When Chelsi Weaver walked into the Southwire Internship Expo, she didn’t know she’d be finding out what she wants to do for the rest of her life.
But that’s exactly what happened.
Weaver, who graduated from the University of West Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in December, attended the expo with her eye on landing an internship with the cable and wire manufacturer’s sales department.
“I met with a lot of great people who were at the expo, but my current director was there, and she and I immediately made a connection,” Weaver said. “She’s in human resources, a field I hadn’t really considered before the expo, but I’m so glad I found her and chose this path because it’s something I’ve really found a passion for over the past year.”
Now, she’s a professional staffing specialist with Southwire – a long-term internship she hopes to leverage to a full-time job before she returns to UWG in the fall to begin her master’s degree in business administration (MBA).
She works in Southwire’s recruitment department, recruiting recent and upcoming college graduates to work for the Carrollton-based manufacturer.
“I started as a front-desk intern, so my role was more administrative,” Weaver said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to transition to my current role, in which I’ve gained more hands-on experience with recruitment and guiding people through the human resources process at Southwire.”
Weaver came to UWG as an art major, hoping to grow and flourish as a jewelry designer.
However, her passion for the art form began to fade. Simultaneously, her passion for business administration – with a particular interest in human resources – began to rise.
That’s how Weaver found herself in the Richards College of Business, where company showcases like the Southwire Internship Expo are hosted regularly.
Monica Smith, assistant dean of the Richards College of Business, said experiences like Weaver’s are common following showcase events hosted by the college.
“Events like this are central to the Richards College of Business’ mission, which is to transform students’ lives through education, engagement and experiences,” Smith said. “The purpose of the showcase is to introduce students to various organizations and hear professionals share their corporate journeys. Our students also have networking time before and after the panel discussion and many times, such as with Southwire, our guests are ready to meet great students and connect them with their organizations.”
Companies who have partnered with the Richards College of Business for showcase events in the past include Chick-fil-A, Walmart.com and Supply.com. The college is currently planning a showcase with representatives from Coca-Cola.
Weaver was drawn to UWG because of its proximity to – and distance from – her hometown of Douglasville, Georgia.
“I wanted to stay close to home, but not too close to home,” Weaver said, laughing. “It’s the perfect distance, and it’s a large campus that feels small. I’ve been able to meet a lot of different people, but the university is small enough that it feels tight-knit, too.”
Weaver said if she hadn’t been a student at UWG, she wouldn’t have known about Southwire in the first place – much less the expo the company hosted on campus.
“I really feel like that day, attending the expo, started my whole career,” Weaver said. “Whether I remain with Southwire or move on to other opportunities, I know that using my leadership skills in human resources is something I’d like to continue doing. I’ve enjoyed meeting so many new, different people and embracing each day’s new challenges as they come.”