Engineering and Tech Expo offers career opportunities for students
Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 15:09
The Engineering and Tech Expo is set to be the largest career event the NDSU Career Center has ever organized.
This fall will mark the 14th annual career event, where 170 employers will represent their companies from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday in the Fargodome. The expo provides students the opportunity to discuss current or future employment and internships with career-related employers.
The Engineering and Tech Expo is open to all NDSU students and alumni in areas of engineering, sciences and technology, as well as students in MSUM’s construction management and industrial technology departments.
“This is the largest career event we’ve had,” Jill Wilkey, director of the Career Center, said.
The Career Center has remarkable employer participation for its various career events, Wilkey said. This year, the number of employers present at the Engineering and Tech Expo increased by 33 percent from last year.
“There is definitely a lot of new employers that have never worked with us before,” Wilkey said. “That gives you an idea of what the employers are looking for.”
In the past, the Career Center has received very positive responses from employers who attend the expo.
“Employers would not come back if it was not a well-run event and the students weren’t well prepared,” Wilkey explained. “It’s a compliment to NDSU and the colleges of science and technology who are preparing these students – making them good candidates for these jobs.”
Most of the employers attending the expo are from the North Dakota–Minnesota region, but employers from other states such as California, Florida and Colorado will also be present.
The large list of employers includes big-name companies such as Bobcat, Polaris, John Deere, Microsoft and Cargill, Kim Teske, Career Center events coordinator, said.
Most of the job opportunities are for positions in the Midwest region, but students may also have opportunities to work across the United States and across the globe, Teske said.
“There are enormous opportunities for internships,” Wilkey added.
Each employer will give a 12-minute presentation to explain what their company does and what positions they are looking for. These presentations are geared toward freshmen and sophomores who are not yet looking for full-time jobs. Listening to these presentations will give underclassmen a good idea of what positions and employers are out there, Teske said.
Some employers may do spur of the moment interviews at the expo, Teske explained. Otherwise, 30 of the employers come back the next day to interview students that they talked to at the expo, and some employers come back later in the semester.
Wilkey stated that students need to include career events such as this as a part of their undergraduate education.
“We have a challenging labor market in this community,” she said. “Exposure to employers is so important and will make you better prepared.”
Wilkey said this career event has many advantages for students.
“170 employers all together– where else will you have that happen?” she pointed out.
The large number of employers can be daunting, so Wilkey suggests having a plan of what employers to talk to before arriving.
The Career Center website provides a list of the employers with links to the companies’ websites. Students can use this resource to research the employers and choose which ones they want to talk to beforehand, Wilkey said.
“Also,” she advised, “take the opportunity to see employers you’ve never heard of and just step up and talk to people.”
The Career Center website also provides advice on how to dress professionally and how to talk to employers at a career expo.
Students who attend the expo should wear professional attire and have copies of their resume. Resume critiques are available from the Career Center by appointment.