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Students and Employers Connect at Internship/Co-op Job Fair

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Over and over, corporate recruiters smiled, shook hands and talked about their needs while searching for their next full-time and summer interns at the College of Engineering’s Internship/Co-op Job Fair on October 3.

Over 30 companies from all over the region were represented, and a heavy stream of students kept the recruiters busy, searching for an internship or co-op that would give them industry experience before entering the workplace.Job fair student speaks to potential employer

“This year’s event was a huge success. Many of the employers ran out of materials and needed to make copies for more because they didn’t expect such a large turnout. The employers seemed happy, and the students were great,” said Co-op Coordinator Carole Coleman.

The students had a variety of reasons for attending the job fair, but the personal interaction and deeper understanding of what companies are looking for were common themes. Civil Engineering undergraduate student Rianna Beasley noticed a difference in this year’s fair, because there were several civil engineering companies compared to only a handful in previous years. “I’m glad they have this job fair, because it lets you get a feel for the companies and find their specialty. You can’t do that searching for an internship on a computer,” she said.

Guarang Naware, a first-year master’s student in Mechanical Engineering, had work experience in India, but he was looking for an internship in the United States to get more relevant experience. “I want to find out what industry people want us to learn. I plan to get my Ph.D. and become a researcher, so it’s important to me to know that,” he said.

Students speak to potential employers at the job fair

Whether they had come to UTA before to recruit or if it was their first time, company representatives were complimentary of the students they saw and had a good familiarity with the quality of the University. Laura Nick, of Garver USA, a multi-disciplined engineering firm making its first visit to UTA, was looking for someone the company can groom for a full-time position. “This is a nice way to introduce ourselves, and it’s better than reviewing online applications,” she said.

Rani Alabed, ME alumnus and corporate recruiter

Ruth Ashurst of Ferrovial, a leading developer of transport infrastructure, is very familiar with UTA. Her company has hired many engineering students and is currently involved in the two largest highway projects in the country (I-635 and I-820 in North Texas). “With all that’s going on, this company is a really exciting place to come and work. We are in our first year of large-scale recruiting, and we will come here to recruit regularly in the future,” she said.

Chona Ainsworth, a representative of Vandervoort Dairies, spoke highly of UTA engineers. Her company has hired several interns and tries to hire new graduates as well. One such graduate, who came along to recruit, is Rani Alabed (pictured, left), a 2010 graduate in mechanical engineering with a minor in aerospace engineering and math. As an undergraduate, Rani did an internship with A&T Greenturf. It was not related to mechanical engineering, but he pointed out that it made a big difference to him to see how the real world is once he began his job search. His advice for the students was simple: relax. “I remember how nervous some of my friends were when they came to the internship fair, but they didn’t need to be. This is a great place to get to know prospective employers and learn about options in the industry,” he said.

In addition to the internship/co-op job fair, the College of Engineering hosts a job fair in the spring for graduates looking for full-time employment, and the University hosts job fairs and career clinics for all students to help them have successful job searches.

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