Job Fair Signals Hiring on the Uptick

By Nick Gagliardi

UConn engineering students came out in full force for this year’s annual career fair, held October 12th in UConn’s spacious Rome Ballroom. Many students dressed to impress as they spoke with a wide variety of companies, ranging from Anheuser-Busch to United Technologies, in the hopes of finding a better job outlook than in years past.

The ballroom was filled to capacity for this exposition, as 69 companies eagerly searched for prospective employees, interns and coop candidates.  With hardly any room to spare, UConn students filled the fair and took advantage of this excellent job-seeking opportunity.

“It’s great that UConn makes such an effort to help out their students,” said Vijay Sekhara, a seventh-semester Chemical Engineering major. “The opportunity to speak with such a wide range of companies, all in one place, is truly unrivaled.”

Despite a struggling economy in the past few years, it is evident that the job climate is getting better. Ryan Hudock, a seventh-semester Environmental Engineering major, was pleased to see such a great turnout at the fair. “It’s just nice to know that companies are actually hiring,” said Hudock. “It’s a positive change from everything we see on the news.”

The professional reputation of UConn may have something to do with that. DRS Consolidated Controls (DRS-CCI), an engineering firm based out of Danbury CT, is the premier supplier of instrumentation and control systems for critical applications in U.S. Navy Ships. DRS recruiters noted that they enjoy coming to career fairs at UConn because of the positive reputation associated with the engineering program. “We have a strong UConn presence at DRS, and we’re always looking to find great talent,” said Andrew Powell, a representative for DRS. “UConn is a great place for that.”

Besides Connecticut-based employers, the fair attracted others from across the Northeast region. Sensata Technologies, a Massachusetts-based engineering firm specializing in the safety and efficiency of everyday devices, has attended UConn’s engineering career fair in each of the last five years.  Located 40 miles south of Boston, Sensata already employs an impressive number of UConn graduates and continually looks to expand upon that.

Many of the students will be offered interviews, as the first step toward their career or internship. “Overall it’s been a great learning experience for me,” said Hudock. “I look forward to attending again in the spring.”

For a listing of the companies that participated in the fall 2011 career fair, click here.

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