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Students take career trip to SEW Eurodrive, BMW, setting wheels in motion for internship opportunities



By Julia Duvall

Western Carolina University’s Center for Career and Professional Development recently took a group of 30 students from various majors to SEW Eurodrive in the upstate region of South Carolina.

“This was a great opportunity for our students from diverse majors to see career possibilities outside of their field of study,” said Adam Ray, WCU’s associate director of employer engagement. “This was the first trip we have been able to take since the COVID-19 pandemic, so we look forward to making this a regular opportunity offered to students.”

Majors represented included environmental science, marketing, engineering and international studies.

Of the 30 students in attendance, several were distance learning students who were able to attend because of their close proximity to the facilities.



At SEW Eurodrive, students got a behind-the-scenes look at day-to-day operations and a tour of the factory floor. After a lunch with some of the staff, students split into groups depending on their interests and met with the human resources department to learn about internships.

“Instead of digging through online forms, our students got to hear from a real person what the expectations are for a successful internship and that most new hires come straight from these internships at SEW and BMW,” Ray said. “BMW reps have attended our career fairs in the past and have jobs for a variety of majors and students are very interested in their products, so it made sense for us to do a site visit.”

Dawson Setzer, a senior from Lenoir triple majoring in marketing, management and Spanish, jumped at the chance to learn more about careers at both SEW Eurodrive and BMW.

“I have a mechanical engineering certificate that I earned in community college, so I am super interested in manufacturing,” Setzer said. “This trip was right up my alley and I learned that SEW has lots of opportunities for business majors such as myself.”

At BMW, students visited two locations: the BMW museum where they learned about the history of the company and, at the second location, students sat down with the recruitment team to learn about internships and job opportunities.

“This was such a great opportunity to see both companies and how they operate day-to-day,” Setzer said. “The fact that you don’t have to solely be in engineering to be able to work somewhere like this is super cool and opens lots of doors for business majors and other majors too.”

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