June, the organization earned an honorable mention in the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ Excellence Awards in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – College category. Vela was invited to represent UTSA and the HSI Career Collaborative at the White House reception in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month on September 30.
Joshua Speshock, a UTSA master’s student studying information technology, was able to land a summer internship at an HSI Career Collaborative Expo.
“The HSI Career Collaborative really opened my eyes to what is available in the industry and the employers associated with different fields,” he said. “I was able to leverage this really beneficial and exciting opportunity to break into Palo Alto Networks as a technical marketing engineer this summer and it wouldn't have been possible without this event.”
The UCC, located on the UTSA Main Campus in the Student Union, provides a variety of opportunities for students and alumni to engage with employers. The center also offers career exploration and planning, résumé/cover letter/CV reviews and job search assistance in virtual and in-person formats. For students at the Downtown Campus, a career consultant is available Thursdays and Fridays in the Buena Vista Building (BV 1.344).
The center assists students and alumni in identifying and developing the global skills they need to successfully pursue and achieve their lifelong career goals.
It also organizes career expos throughout the year to bring employers to campus to meet UTSA students.
“HealthPlanOne absolutely loves everything about UTSA,” said Terrance McKinney, college relations program manager at the Medicare and health-insurance sales and marketing organization. “This year is our first year partnering with UTSA’s Career Center and they have delivered well beyond our expectations. The Career Center is constantly looking for creative and innovative ways to connect with the students. Their passion to successfully give students access to employment opportunities by connecting them with employers is first class. We are grateful for the opportunity to be a UTSA sponsor and look forward to a long-lasting partnership with the staff and students.”
The UCC is part of UTSA Academic Affairs’ Career-Engaged Learning unit, which serves as a university hub for experiential learning-based offerings and collaborates with many areas across the university to create or expand classroom to career opportunities.
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The San Antonio Military Health and Universities Research Forum (SURF) attracts presenters from around the nation to showcase the work of students, trainees, faculty and staff. The mission of the SURF conference is to “advance research collaborations among academic, military, and industry partners to improve health outcomes and readiness.”TBD
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Streaming of Spray the Word that will conclude with a discussion with San Antonio's Poet Laureate, Andrea "Vocab" Sanderson.Aula Canaria (BVB 1.328,) Buena Vista Street Building, Downtown Campus
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at our very own street fair - Calle UTSA. We will have activities, performances, food, music, and pinatas to break open! All free to UTSA students, faculty, and staff.Student Union Paseo, Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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