Students discover career possibilities on Indiana road trip

By Abrahm Hurt
TheStatehouseFile.com

INDIANAPOLIS — Three college students are hitting the road in a bright green RV to interact with businesses across the state in hopes of finding their future.

Dengke Wang, Shannon Newerth and Jaedyn Zavala will spend two weeks traveling 829 miles to interview employers and spotlight the state’s industries including health, technology and manufacturing. The goal of Roadtrip Indiana is to help them explore future career choices while filming an upcoming public television documentary.

Wang, who is from Portage, is studying engineering at Purdue University. He found out about the road trip through one of his academic advisors. He wants the road trip to help him discover his career path.

“On this road trip, I’m trying to figure out what I want to do,” he said in a news conference at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Wednesday before starting their trip. “I know something engineering related but I’m not 100 percent sure and I’m kind of scared — nervous — about this decision I’ll have to make.”

Wang originally planned to join the National Guard, but a paperwork issue ended his service early. He’s now looking for a new goal.

“I’m really excited about just honestly exploring Indiana and finding hidden gems throughout and interviewing people that are already successful in the field I’m interested in and see how they made it through the tough times and how they made up their mind with their career,” Wang said.

Newerth, who is from Beech Grove, is studying plant science at Purdue. She will be a first generation college graduate.

“I’m really excited just to meet with other people on this road trip to be able to see how they may be able to balance between what they really love and their passions but also playing a significant role in society,” she said.

Over the next two weeks, the three students will have the opportunity to meet with leaders at GE Aviation, Cummins Inc. and Elevate Ventures among others.

The journey is a partnership between the Commission for Higher Education and Roadtrip Nation, a resource that helps students and recent graduates explore and discover their passions and helps place individuals in professional careers to pursue their interests.

Gov. Eric Holcomb said the partnership will allow for the state’s younger generation make decisions about their future.

“We’re launching ‘Roadtrip Indiana’ here today to make sure that these students — these three — and more like them are able to find that path that they’re passionate about so that they can get on that path and connect where they are today with where they want to be in one year, five years, ten years from now,” he said at the news conference.

Abrahm Hurt is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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