Career fair brings internship opportunities
Published: Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 00:01
Now that students are back into the rhythm and excitement of spring semester classes, they have another important task to add to their planners — find a job.
Engineering students on the hunt for a summer internship, co-op or a full-time job have the opportunity to showcase themselves to recruiters Tuesday at the Engineering Career Fair.
The Texas A&M Engineering Career Fair is one of the largest career fairs in the nation, with this year’s spring career fair prepared to host more than 250 companies and 6,500 students.
“Each previous career fair has been record setting by students and companies attending,” said Alex Herring, senior aerospace engineering major and vice president of development for the Student Engineers’ Council. “What makes the spring career fair special is the fact that so many companies want to hire A&M engineers. I always hear stories of CEOs who are A&M graduates who only hire Aggies.”
James Zhang, junior electrical engineering major and marketing chair for the Student Engineers’ Council said the Engineering Career Fair is an important event to go to as an engineering major.
“The career fair is the manifestation of the Aggie Network,” Zhang said. “The majority of technical recruiters are from A&M.”
Regardless of classification, all engineering students are encouraged to participate in the career fair to gain experience with job recruiters and learn about opportunities in their field of study.
“I highly encourage underclassmen to attend,” said Ryan Haughey, senior aerospace engineering major and president of the Student Engineers’ Council. “It’s very important for freshman and sophomores to get used to going out and selling themselves to companies.”
Students who land an internship with a company at the career fair may also develop a future career with the same company.
Roland Cupaioli, Class of 2012, said he had a procurement internship with Siemens’ Procurement Leadership Development Program during the summer of 2011 that lead to a job offer post-graduation. Cupaioli said the level of responsibility he was given with tasks such as managing a new database tool that kept track of supplies used by Siemens and being a liaison for information helped to develop him professionally.
“The biggest thing I took away from [the internship] was the ownership that you had as an intern how big that plays within the grand scheme of things,” Cupaioli said. “The work I did transpired to the outcome. It wasn't just busy work. It was something that meant something at the end of the day.”
A characteristic of the career fair that makes it impressive to company recruiters is that students are the ones responsible for its production.
“We are the sole organizers of the career fair,” Haughey said. “What makes it unique is it’s entirely planned and put on by students, solely for students.”
Companies attending the Engineering Career Fair range from oil and gas to business companies, such as Capital One, who comes to the career fair because of their interest in the problem solving aspect of engineers, Herring said.
But before students find their way to the career fair, they should research what companies will be there and plan out the ones they would like to speak to.
The Student Engineers’ Council website has a complete list of companies attending and also a company search filter to help students find specific companies that suit their engineering major and job interests.
And in order to help facilitate students’ trek across campus to the career fair, Transportation Services has scheduled a bus route directly from the Zachry Building to Reed Arena starting at 8:30 a.m.
Although this year’s career fair has not seen much change since the 25 by 25 initiative announced last week, future engineering career fairs may soon feature more companies and even more students.
“The 25 by 25 initiative means we’ll have a larger number of students and it will also bring lots of opportunities for students,” Haughey said. “It builds on itself. There will be a large pool of quality students and they will get the interest of companies.”