On Wednesday, Oct. 18, the University of Maine held the annual Engineering Job fair for students at the New Balance Student Recreation Center. Hundreds of students walked down the rows where over 130 businesses set up tables with information and their office locations both in and outside the state of Maine.
Each student at the fair was dressed to impress in their best business attire. After putting down their backpacks and checking in at the front desk, the students were handed a map of the venue and from there they went into the engineering world. Prospective engineers approached the representatives at their tables and asked questions, learned information about different companies and even helped themselves to free snacks and prizes.
“It’s my first time at the job fair, and it has been stressful, a good stressful, though,” Matthew Webber, a second-year chemical engineering student at UMaine, said. “These employers have good experience, and I have made many connections.”
The event was open to all engineering students, although many jobs and internships look more closely at third and fourth-year students. First-year students are encouraged to come in order to get a feel for the event and hear from employers to see what they will be looking for in the future.
“Everyone was so friendly and welcoming when I walked into the fair,” Sapphire Hernandez, a first-year marketing and communications student, said. “Each representative and employee I met shook my hand and had a smiling face, and everyone was so eager and excited to answer my questions. It made my experience a great one and I didn’t want to leave.”
The University of Maine is often looked at for their success in the College of Engineering. There are currently 11 different engineering programs offered to students pursuing an undergraduate degree.
Huhtamaki, New England Controls, Verso, Lanco Integrated, Maine Department of Transportation and CPM Constructors were a few of the dozens of companies represented at the fair. Nearly every field of engineering had representatives, with each company bringing unique and diverse opportunities.
Among the employers, some offered information on how to apply for jobs and internships. One of these organizations was the USDA, and representatives Lori Richter and Heidi Bunn were offering advice for students.
“While we are not currently offering any positions, we are giving information on how to apply, recruitment and other opportunities,” Richter and Bunn said.
The University of Maine Career Center has played a major role in organizing and executing this event. Crissanne Blackie, the Director of the Career Center told WABI News, “We’ve been helping them think about what do you wear? How do you present yourself? Do you have a 30 second pitch to give to an employer? What’s your resume look like? We had extended walk-in hours to have students be able to have their resumes reviewed and just a general professionalism and etiquette.”
“I loved getting to meet new people who work in the field I hope to work in one day,” first-year construction engineering student Justin Breault said. “I made a lot of connections that I wouldn’t have made without going to the fair. I think it was a great opportunity and everyone who is interested in engineering should definitely sign up and take advantage of next year.”
The Career Center offers these services to all students on campus. This office offers help with resumes, interviews and etiquette. Making appointments through this office are as easy as going to the office and asking for assistance. They also offer numerous employment opportunity events such as the Careerfest and the job fair. The next event that is scheduled is the Career Fair, which will be Wednesday, Feb. 7.
To get in contact with the Career Center or find out about upcoming events and activities, please visit umaine.edu/career.