Talent Tour at Avera sparks interests in health care

by Sara J. Gillis, director of talent & workforce development
Published 05/23/2019

Myrna Niamba has been intrigued by a career in health care ever since she arrived in the United States in November 2014. An immigrant from the Ivory Coast, Niamba, 22, recently completed her post-secondary studies at in biology at the University of South Dakota (USD) in Vermillion, yet she’s unsure of what type of health-related career she’d like to pursue.

“As you grow older, your parents have a strong influence on what you want to do, and by the time you get your bachelor’s degree, you’re not sure what they wanted you to do is what you actually want to do,” says Niamba. “So you graduate, and you are confused and scared, and you don’t know what you can do at that very specific moment.”

Luckily, for Niamba and other USD students, the Talent Tour event on May 7 at Avera in Sioux Falls helped these recent graduates to weigh potential career options. The event, coordinated by the Sioux Falls Development Foundation’s Talent and Workforce staff, featured a tour of the expansive Avera campus, in-depth Q&A with career planning and human resources staff, and a timely lesson in professionalism and interview etiquette.

“This program provides student professionals with the opportunity to learn about career pathways, job differentiators and industry growth from the business leaders themselves, all within the walls of the company’s physical space,” said Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce development. “Today’s employment market is all about culture alignment, and our programming helps to do just that.”

The Talent Tour initiative is timely given the competitive hiring market, especially in light of record-low unemployment rates at both a local and a national level. In fact, a recent Recruiter Nation Survey from Jobvite, a recruiting technology company, found that 74 percent of nearly 800 responders believe that hiring will become more competitive this year. Given the high demand for healthcare professionals, events like the Talent Tour initiative are a stellar investment for companies eager to recruit and to support talent.

Niamba agrees that the Talent Tour at Avera helped to demystify the application process.

“Today, I realized that human resources at Avera just want to be able to connect with you, to work with a friendly person who fits in,” Niamba said. “Going forward, when I apply to jobs, I feel that I have a much better chance of being hired because I know what they’re looking for now.”

For Niamba, she plans to take a gap year to job shadow and to work in a healthcare setting before making a decision between pursuing medical school or doctoral studies in genetic engineering. Then, Niamba desires to return to her home country, the Ivory Coast, to use her knowledge to serve others.

“I’m from an African country, so food is always going to be a problem for many, many years to come,” Niamba explains. “But there’s some solutions that can be brought into my country through genetic engineering. If I can bring this to my country, I can therefore bring food and resources that will last longer, and people will not have to starve. Genetic engineering is a promising and very hopeful route, and it feels to me like it’s a bigger challenge than medical school, because I might or might not be able to change the world. It’s exciting and scary at the same time.”


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To learn more about scheduling a Talent Tour event, we encourage our member companies to contact Denise Guzzetta, Vice President of Talent & Workforce Development, at deniseg@siouxfalls.com.