Photo by Shu Yu Lin

An engineering student receives information from employers about future job opportunities at the Engineering Connections Fair, held Friday, Oct. 9 in the Woodling Gym.

 October 26, 2015

Engineering students meet potential employers


By Shu Yu Lin

The third annual Engineering Connections Fair, hosted by the Engineering Cooperative Education Program Office, took place on Friday, Oct. 9 in the Woodling Gym at Cleveland State University.

More than 500 engineering students attended this event in search of internships, co-ops and graduate-level and full-time permanent positions.

These students had the chance to meet with a variety of employers in their search for spring and summer job opportunities.

Sandra English, manager of the Cooperative Education Program, described the scope of the event in an email interview.

“Our office works with co-ops, internships, graduate and full-time opportunities for engineering students,” she wrote.

Engineering students who are not graduating soon had the opportunity to find both internships and co-ops through the Engineering Connections Fair.

“There is a difference between co-ops — which are paid, full-time academic experiences and internships which are non-academic,” English said.

The Engineering Cooperative Education Office set up its own event because many schools already have a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) focus fair and some companies only want to hire engineers when recruiting.

“The feedback I got from engineering industry from the Cleveland State Board of Trustees and our advisory council was that employers were tired of going to these ‘big fairs’ and only speaking with some majors of interest,” English said. “Some companies only want to hire engineers when recruiting.”

The Office does not have any statistics on how many students get opportunities purely through this event, however English indicated that she believes the Engineering Connections Fair has been highly successful for industry professionals and students.

The event filled the gym with many rows of tables for the employees of different companies who came to speak with the engineering students at Cleveland State.

Faculty and company employees had access to a dining area with food and drinks available for all who attended.

During the fair, some students sitting outside the gym seemed nervous as they prepared to speak with their potential employers.

Bob Legato, senior mechanical engineering technologies major, made it obvious that he was not one of these nervous students.

Legato has completed four engineering co-ops already and was at the Engineering Connections Fair looking for his fifth and final co-op.

Legato provided a few tips for those who did not have experience speaking with companies at events similar to the Engineering Connections Fair.

“Research companies before the events,” Legato said. “Go to companies you don’t care about and practice your spiel.” 

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