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Mid-State hosts ‘Cougar Connections’ virtual showcase for area high schoolers

Metro Wire Staff

A recent “Cougar Connections” event brought together 208 local high schoolers to hear about programs offered at Mid-State Technical College.

With typical career exploration experiences like job shadowing and attending on-campus college events suspended this year, Mid-State partnered with SPASH to host the event on March 9.

In its new online format, the longstanding on-campus program showcase event allowed area 9–12 grade students to jump into virtual sessions and explore program opportunities throughout the day, as well as learn of program details and job opportunities from local employers after completing a career program at Mid-State.

Session topics included conversations about employer backgrounds, career options in a related field, and insight into companies here in central Wisconsin.

“I enjoyed learning about all the different classes that are available to take at Mid-State, especially the Entrepreneurship classes, because I want to start my own business for photography,” said Aubriana Hojnacki, a 10th-grade student at SPASH. “It’s great just learning about the different opportunities out there and how you can succeed to get to that point, and the teachers were so wonderful and helpful.”

“Doing our presentation virtually gave me a great opportunity to show the students our new Ag Lab and our life-size calf birthing simulator, Mid-State Millie, to all the students,” said Teri Raatz, Mid-State agribusiness instructor. “I also had an employer live with me in the classroom, so we were able to have a conversation about all the jobs available to our students with Mid-State agriculture degree.”

”We’ve hosted many new virtual events since the onset of the pandemic, but it’s not the virtual format that enhanced this event—it’s the employer connections,” said Mid-State’s Manager of K–12 & Adult Recruitment Jackie Esselman. “Through the Cougar Connections event, students were able to not only learn about program options but also see the full education-to-career path to help shape their decisions after high school graduation.”

Learn more about Mid-State’s degree programs at mstc.edu/programs.

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