HR Intern, Assistant Chemist are the first to participate in the pilot program.
Tuesday, July 2, 2024

The Student Pathways Internship Program is designed for soon-to-be or recent University of Iowa graduates interested in exploring a potential career at Iowa.

The pilot program currently involves two students: Kristen Schlawin in University Human Resources and Jennifer Suarez at UI Pharmaceuticals within the College of Pharmacy. Both students were hired for a one-year, paid internship that may result in a full-time position at Iowa upon successful completion of the program.

Keith Becker, senior director of Talent Acquisition, says he was "extremely happy" with the applicant pool for the pilot program and hopes to involve more departments across campus during the second year of the strategic initiative.

"I think the Student Pathways Internship Program has vast potential not only from an HR perspective of developing pathways to meet staffing needs for critical areas on campus, but also from a student success perspective," Becker says.

"We offer so many student employment opportunities across campus that do a great job of building professional skills, but I feel like this program provides a real opportunity for us to be intentional in how we help set students up for their future careers."

Becker also notes the pilot's ties to Iowa GROW and its mission to help students connect what they learn in the classroom to what they're experiencing at work.

Schlawin, the HR Intern, says the Student Pathways Internship Program intrigued her because she wants to learn about potential career paths in Human Resources and intends to stay in Iowa after she graduates in the spring of 2025.

"I've been a Hawkeye my whole life," says Schlawin, an HR management and marketing major from Muscatine. "I would love to stay in Iowa, so being part of a program that feeds into a potential job was very appealing."

As an HR Intern, Schlawin will spend time learning about the different facets of HR at Iowa from Talent Acquisition and Organizational Effectiveness to Payroll, Benefits, Workers Compensation, and more.

Objectives of the Student Pathways Internship Program include:

  • Promote the University of Iowa as an employer of choice among our students.
  • Recruit new and diverse talent by encouraging students and recent graduates of all ages and backgrounds to participate.
  • Provide participating students with a focused career development opportunity through structured, meaningful job assignments and access to a variety of training and professional development resources, including mentorships.
  • Generate a strong bench of qualified talent for placement into key roles across campus.
  • Develop and retain a high-quality and committed workforce familiar with Iowa and how we operate.

"Getting to interact with a lot of different people across the various departments – seeing what everyone does in their day and how the departments run – that's been the most impactful for me so far," Schlawin says.

Suarez, a fifth-year graduate student earning a Bachelor of Science in chemistry, is an Assistant Chemist at UI Pharmaceuticals. In addition to a potential job at UI Pharmaceuticals upon graduation, Suarez intends to pursue a PhD in chemistry and advance her research into environmentally friendly solutions for developing pharmaceuticals.

"A big reason why I wanted to be part of the Student Pathways Internship Program is to learn about the different types of jobs I can pursue with my chemistry degree and to gain foundational knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry," Suarez says.

She also notes the "welcoming environment" at Iowa and the ability to work with a small team that has professional ties to pharmaceutical development in the public and private sectors.

Suarez, of Chicago, says her career aspirations include becoming a senior scientist at a large pharmaceutical company.