“I grew up here. I like the community. I really want a career here. The university was a great fit. I was conscious of spending money, and I could live at home. I love to fish and hunt, and UW-Stevens Point made that accessible.”
-Mason Czaikowski, UW Stevens Point student interning at Skyward
Young professionals are a vital component of Wisconsin’s workforce and economy. The UW System continually works to ensure that students are prepared to enter the workplace and meet the needs of employers upon graduation.
This week, the UW System joins the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the rest of the state in celebrating Young Professionals Week (YP Week). YPWeek recognizes the contributions young professionals make in Wisconsin – and many of them developed their skills and knowledge on a UW System campus.
The UW System graduates more than 36,500 degree-holders every year, contributing more than $41 million each and every day to our economy. However, data shows that over the next 30 years, 95% of Wisconsin’s population growth will be people age 65 and older, while the state’s working age population between the ages of 18 and 64 is projected to remain essentially flat.
The UW System remains focused on creating the best educational opportunities possible to provide students with the experience, skills, and knowledge they need to have an immediate impact in our current and future economy and workforce. To that end, a goal in the UW System’s 2020FWD strategic framework is to provide every student with the opportunity to experience at least two high-impact learning practices, including internships and undergraduate research. Every time a student interns with a Wisconsin employer, the likelihood they will stay in Wisconsin state increases because internships often turn into job offers.
Mason Czaikowski is a senior at UW Stevens Point who is preparing to enter the workforce as a business administration major. Since March 2017, Mason has been interning at Skyward as a customer support financial consultant, a local software firm, while completing his degree and learning on-the-job. Through this internship experience, Mason has learned communication and leadership skills, as well as business management and organization. When he graduates in May, Mason plans to begin working full-time at Skyward as one of Wisconsin’s newest young professionals.
About eighty-five percent of UW System students stay in Wisconsin after graduation, raising their families and keeping Wisconsin a great place to live and work. We will continue to focus on a quality education, and we are proud UW-related internships create a meaningful job experience for many young professionals across our state.
Dr. Ray Cross is the seventh president of the University of Wisconsin System. He also served as Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Colleges and University of Wisconsin–Extension from 2011-2014. Cross served with the U.S. Army in Vietnam and was awarded four medals for his service.