On November 18th, the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) made a trip to Great Bay Community College (GBCC) to speak with engineering students enrolled in a First Year Seminar course about job opportunities at the lab during their college years. This course is aimed to teach students skills that will help them be successful throughout their college career and helps open engineering students up to future careers. Among speakers were Suzanne Snow, Marketing and Communications Manager who spoke on the UNH-IOL and the opportunities that students gain exposure to while working at the lab. Alex Seiger, Manager, Ethernet Technologies spoke on the Ethernet Consortia – opening students up to the specifics of working within a consortium at the UNH-IOL, and myself, current Great Bay student speaking on the transition of working with UNH as a GBCC student as well as the education already provided to me by the institution in just a year.
The visit was a success, within minutes students in the class were asking questions, their interest in the UNH-IOL growing as we shared stories of our experiences working here. When their interest led to questions on a typical workday, I told them about the friendly managers and friendships that spread throughout the UNH-IOL. Interest arose specifically for working in the Ethernet Consortia as Seiger spoke about the technical side of a normal workday at the UNH-IOL. GBCC students were engaged and respectful throughout our talk which allowed each speaker to detail the UNH-IOL as a business and employer.
When we had finished speaking, Seiger brought Raspberry Pi’s for the students to experiment with, exposing them even further to the technical side that the UNH-IOL has to offer. Although exploring and making Raspberry Pi’s isn’t something that an employee would generally find themselves doing at the UNH-IOL, it was a great hands-on example of what type of knowledge students pick up while working at the lab. During this time students were open to ask more questions involving the UNH-IOL.
The following Thursday, November 20th, the same Great Bay engineering students visited the lab for a tour. The success from the talk two days before carried over to the lab tour where Great Bay engineering graduate and current UNH student Sean Sica spoke to them about his experiences with Great Bay and the UNH-IOL. Sica offered advice to the students, suggesting that they create connections with UNH as often as possible and transfer or apply when possible.
Not long after their visit, students began submitting applications to the UNH-IOL, further validating the successful visit. The UNH-IOL has consistently put forth efforts with Great Bay to cross-promote and create a dynamic with their students. Thus, the UNH-IOL is looking to expand their employees from just UNH students to GBCC students as well. The UNH-IOL is about, among other things, exposure, education, and opportunity; to extend that invitation to hopeful college students throughout South Eastern New Hampshire is a tremendously exciting occasion.