April 14, 2024

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Engineering Career Development hosts Employer Week

Career Development at the McCormick School of Engineering held a networking event at the Ford Center Wednesday as part of Employer Week — a series dedicated to connecting McCormick students with potential employers.

Each afternoon of Employer Week, company representatives host tables in the building’s lobby. Students can meet with employers to discuss potential career pathways and job opportunities or just to make new connections. Attendees can also receive feedback to hone in their resumes and practice mock interviews.

“It was really a good experience, and I just came out to learn more about different companies and more just to get accustomed to talking to companies and figuring out how to apply what best they are looking for,” said McCormick freshman Aiden Lee, who attended Wednesday’s event. 

A number of companies, including Atlas Engineering Group, Beyond Finance, Tico, Deublin, the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency provided brochures and snacks for students this week.

The Engineering Career Development office usually hosts one networking event each quarter. In October, it held another three-day Employer Week, and the office plans to organize a similar event in the spring.

“Part of the Employer Week is to let the students learn about companies that they may not have thought about,” said Allison Berger, the office’s manager of employer relations who helped organize the event series. “It’s also kind of our chance to let … companies learn about our students.”

Berger added that the series is open to students outside of McCormick, as many of the companies recruit students from all areas of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.

Talking to employers also gives students clarity on what type of company they should look to apply to in the future. 

“I realize that getting out and talking to people, you tend to have a better yield because you really make that personal connection,” said McCormick junior Jeffrey Ryan. “The structure of companies is hard to get a feel for online, so when you’ve got different people from different roles in the industry, you can learn more of a tactile feel in the industry.”

Students could walk in without any sign-in or registration as part of an effort by organizers to make the event more barrier-free.

McCormick Engineering Career Development is also helping to organize the Northwestern STEM Career Fair on Jan. 24 to offer students a chance to network with more companies.

“I’d encourage students to take any opportunity they can to meet with companies, whether you’re proactively looking for an internship or job, sometimes just having that conversation with the company builds a connection,” Berger said. “That’s a network and that’s where it all begins.” 

 

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