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College of Engineering hosts record-setting career fair

The NC State Engineering Career Fair is a big undertaking with an even bigger payoff: putting engineering students in touch with top employers in their fields.

Held Oct. 1-2 at the Jane S. McKimmon Center at North Carolina State University, the career fair hosted 6,578 job seekers, setting a new record.

More than 150 engineering student volunteers helped representatives from participating companies and assisted job candidates as they navigated the record-setting event.

Over two days, the fair hosted representatives of 318 private companies and government entities who were looking to both hire full-time employees and fill Co-op and intern positions. The event drew attendees from as far away as New York, Illinois and Colorado.

For Brian Koehler, the event’s success is a good example of why the “best and brightest” students choose to make NC State their home for a few years. Koehler is director of the career fair, which started in 1998.

“All of the hard work that our students do to differentiate themselves ultimately pays off when they secure those dream jobs, providing another opportunity to make a lasting impact on our society,” Koehler said. “We have the processes in place here to continually encourage our students — our family — to become the success that they want to be.”

Hannah Wetmore, a junior studying industrial engineering, is one of the student volunteers who helped make the fair a reality.

“We work on the fair nonstop,” Wetmore said. “It’s been really great seeing everything come together.”

Wetmore is interested in work as an internal consultant and completed an internal consulting internship with Corning Incorporated last summer. Her dream job, though, is to work for The Walt Disney Company in its industrial engineering department. She said employees in that department act as internal consultants on different lines of business within the company.

Wetmore participated in the Disney College Program last semester and hopes to intern with the company in the future and, eventually, land a full-time position.

“I want to help create the magic so that everyone can continue to experience the immersive attractions and innovative experiences at Disney,” she said. “Whether that means helping to figure out how long the line should be for the newest and greatest ride or determining the number of toilet paper rolls a bathroom should have.”

More than 21 percent of those who attended were non-NC State students, representing Duke, UNC-Charlotte, UNC-Chapel Hill, Clemson, SUNY Buffalo and others.

NC State engineering graduates also returned to the fair. This time, however, they returned as representatives for top companies in their fields.

Curt Tucker, a 1990 mechanical engineering alumnus, attended the second day of the event. Tucker is a supervisor of manufacturing engineers with NACCO Materials Handling Group, Inc., in Greenville, NC. He also served in the United States Navy after graduation.

“I was well prepared for the military and the workforce,” Tucker said. “I think (his time at NC State) was a very good experience.”

Lisa Moll’s engineering degree has also placed her in a job. A 2011 materials science and engineering alumna, Moll works in Charlotte for Accenture, one of the world’s leading organizations providing management consulting, technology and outsourcing services. Moll does business and systems integration consulting and volunteered to represent the company on the second day of the fair. She spoke to jobseekers about the company’s need for entry-level systems integration analysts.

During her time in the College of Engineering, Moll was president of NC State’s chapter of the Society of Women Engineers. She was introduced to Accenture representatives while attending one of the society’s national .

Moll said she believes that engineering is one of the best degrees for a career in consulting.

“Problem solving is what engineering is all about and that’s what consulting is all about, too,” she said.

NC State engineering graduates like Moll and Tucker were invited to wear red “Alumni” ribbons attached to their nametags. The ribbons send a message: An NC State engineering degree means more than just a great education. It means a path to a great career as well.