Alumni Return to Recruit University’s Top Talent at Career Expo Days
When Chris Davis graduated from The University of Texas at Dallas in 1992, campus was sparse.
“I remember the campus being fairly Spartan compared to the way it is now, just a big open field with a few buildings,” he said. “There were no basketball courts, no tennis courts — all of that was open grassland.”
The culture was different too, he said.
“When I started UTD, it was more of a commuter school. People drove in from Dallas, they parked, they went to class and they left. Nobody really hung around.”
Davis observed a strikingly different landscape when he returned for Career Expo Days as a senior recruiter for semiconductor manufacturer NXP — students carrying coffee cups, skateboarding from residence halls, throwing a ball along the North Mall, and weaving through a network of new buildings and ongoing construction.
Davis was one of nearly 80 alumni who returned to campus to recruit top talent among the University’s student and alumni pool. Overall, the three-day expo drew recruiters from 183 companies, including Texas Instruments, PepsiCo and Twitter, and was attended by more than 4,300 students and alumni.
Davis said he started recruiting at UT Dallas in 2010.
“And every time I come back, I’m like, ‘Wow, there are more buildings,’” he said. “I came back today, and thought, ‘Oh man I wish I had a pool. And an exercise room.’ It’s good to see all that infrastructure.”
Davis is not alone.
As the University has expanded over the past two decades, returning alumni like Mike Morris BS’94, Davis’ NXP colleague, are surprised at the number of campus additions. Morris graduated with UT Dallas’ first freshman class, which began with 100 students.
“There were only a few buildings, and most of my classes were in Green (Hall), so I was kind of confined to one section of campus,” he said.
“Seeing alumni return and give back in this way is heartwarming. It shows that they see the value in the education they received and the relationships they built while on campus, and want to provide opportunities for their fellow Comets to join them professionally.”
Morris began returning to campus four years ago for the career fair, which offers employers a chance to recruit for jobs and internships, particularly in STEM-related fields of science, technology, engineering and math.
Morris believes his presence as an alumnus sends an important message to students.
“I think it’s great for the career fair to let the students know that there is life outside of school,” he said. “School is not the only part of your life. There’s a work life that goes on, and I think it’s important for the alumni, if they can make it, to come back and show the undergrads and the graduate students that people got jobs.”
For Shahrzad Amin BS’14, who represented Verizon, the expo offers alumni a chance to give back.
“I think it’s very important to come back as alumni, to help other students get exposed to all the opportunities that I had while I was here at school,” she said.
Shereada Harrell, associate director of employer relations with UT Dallas’ Career Center, said the event gives students a chance to meet recruiters in an environment where they feel comfortable.
“I am consistently contacted by employers who are aware of the caliber of our students and are constantly seeking chances to visit campus to engage with them,” she said. “Seeing alumni return and give back in this way is heartwarming. It shows that they see the value in the education they received and the relationships they built while on campus, and want to provide opportunities for their fellow Comets to join them professionally.”
According to Ibrahim Bashir BS’01, it’s about building relationships. Three fellow alumni joined Bashir to represent Twitter.
“Today, we’re back on campus here to start building a relationship with engineering, computer science (students) and all STEM majors,” he said, “and just start getting a pipeline of people who want to work at Twitter.”
It wasn’t his first time back on campus. In recent months, Bashir, who wrote a piece in UT Dallas Magazine about his journey from college to career, has led workshops for students.
Thomas Goodwin MS’16, of technology consulting company Sogeti, said he comes back for the “top talent.”
“We’ve been very happy with the grads we get, and I’d just like to get more, because I like having good quality people,” he said. “I’ve always enjoyed my experience coming back to campus, and I look forward to doing it in the future.”
Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].