Story by Jillian Melero, a graduate student at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications and embedded reporter on the Global Engineering Trek in Sustainability.

Standing in train stations or riding the train, sitting circled on a city sidewalk, or conferenced around the breakfast table at the hostel, the 11 Northwestern students on this year’s Global Engineering Trek (GET) to Germany never missed an opportunity to discuss the engineering marvels and energy innovations they learned about over their 11-day expedition.

The students visited universities, research labs and innovators of industry across Northern and Southwest Germany this September as part of Northwestern’s second GET on Sustainability co-sponsored by the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN) and the McCormick School of Engineering Global Initiatives Office.

The program gives up-and-coming STEM students the chance to travel early on in their rigorous academic careers and see what real-world opportunities and applications exist in their fields. Trip organizers share the student resumes and CVs with recruiters and talent scouts at a variety of site visits, and the students are encouraged to network and exchange contact information with the hosts.

“We put students in the same room with high-level executives in companies and researchers who are doing work on the ground. Students get their business cards and chat them up and show they’re interested and eager to apply what they’re learning in the classrooms at Northwestern to somewhere else, to somewhere in another country. We stress to them to take advantage of this opportunity, and they have, and they do,” said Mike McMahon, Senior Communications Manager for ISEN.

Read more at Northwestern University