UNO helps first-year students get ahead of career with new program

UNO students are getting a leg up on their job search thanks to a new program.
Published: Apr. 27, 2023 at 5:43 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A new program at UNO is helping first-year tech students get a head start in their careers -- especially now that technology is at the forefront of our lives.

“It pretty much made me interested in the opportunities we have in the tech field,” said UNO first-year student Ash Abraham.

Before coming to UNO, Abraham didn’t think she’d pursue a career in tech.

“I was pretty much interested in the medical field,” Abraham said.

Abraham is one of many students who agree that starting college can be filled with lots of uncertainty.

But the “Learn and Earn” program changed that.

“Learn and Earn begins by putting them in shadows in their very first semester, said Martha Garcia-Murillo, dean of UNO’s College of Information Science and Technology.

She says this simply means exposing first-year year students to different tech jobs available in Nebraska.

“Then, get them into micro-internships with very short projects,” Garcia-Murillo said. “Then, years three and four, get them ready for year-long internships.”

Garcia-Murillo sees this as a way for tech students to advance their careers, whether using a database, creating a website, creating an app, or using ChatGPT for a company.

Garcia-Murillo and other faculty members have started using ChatGPT and artificial intelligence in their curriculum.

“We want it to be a tool for them to get better at what they do,” Garcia-Murillo said.

Specifically, Garcia-Murillo said it’s meant for checking mistakes and correcting work.

“The world is becoming digital, operating on computers, phones, tablets...everything is technology-based, you name it,” Garcia-Murillo said.