Fall Engineering Career Fair Redux
The School of Engineering held its first all-school career fair over the course of two days, October 28 and 29, and two venues on the Storrs campus. The events attracted several hundred UConn engineering students, from sophomores through seniors and across all disciplines, who were interested in exploring summer and winter-break internships as well as full-time career opportunities.
The fair attracted between 40 and 50 employers each day, including numerous engineering consulting companies, construction firms, energy companies, manufacturers, computing giants, defense-industry leaders, pharmaceutical companies State and federal employers. United Technologies Corporation, Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky Aircraft, Alstom Power, Frito Lay, Microsoft, Praxair and the Connecticut Department of Transportation were among the organizations participating in the fair.
Director of Advising Brian Schwarz judged the events a success for engineering students, whom he said have been receiving steady internship, co-op and job offers as a result of their exchanges during the career fair.
Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education Marty Wood, who oversaw organization of the career fair, said he was extremely pleased by the level of interest demonstrated by the employers. "UConn engineering students are sought-after for their rigorous training, mastery of critical skills, and creative approach to problem resolution," he commented.
HDR, an architectural, engineering and environmental consulting firm headquartered in Omaha, was staffed by two recruiters, engineers Carolyn D' Orazio and Yajayra Diaz, both located in the New York City office. HDR has career opportunities available throughout the U.S. for architectural and engineering personnel. Ms. D' Orazio was complimentary of the UConn engineering students who visited the HDR booth, noting they were prepared with solid resumes and confident presentation.
Fifth-year senior Jenna Whelan spoke with reps from seven exhibiting companies who were hiring computer engineering majors. "I made sure beforehand that I knew something about each company I was interested in. This helped me have more meaningful conversations with the representatives. I noticed BAE Systems (headquartered in New Hampshire) was on the exhibitor list, and I was very excited to talk to them about future opportunities," she said. As a defense contractor, BAE offers greater economic resilience, she said. Following the career fair, Ms. Whelan sent a follow-up letter of thanks to BAE and was invited for an interview; a week later, she said, she was offered, and accepted, a full-time position as an Entry Level Software Engineer.
UConn Civil Engineering alumni Erin Wilkinson (B.S. '07) and Ryan Allard (B.S. '02), two recruiters with Lochner Engineering, said they were interested in recruiting prospective summer and winter break interns. A national firm with offices in Rocky Hill and New Haven, Lochner specializes in design, engineering and consulting services exclusive to the transportation industry. The company's projects include the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge (Q Bridge) and the I-91/I-95/Route 34 Interchange, both in New Haven. Ms. Wilkinson and Mr. Allard recruited at UConn last spring as well, and indicated that UConn is the only university on their recruiting schedule currently.
In post-fair surveys, many employers commented that the fair was well attended by prepared, talented engineering students and they enjoyed the diversity of companies in attendance. One employer commented specifically, "UConn has a great reputation and we are happy to be a part of their career fairs."
Kristen Farley, a junior majoring in the Management & Engineering for Manufacturing program, found the career fair to be "A lot of fun and a very good networking opportunity. I personally met with the recruiters from multiple companies?One company, Amphenol RF, located in Danbury, CT, asked me to schedule an interview at the fair. I was very excited the next day when I received an e-mail saying that they wanted me to come to Danbury within the next few days for an interview. As it turned out, I was offered an internship position and I am looking forward to working with them this upcoming summer."
Both days culminated in receptions where recruiters and students could network and discuss opportunities in a relaxed atmosphere. Mr. Schwarz said 30 to 40 of the employer representatives attended the receptions.
Prior to the career fair, the School hosted two preparation sessions for interested students. Dean of Engineering Mun Y. Choi, along with Mr. Wood and Mr. Schwarz, presented helpful tips on effective resume writing, effective interviewing and other recruiting strategies. The sessions attracted dozens of students eager to present their most professional and polished persona in recruiting situations.
The School will host a spring-semester career fair on February 24, 2009, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Interested companies may contact Monica Bullock at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.