Husco International, a manufacturing and engineering company in Waukesha, Wisconsin, is giving University of Wisconsin-Platteville mechanical engineering students the opportunity to work full-time while pursuing their education. It is part of the Husco Scholars Program, through which the company will pay 100% tuition assistance for students earning degrees through UW-Platteville Engineering Partnerships. Husco Scholars are mentored and work on a rotational basis, applying their coursework to hands-on applications. In return, students continue to work at Husco full-time for at least three years upon graduation. Ariosto Lopez Rodas is the first Husco Scholar.
“This is our first business partnership, and it’s exciting to have this kind of collaboration with industry,” said Kristi Gimmel Becker, director of UW-Platteville Engineering Partnerships. “Ariosto has the best of both worlds. He’s getting a UW-Platteville mechanical engineering education while gaining hands-on experience through his different rotations at Husco.”
“UW-Platteville offers a great education with the option of students completing their degree virtually,” added Jessica Cain, talent acquisition and development manager at Husco International. “Students will start out in an engineering lab technician type of role then move into manufacturing, quality, design and supplier development. There are a lot of different opportunities we can offer students so they can decide what the right path is for them post-graduation.”
Lopez Rodas, a Milwaukee native, started working at Husco in September of 2020, where he has been serving as a lab technician assisting design engineers. When Lopez Rodas heard about the Husco Scholars Program he knew he had to apply.
“I was essentially granted the opportunity to study to be a mechanical engineer free of tuition cost, while also working as one too … This program has not only granted me financial stability for the foreseeable future, but also experience and more opportunities.” – Ariosto Lopez Rodas, first Husco Scholar
“I thought it was too good to be true. I was essentially granted the opportunity to study to be a mechanical engineer free of tuition cost, while also working as one too,” he said. “My greatest worry after graduating high school was accumulating an absurd amount of student debt only to pay it off years after graduating. I’m truly honored to be chosen to be part of this program. This program has not only granted me financial stability for the foreseeable future, but also experience and more opportunities.”
As Lopez Rodas continues his journey at Husco, Cain hopes going forward the company can hire two to four scholars into the program each year. As more participants are selected, she encourages the students to take advantage of their resources and to learn and support the company culture.
“[Husco International] is performance driven. We have high expectations of who we are hiring into our organization, both from a community involvement standpoint as well as being innovative and willing to take risks,” said Cain.
During his first year at Husco, Lopez Rodas is appreciative of the team atmosphere and the support he’s received from his colleagues. As he begins his second year with UW-Platteville, he’s excited to learn how his academics will coincide with his opportunities at Husco. And for the future, it’s a relief for Lopez Rodas to know he has a job lined up after earning his degree.
“The Husco Scholars Program has really shown me what a career in the engineering field looks like. I have learned to network at an earlier age and work in a very stimulating environment,” he said. “I know people with degrees who have had a very difficult time finding jobs in the engineering field and to know I will be financially stable after graduation is a blessing.”
Gimmel Becker notes the Husco Scholars Program is a great example of how UW-Platteville’s engineering distance delivery program helps students achieve their goals.
“Ariosto is leading the way for future Husco Scholars,” she said. “He has the characteristics and strengths necessary to balance school, work, and the transition from high school student to full-time employee and part-time student. Watching the first Husco Scholar take UW-Platteville classes while contributing to Husco has been extremely rewarding.”
Cain shares the same sentiment. She acknowledges how UW-Platteville and Husco International, together, will develop fully impacted engineers through the Husco Scholars Program.
“We have a really good partnership with UW-Platteville,” said Cain. “The opportunity to create the Husco Scholars Program and utilize the engineering partnership program was impactful for us and a really great opportunity. We are lucky to work with such a great school.”
To learn more about the Husco Scholars Program and how two apply visit www.husco.com/careers/student-opportunities/husco-scholars-program/.