With a rising number of engineering students and more companies interested in Aggies, the fall engineering career fair found a new home this year.
Having outgrown Reed Arena, the event was held in Kyle Field and The Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center to accommodate over 500 companies and 10,000 Aggies. Organized by the Student Engineers’ Council, the fair was held Tuesday through Thursday and showcased companies such as Boeing, Chevron, Phillips 66 and Shell.
According to mechanical engineering senior and SEC Career Fair co-chair Allison Godfrey, the goal of the move from Reed Arena was to allow engineering students to connect with as many organizations as possible.
“We’ve had over 130 more accompanies attend this year,” Godfrey said. “[It] means more opportunities for students to get jobs, which is really the whole push behind expanding. That’s how we measure our success. It’s whether students are more able to have opportunities however we can make that happen.”
The Student Engineers’ Council took advantage of the additional space by offering special suites called breakout rooms to diamond-level sponsors. The rooms allow recruiters to create a structure to meet students, with some companies even choosing to interview students on-site, Godfrey said.
“The diamond sponsors can preserve and specify their layouts that they would like to do,” Godfrey said. “They have complete freedom over how they want students can come into their room.”
The SEC has also unveiled a new app specifically for the engineering fair to help students locate booths and for recruiters to catalogue prospective employees. Chemical engineering junior and career fair co-chair James Swanson said that the app brings them one step closer to an entirely digital system of recruitment.
“It’s a complete, fully functional platform for students and recruiters to connect and exchange resumes, and recruiters can then store a rating and notes on students and the export that list after the fair,” Swanson said.
The SEC has been working on creating an app for the last three years and were able to get it off the ground with the help of an outside company. Based on the SEC’s assessment of the app’s performance this week, the group may utilize it for future career fairs as well.
“We really push for students to download the app because we know it’s going to be confusing going between two locations,” Godfrey said. “Having maps for each floor and each location is really beneficial for students.”
Mechanical engineering senior and SEC member Allyson Howard said that after attending seven career fairs at A&M, the decision to move the fair into two new locations was difficult to adjust to, but allowed for more flexibility.
“The only bad thing about it was the heat and the added time,” Howard said. “If you wanted to talk to companies in both venues you had to allow for the time to go in between venues and you had to re-check in, [but] you could use that time to collect your thoughts, see who you’re going to talk to and plan it out.”
Mechanical engineering junior and operations coordinator Brandon Merrill said for students looking to attend the next engineering career fair, it's crucial to present themselves in the right light.
“Being honest is important,” Merrill said. “Sell yourself; sell the authentic version of yourself. Be able to speak beyond the resume, not just ‘I did this and I did this,’ but what you learned and how you can apply that moving forward.”