Novelis employees took students under their wing for the day

By Jolie Santiago

OSWEGO, N.Y. – College students are in class to learn about the real world, but what about getting hands-on experience?

SUNY Oswego students had the opportunity to experience their dream job at a local manufacturer and visualize themselves in the professionals’ shoes.

Oswego’s Novelis, a global aluminum manufacturer, worked with SUNY Oswego to connect students and employees.

Business and engineering majors signed up to spend a day in the life of a Novelis employee by walking through a mentor’s day-to-day operations.

Career services, a resource center at SUNY Oswego, set up this opportunity.

One of the career coaches, Elise Allington, works one-on-one with students in the School of Business.

Allington expressed the importance of job shadowing. “Having the chance to shadow an actual employer that’s doing the work you’re currently studying is so valuable,” Allington said. 

Not many students are able to have experiences like this. Feeling unprepared for the work environment after college is a major issue for most college students.

Students looking at a presentation and presenter in a conference room

A national survey by Forage, in partnership with Knit Research, found 1,000 undergraduates to survey about career readiness. The study revealed over half of college students are not confident about finding experience in their professions before graduating. In addition, only 30% are confident that they have the information and tools to understand how companies operate.

This unpreparedness is why there are career coaches. SUNY Oswego’s visit to Novelis impacted students there like Praneeta Pradhan. 

Pradhan is a computer science major and visualizes her future better now. She said, “Today was a great choice for me because I opened my horizons and I know what I’m going to do with what I’m learning in college.” The ten students all shadowed jobs around the manufacturer that related directly with their major. For example: finance majors were with the sales representatives and the operations management majors were with the supply chain analysts. Students observed their work and toured the plant. 

An SUNY Oswego alumna and now employee at Novelis played a part in making the visit happen. Julia Clark, talent acquisition manager at Novelis said, “I really hope the students were able to picture themselves in the roles that they experienced today.” She wanted students to picture themselves at Novelis. Also, she collected resumes and exchanged contact information with interested students. 

Just days later was the career fair at SUNY Oswego. Praneeta Pradhan and Julia Clark were there and connected again. The Novelis job shadow may be the start to a future job for Pradhan.