Registration open for spring virtual Engineering Career Fair

It’s not too late for employers to register for NC State’s Spring Engineering Career Fair on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021.

Just as in fall 2020, the popular annual career fair will be held virtually.

The twice-annual event routinely draws hundreds of companies, government agencies and nonprofit organizations that work in areas including healthcare, software development, energy, transportation and construction. Normally held in the Jane S. McKimmon Center on the NC State campus, hundreds of students from NC State and other schools around the country attend seeking full-time positions, co-op opportunities and internships.

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States and limitations placed on large gatherings, the two-day fall 2020 career fair was conducted virtually, using the Career Fair Plus app. The College of Engineering has chosen to use the same format for the spring, single-day, event and hopes to return to an in-person fair when one can be conducted safely.

Companies that register can set up virtual 10-minute sessions with candidates through Career Fair Plus. Interested applicants who have registered with Career Fair Plus will have already uploaded their resume for quick access. Each company can have up to 10 employees participate in the career fair, about twice the number allowed during the traditional in-person events.

These sessions are designed to closely mimic interactions at an in-person event, when students line up to speak briefly with company representatives and share their resume. If there is enough mutual interest to progress to an interview for a position, the student and employee representative can conduct that interview on the same day through or later, using a platform of their choosing.

Having a virtual event allows employers who can’t normally commit to sending representatives to an in-person fair a chance to take part, said Laura Ling who helps organize the career fairs with a small army of engineering student volunteers.

The College saw 148 employers participate in the first virtual event, held on Sept. 15 and 16, 2020; there were 5,016 student and outside job-seeker participants who scheduled more than 11,000 appointments with employers over two days.

For the February event, Career Fair Plus has added the ability for employers to set up information sessions for multiple participants called “groups.” With up to 10 employees participating in individual meet and greets and the groups, “you can see a boatload of students,” Ling said.

Drew Kotnour, a junior studying mechanical engineering, secured a co-op with Duke Energy for summer 2020 through a career fair interaction.

“And then Covid hit,” he said. “Just like so many companies, they couldn’t do co-ops because they weren’t even on site.”

Thanks to a connection through Pack Motorsports, Kotnour was able to secure an internship with electronic components distributor TTI, Inc. And he was able to stay in touch with Duke Energy, which also extended another offer to Kotnour for a co-op.

He said that he recommends participating in the event to fellow engineering students. Kotnour said it’s a good way to make personal connections with employers rather than just sending out resumes blindly, and a good way to work on interview skills.

For more information on the February event, visit www.engr.ncsu.edu/careerfair. Companies interested in registering can do so by visiting careers.dasa.ncsu.edu/nc-state-engineering-career-fair-spring-2021/