Each semester, NC State hosts several career fairs, the largest of which is the Engineering Career Fair. On Wednesday, Feb. 5, just over 2,000 NC State students came in search of employment opportunities to the spring semester’s Engineering Career Fair. Over 500 representatives from more than 180 different companies were present to scout potential hires and promote their brands.
Dylan Snarr, a second-year studying aerospace engineering, attended the event in search of a summer internship. She said the event really highlights NC State’s status as a top engineering school.
“I think it really goes to show how highly ranked and how competitive our program is, the fact that all these people are coming from all over the place,” Snarr said.
Other students, like Omkar Ghodekar, a graduate student in mechanical engineering, came to the event in search of full-time employment after graduation. Ghodekar was interested in speaking to representatives from GKN, an automotive and aerospace components company.
“They are related to mechanical manufacturing, and as an international student, they sometimes sponsor visas,” Ghodekar said.
While many large, international companies such as Hewlett-Packard attended the event, many in attendance were local to the Raleigh area, including Crowder Construction Company. John McIntyre and Jeff Gellenbeck, two representatives of the company, said the career fair is a prime way to recruit new employees.
“We are interested in engineering, and this career fair has always been beneficial,” McIntyre said. “We are very happy that the engineering college is supported by the co-op program … We hire full-time; most of our full-time comes through the co-op program.”
Gellenbeck said the company is local to the area, which is beneficial when attracting students who want to stay in the area after graduation.
“We’re a local company,” Gellenbeck said. “We’re not only local to this area, the Triangle region, but we work in the southeast, so this has always been a good place for us to find candidates that want to stay in this area.”
Kenny Edwards, a second-year studying mechanical engineering, said he enjoys the nature of the career fair and getting to talk to companies in person.
“I feel like some of the lines are chaotic, but I really like the experience of going to talk to somebody and getting the experience with a face-to-face conversation,” Edwards said.
Edwards said the university takes events like career fairs seriously and it has a focus on helping students find a career.
“You come to State to get a job,” Edwards said. “You don’t come to State just to learn.”
Andrew Coletta and Adam Cox, representatives from EM Structural, said the applicants from NC State have historically been good for their company. They said they were looking primarily for civil engineers.
“This area in North Carolina is really growing, so there’s a lot of work to go around,” Coletta said. “[The Career Fair] is open to a lot of different people and alumni, so you’re drawing from a big talent pool, which is great for the companies around here. That’s why there’s so many companies that come to this thing; they know they’ll get some quality candidates.”
Daniel DeVane, a fourth-year studying chemistry, said the fact that NC State supports its students with events such as the career fair is a big reason to attend the university.
“One of the big selling points when you start in NC State engineering is, ‘Hey, we have this giant career fair; companies come and they want you because you’re at NC State,’” DeVane said. “The fact that people come not just from NC State but also from elsewhere shows that it’s a good place to be.”
Not all attendees were entirely satisfied with the career fair’s offerings. Aditya Ghawre, a second-year graduate student in mechanical engineering, said there are more employment opportunities for some majors than others.
“There are not a lot of aerospace companies here, which is quite depressing,” Ghawre said. “A lot of computer science, electronics. Room 2 is full of civil engineering. A lot of companies, it depends on which major you are.”
Though it is the largest, this is not the only career fair held this week. The College of Humanities and Social Sciences will host a career fair Friday, Feb. 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Talley Student Union Ballroom. More information can be found on the Career Development Center’s website.