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Garmin offers opportunities for young University of Missouri engineering students

Matt Milligan, a University of Missouri senior majoring in electrical and computer engineering, likes the direction things are headed in his second-year as a Garmin scholar.

Garmin International Inc., an industry leader in Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, established the Garmin Scholarship program with funds donated by the Min Kao Foundation. Kao, a founding member and current CEO of Garmin, wanted to provide support to technical engineering programs that produce students for his industry niche. To date, the Foundation provides 100 scholarships worth $5,000 per year to electrical and computer engineering students in the Midwest.

Mizzou Engineering has 10 Garmin Scholars who began receiving the funds in the Fall 2007 semester. The scholarship is renewable yearly, so long as the student maintains the GPA requirement.

In addition, scholarship recipients are also given first consideration for the annual paid internship opportunities at Garmin. Milligan interned this past summer at the Garmin International headquarters in Olathe, Kan., and also serves as one of two MU Campus Ambassadors representing the corporation.

According to Gretchen Farr, Garmin college relations recruiter, there has been a recent decline in students who are interested in the electrical and computer engineering fields. Garmin seeks to educate both high school and College students about the many opportunities in the discipline hoping to combat this trend.

“The purpose of this scholarship is to encourage students to study in
 areas where there are high-demand jobs-like software development and 
electrical design engineering,” Farr said of the program.

Farr said Garmin representatives follow-up on scholarship recipients to discuss internship opportunities and post-graduation plans.

Overall, about 130 students chose to intern at Garmin last summer, 14 from MU, including Milligan, who assisted in the design of an unreleased driver for a digital-image processor.

Milligan said the summer internship was a great experience, adding that he felt fortunate for to be chosen since the program is quite competitive.

The Garmin Scholar Program is also available at six other regional universities in the Midwest: Iowa State University, Kansas State University, the University of Kansas, Missouri University of Science and Technology, the University of Nebraska, and Oklahoma State University.

Farr encourages any students interested in electrical or computer engineering to check out the Garmin Web site at www.garmin.com/careers.