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Russ College students prepare for the world of work

Yasmeen Ebada, Anna Hartenbach, Colleen Carow | Sep 24, 2018
Aerial shot of students in the career fair

Russ College students prepare for the world of work

Yasmeen Ebada, Anna Hartenbach, Colleen Carow | Sep 24, 2018

Donning professional attire, Russ College students stormed Stocker Center and the Academic & Research Center with resumes in hand last week for the college’s annual early fall career fair.

More than 50 employers, including the FBI, Swagelok, Parker Hannafin Corporation and Athena Data Company LLC, attended the event, which was held on Thurs.-Fri., Sept. 20-21.

Director of Professional Experiences Dean Pidcock said the career fair is one of the most important events for students.

“Employers attending the Russ College career fairs each year are specifically looking to hire our students,” he said. “Whether a student is seeking a co-op assignment, internship or full-time employment, there are many great positions to be found with the employers who are on campus,” Pidcock said.

It was a first for new biomedical engineering graduate student Melissa Kauffman, BS ’18, [HA1] who said the Russ College prepares students pretty well for the fair.

“My advisor told me what I should be asking and how to prepare my resume, and the department sent out an email saying we had to send out resumes for them to look at as well,” said Kauffman, who added that and she already found a company where she’d like to intern. “I would love to work for Abbott. They work on a lot of medical devices and I would love to do that or work in tissue engineering,” Kauffman said.

Alumnus Alejandro Romero Montoya, BSISE ’16, who now works for Balluff Inc. as a technical sales trainee, said he attended roughly 10 career fairs as a student.

“We have met some students that were well prepared, you could tell that they did their research on the company. We found some promising candidates,” Romero said.

Balluff’s vice president of sales, Dennis Lewis seconded Kauffman’s perspective that Russ College students are ready to take on the job.

“I’ve been to a number of career fairs this month and I feel like Russ College really prepares their students not just for the interview process but for the job. They just seem to be much more prepared for going out into the world,” Lewis said.

That preparation includes the ET 1500 Career Orientation class, which gives students the tools to take advantage of career fair opportunities, as well as career workshops and lunch-and-learn sessions each semester. 

“I also meet one-on-one with students to critique resumes, give job search advice and teach how to interview,” Pidcock said. “And I work to build a bridge between employers and our students -- I reach out to employers to attend career fairs, information sessions, mock interviews and real on-campus job interviews. I also support employers who want to host a resume critique session or mock interviews,” he added.

Nate Locker, an estimator at Danis, said Russ College students are engaged and willing to step out of their comfort zone.

“It’s tough to approach people and talk to them and try to sell yourself -- so you guys do a good job of teaching students to do that. I found a couple of strong candidates, and we’re willing to look for more,” he said. “We’re looking for students who have a strong work ethic personality, who are willing to work with others, and who think outside the box. Students here seem to fit those categories.”