Students Take Advantage of Career Fair Opportunities

Thursday, October 11, 2018

A near-record 251 companies attended this year’s Fall Career Fair. Recruiters from throughout the country were offering immediate full-time, internship and co-op opportunities to interested students.

At the halfway point in her first academic quarter on campus, Andrea Wynn was looking ahead to next summer and the possibility of using her expanding software programming and problem-solving skills in an internship or co-op position in the areas of cybersecurity or encryption.

But as a first-year student, she questioned if there would be opportunities available to her at the Fall Career Fair (Oct. 3).

“I was kind of wondering whether or not I would be good enough or had enough experience [to get an internship],” says the computer science, software engineering and mathematics triple-major from Redmond, Wash. “I visited with the Office of Career Services. They took a look at my resume and said ‘You’ve got some really great experiences, you should go for it.’ I’m glad I did,” she says.

This year’s fall career fair was attended by a near-record 251 companies and more than 850 recruiters in search of students from all graduation classes and academic majors with skills in science, engineering and math to help them remain competitive in their marketplaces.

Wynn talked with approximately a dozen recruiters and had on-the-spot interviews with several, including representatives from Rockwell Collins (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) and the Naval Warfare Support Center (Crane, Ind.).

Junior mechanical engineering student Kyle Myers is planning to return to his second internship with Caterpillar’s manufacturing facility near Minneapolis in the summer of 2019. It’s an opportunity that he learned about at last fall’s career fair.

“I came away from last year with interviews from four major manufacturing companies. Then, I sat down and decided which one was the best fit for me,” he states. “Last summer’s internship at Caterpillar proved that manufacturing is where I want to be. I applied lessons learned on campus, along with gaining more real-world work experience, in the principles of lean manufacturing and design for manufacturing. It was so fascinating.”

Companies attending this fall’s event included Eli Lilly and Company, ArcelorMittal, Marathon Petroleum, Cummins, Rolls-Royce, Alcoa, GE Appliances, Raytheon, Texas Instruments, Roche, Komatsu, Honeywell and Steel Dynamics. Other companies participated in campus events throughout the opening weeks of this school year in hopes of attracting talented students for their opportunities.

“Business is booming and we’re here on a mission to find more Rose-Hulman students to fill our positions,” says Nathan Subbert, a senior software engineer with Rockwell Collins. The company had 13 hiring managers at the career fair with approval to automatically offer positions to interested students.

Chiarra Franklin had accepted a job with Marathon Petroleum before starting her senior year as a chemical engineering student. That job offer came after two summer internships with the national company.

Biomedical engineering student Steven Peterson has accepted a job at a biomedical company in his native Wisconsin following two summer internships with other firms.

“Rose-Hulman prepares you for life after classes end in a career field that you enjoy,” he said. “All of the hard work pays off, and it’s nice knowing that I have skills that are in demand by others.”

The Office of Career Services and Employer Relations emphasized attracting companies to the fall event that had opportunities outside the Midwest.

“We have a national student body that would like to have job and internship options near their hometowns, while other students want to travel and see the world in their employment opportunities,” says Kathy Kassissieh, co-interim director of career services. The office annually hosts career fairs in each of the three academic quarters.

More than 50 companies remained on campus Oct. 4 to interview students to fill openings. Many were hoping to extend offers for full-time jobs, internships and co-ops by the end of the week.

Many students started the week by attending a Career Fair Bootcamp on Oct. 1. Representatives of seven companies critiqued students’ resumes and introductory pitches, and provided feedback so that students can take advantage of the career fair opportunities.

A graduate school fair on the evening of Oct. 1 also provided opportunities for seniors to explore post-graduate opportunities. The institute’s students also are in demand for science, engineering and mathematics master’s and doctorate degree programs from colleges and universities throughout the country.

Rose-Hulman has been ranked fifth nationally in the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings of students rating their U.S. colleges and universities for helping secure internships for career preparation. The Princeton Review’s 2019 Best 384 Colleges Guide ranks the institute No. 17 for best career placement and No. 10 for providing internship opportunities. (Historically, 94 percent of Rose-Hulman students have at least one internship, co-op or research experiences before graduation, and 80 percent have had two or more experiences, according to the Office of Career Services and Employer Relations.)