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Friday, April 19, 2019

Activities & Organizations

University Career Services hosts STEM Fair


Students and companies alike used the STEM Fair as an opportunity to network. | Ian Everett/ The Cougar

University Career Services hosted their third annual STEM Fair on Feb. 1 in the Houston Room of Student Center South. The room was packed with students and alumni looking to connect with companies for interviews, internships and job offers.

Students attended the event to begin networking in the STEM career field. While some students wandered around, clearly overwhelmed by the crowd and number of companies present, others walked with easy confidence and a clear goal in mind.

“This is my fourth or fifth fair like this,” said chemical engineering senior Josh Ravichandran. “I’ve been doing mock interviews. These are like practice rounds for the more engineering-focused events for me.”

It wasn’t just the students that were introducing themselves. Companies such as Onit Inc., a Houston-based start-up that works on software for Fortune 500 companies, were also among the crowd putting their names out there.

“This is our first career fair,” said Onit Inc. representative Carlos De Leon. “We’ve had a good number of people. A fair number of people did their research on us and knew who we were before talking to us.”

For Onit Inc., the fair was an excellent opportunity for outreach in an environment where students are looking to hear about companies with opportunities similar to their own. 

“We’re looking to hire 100 people this year,” De Leon said.

In addition to Onit Inc., the fair featured varied employers, including the Texas Army National Guard, which offers focuses in software, energy or business management.

“We have jobs in engineering, signal support for computer scientists and finance for the mathematics types,” said Staff Sergeant Brittany Fullmighter. “We’re really looking for civil engineers, with a $20,000 signing bonus. We pay off student loans, provide education benefits and have part-time work for students. We’re always looking for anyone who wants to sign up.”  

Executive Director of UCS Monica Thompson thinks the STEM fairs are a good place for students to improve their skills and find jobs.

“We see lots of recruitment,” Thompson said. “It’s a good chance to network, find interviews and jobs. We schedule a follow up with both the students and the employers a few months after to check on their progress.”

Thompson is looking forward to the next career fair.

“We do several every semester. We’re doing a CLASS Career Fair next week,” she said.

The CLASS Career Fair will be Feb. 8 in the Houston Room of Student Center South from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

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