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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Engineering expo offers up internships, potential jobs

Janice Biancavilla / Daily Wild
Janice Biancavilla / Daily Wildcat Mechanical Engineering Junior Li Jiang speaks with a recruiter in the North Ballroom in the Student Union Memorial center on Tuesday, Feb. 21 during the UA College of Engineering iExpo. The industry career fair featured several organizations that are offering internships and entry level positions for career-seeking students.

The Engineering Student Council is always trying to devise a better way to pair students with jobs, but, after 20 years, the Industry Expo runs like clockwork.

“The thing is that we (the Engineering Student Council) have been doing this for a few decades so this event is a well-oiled machine by now,” said Frank Ventura, a biosystems engineering senior and a member of the Engineering Student Council.

The annual I-Expo, held on Tuesday, offered 42 booths and is the only career fair on campus dedicated to only engineering students, said Lisa Guay, a chemical engineering junior and the assistant coordinator of the event.

“If you think about it, it’s kind of like one-stop shopping for students so they can plan for a job or internship before March,” Guay said.

Microsoft, Intel and Raytheon, a company specializing in defense and aerospace systems, were some of the companies that set up shop at the fair.

A majority of Raytheon’s employees come from the UA, said Chris Wassenberg, a campus representative for Raytheon. He said he thinks taking time during the career fairs to get to know students is part of that reason. Raytheon employs 10,500 in Tucson, according to Tucson Regional Economic Opportunites.

“Fairs allow us to get an idea of what is available in terms of undergraduates and people who are about to graduate,” Wassenberg said. He added that it also gives Raytheon a chance to inform students about ways to start getting involved through things like the company’s internship program.

Last year’s expo brought about 700 engineering students to the Grand Ballroom in the Student Union Memorial Center. Ventura said he anticipated a similar turnout this year.

In addition to providing students a list of attending companies at the check-in station, booths were also color-coded to show the type of engineering major they represented. The UA offers 13 engineering majors, including mechanical, aerospace and systems engineering.

“The color-coding system has been a little difficult to put together, but we think it will help out students,” Ventura said.

Some students attended because of a class requirement or to win points in the UA Engineers Week. For others, the reason to go was simple. They just want a job.

“This is where you get hired,” said Rebecca Veach, a chemical engineering sophomore. “If you don’t come here (to the fair) you have a very small chance of getting an internship, and that is how you get experience.”

Kevin Ferguson, an aerospace engineering senior, said the career fair was especially important to him because he is job-hunting before he graduates in May.

“I’ve got my resume cleaned up and working and really thought about what I wanted to get out of today,” Ferguson said. “I’m here for a job.”

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