CityTrek Program Produces Promising Results

Students network with alumni in Cleveland

09 October, 2014 by John Finn

A dozen students from The College of Wooster spent a portion of their fall break in Cleveland this week, and they came away with a very favorable impression of the city as well as the opportunities that exist there.

The new endeavor, known as "CityTrek Cleveland," took advantage of an extended (one-week) break in the academic calendar to enable students to experience life outside of the classroom and make connections that might be beneficial as they pursue their career aspirations.

While in Cleveland, the students met with Wooster alumni in business, industry, and government, observed their daily routines, and learned more about their strategies for success in the professional world.

It is another example of Wooster's ongoing effort to promote experiential learning opportunities among students...and it's working, according to Ryan Ozar, associate director of internships at Wooster. "We had room for 12 students, and it filled almost immediately," he said. "Our goal was to provide professional development experience and to help students build and test skills that will connect what they've discussed in the classroom to what they will encounter in the working world."

Job shadowing and networking opportunities were provided by large companies, like Progressive Insurance, Forest City, and Quicken Loans, as well as smaller enterprises, such as the Ohio City Farm.

"We thought it was very successful," said Ozar. "The response from our students and our alumni was excellent. The visits and meetings generated great conversation and exploration. We feel very good about the CityTrek model, and plan to replicate it in other cities."

Not only did the students benefit, but so did the City of Cleveland. In an effort to keep the "best and brightest" in the region, the city is marketing itself as an attractive option for these bright, young, soon-to-be professionals. And after a few days in the field, these Wooster students appeared ready to buy in.