By John C. Giardina
On February 21st, about 600 UConn students attended the School of Engineering career fair, exploring the myriad opportunities the event had to offer. They talked with recruiters from the 57 prospective employers who attended the fair, learning about available internships and full time job openings. The diverse group of employers ranged from civil engineering firms to healthcare management companies to e-commerce based businesses.
The companies visiting the fair came because they have been consistently impressed by the quality of UConn engineers. One recruiter, Deny Anderson, from the civil and environmental engineering firm Wright-Pierce, has visited the fair before and said her company welcomes the opportunity to connect with UConn engineers. Her company, which is hiring for internships at their Middletown office, targets UConn students because of their ability to adapt to new work environments and their dedication to improving themselves as engineers. “UConn students understand that it takes a lot of work to become a professional engineer. They are willing to take the time to do that.”
Tim Ellis, a recruiter from Savant, a firm specializing in Apple based automation systems, knows the value of a UConn engineering degree from experience. He graduated from UConn in 1983 as a Computer Science and Engineering major. He said his UConn experience really helped him jumpstart his professional career. “To tell you the truth, while I was at UConn, I wasn’t sure I was being well prepared for the real world. But, after I left college and started at software development companies, I found I had been exposed to lots of experiences at UConn that set me up well to start my career.”
In addition to looking for engineers with a good academic background, firms were looking for students who had a real passion for their work. Frank Malsbenden, a recruiter from shoe distributor H.H. Brown, said he is looking for enthusiastic computer science students to work in their e-commerce department. “We’re looking for students who do things on their own, for fun, after class. Basically, we’re looking for curiosity, passion and ambition.”
Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education & Diversity Marty Wood drove home the idea that the career fair advantages both employers and students. He said “This is a great networking opportunity for companies seeking to hire talented engineers. Our students are sought-after, typically receiving multiple job offers upon graduation, because they’re dedicated, effective and smart. And as undergraduates, most complete one or more industry internships where they gain valuable real-world experience working side-by-side with practicing engineers.”