SIU and United Airlines host aviation career fair - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

SIU and United Airlines host aviation career fair

MURPHYSBORO, IL (KFVS) - Nearly 200 high school students were given the V-I-P treatment on Saturday, when United Airlines and aviators at SIU flew them in from Chicago to talk job prospects.

"I woke up pretty early to come." said student Ashley Lenz, who flew from Wisconsin for the event. She went on to say she's developed a strong interest in Aviation for her career, and wanted to come down to "learn how to make it happen."

United Airlines worker Clarence Copping says his goal was to make the trip worthwhile for the students. "Seeing the equipment, seeing the air transportation in action," Copping explained, " having employees be able to say; 'this is how I did it' it's wonderful."

Students witnessed demos performed by university students, partook in workshops, and toured the aviation facilities at SIU
which united airlines employees call 'state-of-the-art'

"Everyone here has no idea how lucky they are to be here." said SIU alum and United Airlines pilot Steven Lofgren, "SIU has a stellar reputation in the aviation industry, and the graduates from this program are probably the most employable from any school in the world."

High school students say that many of their insecurities were cured by talks and discussions with aviation professionals on-hand, who were happy to share their stories.

"We were you." explained Copping, "We were exactly in your spot. We didn't know how to do this. Many of us had a passing interest in being a mechanic or being a pilot."

"Stick with it." Lofgren said when asked if he had any advice for students, "Pay attention... Do your homework!" he laughed, "study hard, don't party too hard, and at the end of the day you're gonna have a rich and rewarding career."

SIU is the only university in the nation to offer events like Saturday's to high school students. They partner with United Airlines in the spring, and American Airlines in the fall.

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