Every day, the UIC Engineering Career Center (ECC) looks for creative ways to give UIC Engineering students the tools they need to succeed. This year, the College took a new approach to its annual Engineering and Computer Science Career Fair—one of its major resources for students—by moving the event from February to September.
Rose Coppola-Conroy, director of the ECC, sees the benefit of this change. “We’re really making it a college-wide push for students to be applying in September and October when employers are kicking off their recruitment,” says Coppola-Conroy.
The event on September 19 had a record attendance of more than 1,750 UIC Engineering students and 110 companies—up from 1,600 and 93, respectively. Among those companies were first-time participants including Groupon, United Airlines, Best Buy Corporate, and GrubHub as well as returning participants like Primera Engineering, Baxter Healthcare, ITW, Motorola Solutions, and US Foods.
Kristen Anthony from US Foods says her company hires from UIC more than any other school they partner with. “We love UIC students,” says Anthony. “They get a great education here, and they tend to take the classes that we’re looking for, specifically for our IT internships.”
“UIC Engineering students, from my experience, are not only smart but they’re some of the hardest workers out there,” adds Charles Ventura (BS ’06), founder of biomedical staffing and consulting company Ventura Solutions. Ventura was one of more than forty alumni who attended to recruit UIC Engineering students.
In addition to helping connect employers with the talent they need, the career fair is also essential to helping students find opportunities that will prepare them for their careers. Raul Telbisz, a junior in computer science, says he’s had success at both career fairs he’s attended, landing his first internship with UnitedHealth Group after attending last year’s career fair. “During my first internship I gained experience related to my major and expanded my resume by fifty percent,” says Telbisz. Just days after this year’s fair he had interviews with three software companies.
Telbisz is one of more than 150 students who had follow-up interviews with one of the sixteen companies who came back to campus after the career fair. Throughout the year the ECC hosts employer-pop ups, information sessions, and industry days. “Companies are participating in activities before, they’re coming to the career fair, and they’re even following up after,” says Coppola-Conroy about the ECC’s efforts to increase its partnerships with employers.
At the career fair, the ECC has also enhanced its services to students, which include a photo booth set up with Engineering Media Services for professional head shots as well as a coat and bag check—both free of charge.
When it comes to their mission, says Coppola-Conroy, “We don’t want to rely only on what we’ve done in the past. We always want to try new things to help students succeed.”
Find more information about the Engineering and Computer Science Career Fair or the Engineering Career Center here. To sign up for a future career fair, please contact Rose Coppola-Conroy at firstname.lastname@example.org or (312) 355-5174.