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CEET students continue to impress employers

November 10, 2011

College of Engineering & Engineering Technology job fairNIU’s College of Engineering & Engineering Technology hosted 24 companies Oct. 20  for the biannual engineering and engineering technology job and internship fair.

More than 170 current students attended the fair in hopes of finding internship and full-time employment opportunities. Representatives from companies of all size ranges, including Caterpillar, John Deere, Navistar, Hamilton Sundstand and Ipsen, indicated that were overly impressed by the students they met during the five-hour fair.

Over the past year, the college has prioritized these fairs as a crucial step in the process of becoming a graduate of CEET.

“This year, for the first time, we’ve required our freshmen UEET students to attend at least one of three job and internship fairs. This requirement will familiarize our students with the job hunting process, allow them to work on their communication skills and learn first-hand what companies are looking for in candidates,” said Omar Ghrayeb, associate dean of Outreach and Undergraduate Programs at CEET.

College of Engineering & Engineering Technology job fairMeanwhile, inviting these companies to visit the engineering and engineering technology facilities also benefits the college.

Administrators, faculty and staff can show off the state-of-the-art equipment used to educate CEET students as they forge greater communication between the college and the companies.

“We take these job fairs as a serious opportunity not only to showcase our students, but also to identify other ways in which we can work together and partner with these companies,” Dean Promod Vohra said.

“With over 200 corporate partners in the books, these companies continue to provide us the opportunity to place our students in internship and co-op roles, the projects and financial support to conduct senior design projects and endless job placement opportunities for our graduates and alumni.”

Partnerships such as these are only as good as the students who participate in them.

Representatives from each of the 24 companies that attended the event commented on the uniquely qualified students they met. “There seemed to be a broad range of students, in terms of qualifications and preparedness. I was positively impressed,” said one who completed the online survey.

College of Engineering & Engineering Technology job fairWhat’s more, each company verified that it left with between five and 10 qualified students who might be used to fill open positions.

“It’s important our students understand that showing up in big numbers to these fairs, impressing these companies and following through with email and telephone conversations allows us to continue developing more substantial partnerships with these companies,” Ghrayeb said.

Companies were equally as satisfied with the number of available candidates who took the time to attend the fair: “I’ve never attended a fair as largely occupied as this one,” one company representative said.

Vohra and Ghrayeb hope the numbers climb even higher.

“I’d like to see the day where we host 50 companies over the course of a week,” Ghrayeb said. “That is what I will call success.”