Fourth-year Lee Business School student Annie Huynh knows that the job market is tough, especially for recent grads. In fact, the Associated Press recently reported that more than half of bachelor's degree holders under the age of 25 last year were jobless or underemployed, the highest share in at least 11 years.
So when Huynh was approached by the recently organized Rebel Business Network about an internship with the Downtown Las Vegas Alliance, she jumped at the opportunity. As an alliance intern, she worked with some of the city's top executives on projects that are impacting not just downtown Las Vegas but the Las Vegas community as a whole.
"The internship was a great experience," Huynh says. "I learned so much, ... (and) because of this internship, I am more confident in my abilities and my capabilities, and I think the Rebel Business Network is to thank."
Helping alumni (and soon-to-be alumni) advance their careers and build their businesses is the goal, says Matt Engle, immediate past president of the UNLV Alumni Association and chairperson the network. "I wanted to provide a venue that would allow business owners, alumni, and UNLV leadership to build relationships with one another for the good of our local business community and UNLV."
Since its May launch, the network has served as a hub for the 55,000 UNLV graduates who have remained in the greater Las Vegas area. It has already launched an online business directory with more than 100 members and introduced the "Hire a Rebel" program and job board. Its networking luncheons and mixers have been packed with past and present Rebels as well as professionals who want to do business with Rebels.
"This is a long-term program," Engle says. "People are seeing the value in this group, so we will continue growing and building on the momentum going on in the community."