FAIR EFFORTS: The annual Engineering Students' Society Career Fair relies on volunteers and volunteer organizers like (L-R) Thuong Nguyen, Itati Fleites and Jerry Han.
(Edmonton) Dozens of companies have set up shop in the Engineering Teaching and Learning Complex solarium as part of a two-day Engineering Career Fair, where students and prospective employers get a chance to learn about one another.
Organized by the Engineering Students’ Society, the goal is to boost employment opportunities for the students and showcase the wide variety of engineering student talent to the corporate recruiters in attendance. It’s a venue for students to ask corporate representatives frank questions about everything from co-op placements to corporate culture to career trajectories.
“Students take this as a very good opportunity to look for jobs or engineer-in-training (EIT) positions for when they graduate,” Jerry Han says. Han is an ESS member and a volunteer assistant vice president at Career Fair. “Lots of students come dressed up, with resumés in hand.” To get the most out of career fair, Han suggests students read up on some of the companies present, show up looking presentable, be able to talk clearly about what they’ve learned and to describe their interests succinctly. To save everybody’s time, each corporate booth is colour-coded to indicate if company is hiring co-op students or EITs and in what disciplines.
This year, engineering student project groups (such as EcoCar, AeroHL, AlbertaSat, Formula SAE and SPEAR) are showing their projects, and companies are taking the opportunity to find out more about the student groups’ innovative work.
Some people say it’s even possible get an on-the-spot job offer at Career Fair, but others think it’s an engineering urban legend. “I have heard rumours that it has happened,” says Han, smiling. “But I don’t know…”
About 60 companies are represented, and the two-day event is tailored to allow them promote their summer jobs, internships, career opportunities and graduate school programs to students and alumni, who are also invited to attend. Han expects between 2,000 and 3,000 students to attend.
Networking with some of those students is what brings companies like EPCOR to the Faculty of Engineering career fair, according to EPCOR human resources talent sourcing consultant Kayla Saur.
“We hire a lot of co-op students from the university within our utility, electricity utility, and our new line of business, drainage. We also hire a number of EITs,” Saur says. She and her fellow EPCOR reps say that students find value in meeting people who work at their target companies and being able to ask questions face-to-face. It gives students the opportunity to “meet future employers,” Saur says. And EPCOR engineers rotate through the career fair booth during the day, so students can ask questions of working engineers.
And the stories about on-the-spot hires? “No,” says Saur, with a laugh. “Everybody has to apply.” She and her colleagues are looking forward to meeting more students tomorrow.
For more information please contact AVP Career Fair
or drop by the Solarium Jan. 11 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.