Industry Connections Report | 2019



In an i dea l wor l d, co l l ege students wou l d t r y out the ir career f ie l d i n a profess i ona l set ti ng before they graduate. Even bet ter, they wou l d get pa i d, ear n academi c credi t and boost the i r resume. That i dea l wor l d ex i sts through UW- Stout ’s co - op program. Consi der Ryan Knudtson. As a j un i or packag i ng ma j or, he l anded a co - op at Johnsonv i l l e, the Wiscons i n sausage company. He wor ked for seven months wi th Johnsonv i l l e’s packag i ng eng i neer s and was exposed to many other aspects of the operat i on, i nc l ud i ng mar ket i ng , product deve l opment and purchas i ng .

“ I wor ked wi th so many teams and i nd i v i dua l s. I saw how packag i ng af fected ever y th i ng ,” Knudtson sa i d. He ca l l ed i t “an i ncred i b l e exper i ence” that reaf f i rmed he was on the r i ght career path. A year l ater when he graduated, Knudtson was career - ready and accepted a j ob of fer f rom Genera l Mi l l s i n Mi nneapo l i s as a packag i ng eng i neer. Hi s successfu l co - op exper i ence a l so l ed to the nat i onal Cooperat i ve Educat i on Student Ach i evement award.

Ryan Knudtson, center, receives his national co-op award with, from left, Bryan Barts, Career Services director; Tracey Lord, Cooperative Education and Internship Association; Bethany Henthorn, UW-Stout co-op program coordinator; and Doug Church, packaging engineer at Johnsonville.


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