Dressed in their very best business clothes, thousands of job seekers descended on the fall 2018 NC State Engineering Career Fair, navigating the hundreds of company booths and calming their nerves while waiting in long lines to speak with top companies and industry leaders.
Over two days, 6,211 people attended the Sept. 18-19 event held at NC State’s McKimmon Center. This event marked 20 years of NC State engineering career fairs, which have grown tremendously since 1998.
One of the largest of its kind in the U.S., the career fair brought more than 300 companies, government agencies and university-affiliated groups to campus. Undergraduate and graduate students, as well as people from around the state, had opportunities to network, interview and learn more about potential engineering career paths.
NC State students emphasized the importance of the career fair for their networking opportunities. Adithya Sampathkumar, a second-year master’s student in computer engineering who was waiting in line for an interview opportunity with Facebook, said the career fair was helpful for getting used to talking to recruiters and knowing what they expect.
Facebook drew one of the longest lines at the event, and first-year engineering student Noor Hakam shared that Exxon-Mobil, ESRI and Citrix also attracted many people. Hakam was one of the many NC State engineering students volunteering at the event. She said some students she’d talked to had been waiting in the same line all morning to talk to a specific company.
For the hundreds of company representatives, the career fair is an opportunity to find new talent. Evan Basta, a sales engineer at Cisco Systems, said above all, he’s looking for candidates who are eager. “It’s been a very busy day, there’s been a lot of great turnout, and I’m really impressed with the people who have come forward so far.”
Recruiters Marissa Pilcher and Kyrone Nebolisa, both NC State alumni who attended the career fair as students, returned to campus to connect with current students who may one day work at their companies. “I was on the other side of this table as a job seeker just a few years ago and worked this event many times both as an Engineering Ambassador and a student volunteer,” said Pilcher, who is in the Operations for Engineers Leadership Development Program with Eaton.
Nebolisa, who majored in biology and now works for Novo Nordisk, said the fair has grown in size and advanced technologically since he attended. Novo Nordisk used iPads to keep track of job seekers. “I think it’s a great way for students to come out and network and have an opportunity to meet different companies that they might not know about,” Nebolisa said.
Additionally, some companies were unable to attend due to the effects of Hurricane Florence. The one-day spring career fair is scheduled for Feb. 6, 2019. To learn more, visit www.engr.ncsu.edu/careerfair/.