Students who work for local business McCurdy Auctions LLC often build valuable workplace skills that supplement their academic experiences. McCurdy is a frequent employer of Wichita State students, and many student employees continue to work there long after graduation.
“I was sitting in class, thinking about how this could be applied to our family business,” said CEO Braden McCurdy, a 2002 Shocker alumnus. “How we could change things, how we could innovate, how we could adapt.”
It’s important to McCurdy and his staff to have to have access to fresh, innovative ideas to keep expanding his business. By hiring Shockers, he believes that both he and students can benefit.
“Having that opportunity for them has been a win-win for McCurdy because of the fact that we get to see some new, bright faces and hear some fresh ideas, but at the same time we also have some extra arms and legs,” Braden said.
Student workers at McCurdy typically assist with office tasks and on-site auction preparation. The first few years of an employee’s work consists of learning how to navigate the business environment, including checking emails, calling clients and updating and briefing superiors.
For some Shockers, their experience at McCurdy leads them to unexpected career paths. Entrepreneurship and marketing junior Riley Webb was hired as a marketing intern last year and recently earned his real estate license to be able to make sales for the company.
“Coming into McCurdy, I really didn’t think that I would want to have real estate as a career whatsoever,” Riley said. “But after being here for over 10 months and being asked if I wanted to have my real estate license, and really jumping all the way into the real estate industry, I definitely do see it as a full-time option for me.”
Riley believes that cooperative education opportunities and internships are essential for a college education.
“If you’re not getting some sort of workplace competency or building a relationship with a company here in Wichita while you’re in school, then you’re a step behind all the other people who are, and it will be that much harder to get a job if you aren’t doing that,” Riley said.
McCurdy hires many of its Shockers through Handshake, which the WSU Career Development Center uses as its online employment platform. The company is one of WSU’s most active employers on Handshake.