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UW Stevens Point cuts ribbon on partnership with Skyward

Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 10:11 PM CDT
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - UW-Stevens Point is bringing job opportunities closer to its students. Campus leaders held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new workspace for students in partnership with Skyward.

Skyward is a software developer company and it’s taking a sliver of its workforce to the UWSP to teach students professional development, and get a sense of what the world looks like before students take the next step.

The purpose of the new Skyward internship center at UW Stevens Point.

It will allow students to connect with employers like Skyward before they graduate. “This way they can begin to develop some of those workplace competencies and skills that will serve them for a lifetime,” UW Stevens Point Chancellor, Thomas Gibson said.

The program puts students in real-world positions. “They’re actually interacting with our developers, with our consulting and our support teams, so they are actually doing all the real-world work that our employees do day in and day-out,” Skyward President, Ray Ackerlund said.

The Stevens Point-based company said it takes around 40 student interns a year. One current intern said she already has a job lineup with them by the time she graduates.

“I’ve learned a lot of the background knowledge of the software in order to be able to use that when I go full-time. But also I’ve gained the knowledge of the company and how they function on a daily basis, how to act in a professional environment,” Customer and Consulting intern, and UWSP Senior, Andrea Galewski said.

The company and the school said the partnership will also build a pipeline of jobs for potential candidates.

“That’s really going to help us attract and retain key employees which is really just a critical piece, not just for us but for the entire community of Stevens Point, and the community outside of that as well,” Ackerlund said.

The company said 40 percent of its workforce are students from UWSP, which is why Galewski said it was a sigh of relief when she got the opportunity.

“It feels amazing it’s very rewarding but also the stress I have about graduating and finishing finals and having to submit applications and do interviews potentially, that eliminates a huge amount of stress, graduating,” Galewski said.

The Chancellor said the partnership with skyward also aligns with his vision of applied learning at the university. Skyward serves school districts in 21 different states with its software, with over 2,000 customers.

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