Over 1,200 students crowded into one giant tent yesterday as the College of Engineering held its fifth annual Fall Science and Technical Career Fair on Wednesday.
Held on the Campus Green between Physical Sciences and Broida Hall, from 1:00 to 4:30 p.m., the career fair was designed to put students in touch with prospective employers. Booths for companies ranging from Microsoft to the State Water Resources Control Board lined walkways, each with a prominent display and a list of the positions they had available. In order to achieve the best possible results for all involved, the College of Engineering also worked closely in conjunction with the Counseling and Career Services staff to put on the career fair.
Representatives at the fair talked to each student, scanned resumes or explained what their particular company was looking for.
Kathy Kramer, computer resource specialist in the College of Engineering and one of the people largely responsible for the career fair, said that the fair benefits everyone who attends.
“For a long time, engineering students could just kind of coast because the economy was so good for engineers they could get a job without trying hard,” she said. “Now it’s a little different.”
Some students also noticed the change compared to previous career fairs.
“The job market is slimming; no one’s hiring anymore, so it’s very very important to go out to job fairs and see as many people as possible,” Junior Mechanical Engineering Major Nicole Cusick said. “To prepare, you spend the entire night looking at companies on the Internet.”
Many of those students and their prospective employers take the fair very seriously.
“The students do a lot of research before hand,” Kathy said. “They know who’s going to be there and which booths they want to hit. The representatives are well chosen to know their way around UCSB.”
Three workshops were held to prepare students for the career fair. One workshop showed students how to optimize their resumes while another showed student s how to conduct themselves at the career fair.
Counseling Peer and Computer Science Major Ly Nguyen attended the workshops and believes they provided an advantage when meeting prospective employers.
“It helps out a lot to go to the career counseling office before this kind of event because you are much more prepared than your peers because you know exactly what companies to look for,” he said. “When you’re prepared, it just makes it all worth it and it gives you a better chance to impress the companies.”
The companies came to the fair with an idea of what kind of students they were interested in. Some companies were looking for undergraduates to be interns, while others wanted Ph.D.s involved in research.
“We’re looking for some good, solid electrical engineers. Looking for December graduates, primarily. We’re out to get the best candidates we possibly can,” Boeing Satellite Systems Inc. representative Kimberly Everett, said.
The Boeing table was covered with free items with prominent logos, ranging from mini fans to paddleballs, available to anyone walking by the booths. Students, however, were still focused.
“Last year we had a lot of software companies giving away toys and the place was just ringing with toy sounds,” Kramer said. “This year, we’re having a lot of serious conversation. People aren’t just here for the freebies, they’re here to talk about careers.”
The representatives already began looking through the resumes to see who they would be contacting again.
“We won’t be getting back to people until January or February or so,” Google representative Ann Campbell said. “Would you like a T-shirt?”