Co-op internships work: Burton’s story

NOTE: This article is the third in a series titled, UALR Co-op Works, highlighting the successes of students who have jump-started their careers by landing internship positions with local companies through the UALR Cooperative Education Internship and Placement Office.

While preparing for a career in systems engineering at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Jennus Burton fully anticipated the need for good contacts to break into the workforce.

Jennus BurtonHe sought out the UALR Cooperative Education Internship and Placement program for the connections that eventually helped launch his professional career.

Burton asserts that the Bachelor of Science degree in systems engineering he earned was essential, but it was the internship that set him apart. Burton interned for two summers with Raytheon, a technology company located in Camden, Ark., that specializes in defense and homeland security.

As a facilitator, he was assigned leadership responsibilities on high visibility tasks that showcased his abilities.

While at the company, Burton learned that Raytheon had a branch in Tucson, Ariz., and thought it would be ideal to work for the company in his home state.

According to Burton, at the conclusion of his internship, a mentor at Raytheon proved to be highly instrumental in helping him land a permanent position with the company in Tucson. The job came with an annual starting salary of $64,500.

“The degree I received from UALR in 2005 made me a well-rounded person, but Cooperative Education made me an employed person,” said Burton.

To learn more about internship opportunities, go to the UALR Cooperative Education Internship and Placement Office.

To support the newly established Jesse Mason and Gail Reede Jones, M.D. Endowed Scholarship for Co-op interns, or to attend the UALR Cooperative Education Program’s 20th Anniversary event at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, go to UALR Co-op Works.

To read the first two articles in this series, go to Fahlenkamp’s story and Dixon’s story.

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