​Anderson Classroom to Career Center: Our Story

Big Dreams

We have on a wall in the Anderson Center a quote from Keith which reads, in part, "No dream is too big for a Pointer." Not only is that the spirit we want to embed in our students, it’s also how we approach our job of constantly improving the education of our students.
In 2010, then-Dean Joan North invited Prof. Elizabeth Martin to dedicate part of her time to programming that would improve School of Business and Economics students’ professional development. We started with some straight-forward goals, such as encouraging our students to attend Career Services workshops on campus. We didn’t stop there, however! We now have many outstanding programs housed in the Anderson Classroom to Career Center, all of which would have initially seemed out of reach:
  • Smiley Professional Events series, offering students a choice of over 300 speakers, workshops and activities per year.
  • About 70 students per semester completing internships, including our program providing stipends to students completing internships at nonprofit organizations, thereby helping the students, the organizations and the community.
  • Our peer-to-peer financial coaching program, helping all UWSP students gain confidence and knowledge about making financial decisions.

Student Input

School of Business and Economics students have provided important input throughout the development of our co-curricular programming; their continued input via activities such as our Pro Events Advisory Board will help shape our programs in the future. Some of the ways our students have provided input include:
  • In summer 2010, students in Prof. Elizabeth Martin’s Market Research class researched co-curricular programs across the country; we used many of their recommendations when we launched our Events program that very next September.
  • Some of our most popular Events were suggested by students, such as our “Lunch with a Leader” program.
  • In fall 2018, a group of students contributed ideas for the layout of the Anderson C2C Center, including a conference room available to student groups and teams.

Support of our Stakeholders

From the beginning, our co-curricular programming has been developed with the support of, and guidance from, our incredibly strong alumni and employer community.
Before the start of our program, some of our largest local employers told us they wanted more ways–beyond the typical career fair visits–to connect with our students. Knowing how much our students could benefit from enhanced connections with employers, we saw how a vibrant co-curricular program could bring students and employers together.

Once our programming began, countless Corporate Partners, Business Advisory Council members and Pointer alumni have spoken at events, given feedback on student presentations and attended networking receptions and banquets. While we sometimes worry about overloading them with requests, the most frequent feedback we get is, “What else can we do?” Their generosity towards our students has been truly heartwarming.

We owe a special thank you to one particular alumnus, Keith Anderson, and one particular business, Northwestern Mutual. In 2015, these two supporters challenged us to do even more to improve the career-readiness of our students. In response, we developed our “Kickstart Your Career!” program which runs in the early part of every semester and includes special speakers, senior banquets, an etiquette dinner and a networking reception.
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