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SWE Career Fair Ends Engineer’s Week and Starts Job Searches

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A line of UP students wait their turn to talk to the MSA organization at the SWE Career Fair
Photo by Dominique Pascua

On February 22, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Club wrapped up “Engineer’s Week” at the University of Portland with their 27th annual Career Fair.

The fair ran from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., allowing Engineers of all tracks and disciplines to meet with company representatives for potential work and internship opportunities.

SWE President Adrienne Sunner said there were 35 companies that initially signed up to participate, but 36 businesses were represented. She said they were supposed to cap the businesses to 32, but they arrived anyway, not wanting to pass up meeting prospective employees.

UP Human Resources (HR) representative Amy Cavanaugh said her planning started a year ago in April. Together, HR and the SWE Club worked on planning, invitations, mapping of the business booth locations, and evaluations.

All three floors of Shiley Hall were occupied with businesses and students networking.

Sunner said the planning process started in October with contacting companies, the UP HR department, invitations, and registration.

Kristine Figueira, Civil Engineering Major said she was strongly encouraged by teachers and staff to attend the career fair even though she was only a freshmen. Figueira said it was “to come and let them know I’m interested.”

These career fair promotions were happening since early January of this semester.

Figueira said promotions for the fair started since early January of this semester and a mass email was sent by their Engineering advisors encouraging to attend.

Murray, Smith and Associates, Inc. (MSA) was not just a booth at the fair. Figueira said they also visited one of her classes a few days prior to teach them how to do proposals, powerpoints, speaking tips, and encourag students to apply for a summer internship at their booth on Saturday.

Although SWE had no problems with planning the event and the turnout for both businesses and students exceeded expectations, Senior Engineering Major Brian Feeney did have some reservations about recruiter presentations.

Feeney said that with our current advancement in technology, networking has become more computerized and less personable even at the Career Fair.

“It’s ‘hand your resume and go. You can check out our website for more information,” he said.

Feeney said that a number of businesses were there mainly to advertise, so they just collect resumes to hand over to the actual hiring team later.

Overall, the attendees and volunteers were pleased with the event.

On the way out, one of the business recruiters told Cavanaugh he received twice the number of resumes at this career fair than Oregon State University.

Cavanaugh said “the employers were happy and the students were busy.”

HR representative Anne-Marie Ramsey was excited to see the enthusiastic responses from students about their company and really enjoyed the facilities.

Ramsey said it was a nice touch to be a part of a company that represented sustainability and be able to recruit for possible future employees in a sustainable building.

According to the UP website, Shiley Hall newly renovated their entire building and was awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification by the Green Building Council in 2010. Renovations included large glass walls to provide natural lighting, “heating and cooling; use of recycled materials and sustainably harvested wood; efficient water fixtures; and sustainable water management.”

The next career fair is the First Avenue Career and Graduate School Fair on Friday, April 5 at the Chiles Center. There will be over 150 organizations. Students and alumni can register today at the First Avenue Career Expo website.

Hope to see you there!

~ Dom

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