On Tuesday and Wednesday the College of Engineering Career Fair was held virtually through CyHire. Students waited in queues to speak to representatives from companies for potential opportunities.
Students have this opportunity to speak with various companies in the engineering industry about internships, co-ops or post-graduation employment.
Although the career fair was held online rather than in person, some students appreciated the option to connect with companies online.
“We were able to converse while still being safe during COVID-19,” said Noah Kelleher, junior in computer engineering. Kelleher was able to speak with six companies in a related field.
Attending the career fair can be a harrowing experience. Most young engineering students find it takes a couple tries before any true connections are made.
“This time went a lot smoother than my previous experiences,” said Jake Blocker, junior in aerospace engineering. Blocker has attended three other career fairs and felt more confident after this attempt. He was able to meet with five of his chosen companies through CyHire.
With conducting such a large event virtually through CyHire, it is expected that there were some technical difficulties. Kelleher found that there were only some technical difficulties, but the majority of the issues were not through CyHire.
Blocker spoke to this as well, stating that there were many platform links that needed to be downloaded or there were meeting locations missing. Besides these few issues, the career fair went smoothly for students.
Abel Mena, senior in aerospace engineering, also experienced few technical issues. Mena said the most challenging part was learning how to use new platforms on the fly. Microsoft Teams, Webex, Zoom and many other streaming platforms were being utilized by different companies.
Although the virtual career fair works for now, most students prefer an in-person setting.
“You can never replace the personal interaction with a face-to-face meeting,” Mena said. He said he valued the connection that was created in an in-person meeting.
Blocker also said he would have preferred an in-person meeting rather than a virtual one, and that it is not ideal to make the connections that students want but it does not stop the students from getting to make good impressions.
Blocker was able to meet with all five of his desired companies. Through those meetings he was offered an interview and is looking to hear back from more companies next week.
Virtual career fairs cut down on waiting time as well. Students expressed that being able to wait in multiple lines at once was an advantageous reason for being virtual.
“A virtual career fair is challenging. The better we are at adapting to a situation the better we are going to be down the road,” Mena said.