Employers, engineering and computer science students fill McGregor for annual career fair

The Wayne State University College of Engineering welcomed 73 employers to its annual Engineering and IT Career Fair. More than 1,000 students and alumni filled McGregor Memorial Conference Center for an opportunity to connect with recruiters and other company representatives.

Organized by the College of Engineering Career Resources Center and the university’s Career Services Office, this year’s career fair was the largest in recent history. College of Engineering Dean Farshad Fotouhi described the event as “another testament to the strength of our programs.”

Construction management junior Sean Simpson made the trip to Midtown for the fair from Wayne State’s Advanced Technology Education Center in Warren, where he attends all of his classes. “This is my first time participating in a career fair, and it has been great practice for me to develop my interview skills,” he said. “I feel very confident that I will be able to secure a summer internship soon.”

In the days and weeks leading up to the fair, students received literature and invitations to workshops to prepare them for meeting with recruiters.

Kenneth Fryer, a senior chemical engineering student, praised the organizers of the fair. “The students received clear information about which recruiters were participating and what types of majors they were interested in ahead of time. I handed out many resumes and even secured an interview.”

Computer science students Maheen Asghar and Pooja Chaku  were both extremely excited with the number of companies that claimed to have internship and co-op openings in their field. Asghar said she heard of several students who texted their classmates during the fair to encourage them to attend. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to come today because I am only a sophomore, but I am glad I did,” Chaku added.

Immediately prior to the fair, WSU Engineering student organization leaders were able to mingle with employers during the Student Organization Networking Lunch, sponsored by Ford Motor Company. “We value the 20-year partnership we have established with the College of Engineering and Wayne State Career Services,” said Darcy Salman, a manager at Ford who also oversees the company’s recruitment activities at Wayne State. “The university continues to top itself year after year with the quality of students and recruitment events. We are especially impressed with the students’ preparedness and interview etiquette today.”  “Wayne State University is an important part of the talent pipeline for the automotive industry and Ford in particular,” said Salman’s colleague Benny Wong.”

Shannon Muldowney, a human resources representative from Urban Science in Detroit, said her company has an important relationship with Wayne State, as it is the alma mater of the company’s founder and CEO, Jim Anderson. “Urban Science is always looking for students with strong engineering analytical skills to join our company. An added benefit of recruiting at Wayne State is that so many of the students are committed to Detroit and its revitalization, which means a lot to a company headquartered in downtown Detroit like us.”

Of special note was the number of Wayne State alumni who attended to recruit on behalf of their companies — alumni like Vilma Kocllari, a recent industrial and systems engineering graduate who’s now an industrial engineer for General Motors, said she was thrilled to be back on campus.

Also in attendance were members of the WSU Engineering faculty, including Marcis Jansons, associate professor of mechanical engineering. “I make a point to attend these recruitment events and learn what employers are looking for so I may add it to my course curriculum,” Jansons said. “I want to make sure my students are highly employable.”

Asked toward the end of the fair how he felt about the event, mechanical engineering senior Richard Winfrey said, “It has been a long day, but an awesome day. I appreciated every minute I got to show off what I have to offer a company as a soon-to-be Wayne State graduate.”

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