Corporate partners to host students

The O'Brien Center for Student Success is organizing off-campus visits for students to area businesses in January to show them some of the opportunities that await them in the working world.

“At this stage it’s just to get students to realize there are opportunities out there,” said Steve Maser, the O’Brien’s assistant director of employer relations. “To get them thinking about a career.”

The field trips will be held during Winter Break.

Students will visit at least one of several companies, including the Cambridge engineering firm CDM Smith Inc.; the wet lab at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, in Boston; the marketing firm SilverTech, in Manchester, N.H.; and wedü Loco, an experiential and digital marketing agency, in Manchester, N.H.

A total of about 30 students are scheduled to take part. Maser and Wendy Hyatt, the career and corporate engagement intern in the O’Brien Center, plan to take about 10 students to each of the sites. Since SilverTech and wedü Loco are in Manchester, students are scheduled to visit both companies.

Students will get a firsthand look at the industry, see what it’s like to work at the company, and learn about career opportunities.

“The O’Brien Center advertised these opportunities to students in majors related to the industries and fliers were sent to students through their email accounts and via social media.” said Samantha Medina, the student success manager. “The faculty are also a big help with getting the message to students; a tremendous help.”

This is the first time Merrimack has offered site visits like these. Currently Brigham and Women’s Hospital and CDM Smith recruit on Merrimack’s campus but these visits are meant to offer insight and introduction between the students and the companies, rather than serve than as a recruitment opportunity.

Maser set up the visits to Brigham and Women’s Hospital and CDM Smith through contacts he’s developed over his career. Hyatt set up the wedü Loco through a connection she had developed and worked with adjunct professor and the founder/president of SilverTech, Nick Soggu to coordinate that visit.

The O’Brien Center is hoping to make similar visits regularly to educate students about the workplace and provide them with glimpses into their potential careers.

As the program grows it may take on an experiential learning element and even allow for companies to partner with the O’Brien Center’s externship program, which lets students gain hands on experience at organizations in a short-term capacity.