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Engineering Career Fair provides access to success

Student talks with recruiter

Rigorous courses, research opportunities, support for student organizations: providing students access to success happens in many ways at the College of Engineering. Through the Engineering Career Center’s (ECC) efforts, one of those ways is by offering networking opportunities at the annual Engineering Career Fair.

This year, more than 1,600 UIC engineering students filled the UIC Forum to present their resumes to representatives from 93 companies. Among the list of employers were local industries including Metra, Clark Dietz, and Connelly Electric and international companies including Google, Baxter, and Motorola Solutions.

Roger Decker, head of engineering at BMW Technology Corporation, says his company comes to the career fair because they know it’s a good return on their investment. “We’ve hired a number of students here in the past who have come in through internships or co-ops that converted into full-time positions,” says Decker. “UIC students are open and collaborative. They have a good background, real world experience, and often already have internships at previous companies.”

That’s the case for Christian Fouche, a junior in civil engineering, who came to the career fair with two internships on his resume. “I think career fairs are extremely valuable, as they allow an in-person connection with a recruiter. Simply sending a resume will not carry the same weight as being able to show your personality when speaking to someone,” he says.

Daniela Quinonez, a sophomore in mechanical engineering, attended this year’s event looking for a quality assurance training program and was offered a next-day interview with GE Appliances. In preparation for the career fair, Quinonez says she made an appointment with the ECC for an individual resume review—one of the many services the ECC offers students.

“The Engineering Career Center’s mission is to provide tools that will position students for successful careers and connect employers with the talent they need to help their businesses thrive,” says Rose Coppola-Conroy, director of ECC. “The career fair allows us to accomplish both at the same time, so it’s the biggest day of the year for us.” For students like Quinonez, who land interviews that potentially lead to career opportunities, it could be the biggest day of the year for them too.