Annual Fall Career Fair Plays Matchmaker for Students, Employers
Engineering students visit with company representatives who are seeking to hire cooperative education students, part-time and full-time employees.
Speed School's annual fall engineering career fair is scheduled for Thursday, October 6th. The event runs from noon to 4:30 p.m. at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in the Brown and Williamson Club. Every employer has a booth where they talk about their open opportunities, some employers are hiring full-time, some are hiring co-op. Students will have an opportunity to meet with and engage potential employers in an effort to secure a co-op position.
According to Mary Andrade, interim director of the coop office, and event coordinator, the Fall Career Fair is when the largest group of students seek their co-op. The event is there to help students make the best decision available. She explains, “we do an orientation. We host seminars to help with resumes and interviews. A lot of your bigger companies hire for full-time, and a lot of their decisions are made by Thanksgiving, so if you’re graduating in May, this could be a good opportunity.”
The biggest obstacle to overcome is the scope of the fair. With a 25% increase in employers over the past several years, and a growing student body, finding the right co-op for a student is important, but a challenge Andrade and her team are ready to face. She says, “Typically our issue is not having a space large enough for all the employers to attend. We have a system that we use to manage the event, which allows students to study the employers coming ahead of time.”
The Career Fair is just the first step in the process. Andrade explains, “The day after the career fair, we’ll have all day interviews. I would say probably half of the students will secure their co-op from the career fair. We have only 100 companies that come to the career fair, but we usually have placements with over 200 companies. There will be over 100 other companies on campus interviewing.”
She adds that additionally, “We host on campus interviews daily throughout the fall semester. We’ll have employers consistently on campus doing interviews. Many of those will not attend the career fair. Especially if they’re only hiring 1 or 2. We have only a handful of companies that will hire 10 or more.”
Andrade notes that the co-op placements yield an approximately 30% full-time employment rate post-graduation, largely due to the average size of the employers, which ranges from small to medium. Still, a number of employers will hire here because of the Speed School’s initiatives to make each student work place ready.
“That’s what employers are seeking. We do require our students to stay with the same employer for three rotations. The Speed School brand is depth of experience, not breadth of experience,” says Andrade adding, “I love helping students. They’re laying out their life direction and putting pieces in place to be successful and that’s exciting to be a part of.”