Companies Converge to Find Top Talent at Career Expo Days
Campus recruiters like Erica Hartsfield at Verizon have found that UT Dallas consistently turns out a strong pool of candidates for internships and jobs. That’s why her team returns year after year for the University’s biannual Career Expo Days.
“Over the years we have formed good relations with UT Dallas. Particularly from the IT and engineering side of things, we have found a prime source of candidates here,” Hartsfield said.
Because of the expo’s increasing popularity, the event spanned three days this fall and drew more than 3,600 attendees. The expo has grown from 1,900 students attending a one-day expo in 2012 to nearly 3,500 over two days last spring.
For the first time, organizers split up employer booths in the highly sought-after science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields over two days — one for undergraduates and one for graduate students. Alumni also attended the expo.
“It’s a space issue, and the demand has continued to increase from students and employers. We needed to figure out a way to accommodate that,” said Lisa Garza, director of the Career Center.
“They think you have to be a graduating senior, but even a freshman who is beginning to think about internships can find out what’s out there and what skills employers are looking for. It’s a way to get a lot of information in one place.”
Almost 170 employers registered this year to fill 230 booths in the Activity Center’s main gym. Having the event over three days helped accommodate more employers; 23 companies were on a waiting list to get in compared to 65 companies last fall.
Garza said the Career Center also wanted to encourage more STEM undergraduates to take advantage of the expo’s resources, so giving them their own day allowed for greater access to employers.
“They think you have to be a graduating senior, but even a freshman who is beginning to think about internships can find out what’s out there and what skills employers are looking for. It’s a way to get a lot of information in one place,” Garza said.
Amine Benelbar, a software engineering freshman, took that advice and was the first student in line for the expo.
“I heard about this from faculty members. I know this is about getting connected, and I’m hoping to get an internship for the summer,” he said.
Alumnus Shrinath Parikh MS’14, now a senior big data engineer at AT&T, knows firsthand the University’s academic excellence. He was hoping to recruit from his alma mater potential interns in computer science and math.
“This is a platform for them to get in the door. We actually did hire two to three interns recently from here,” Parikh said.
And he had some tips for students when talking to recruiters.
“We’re looking for a lot of excitement and passion for what they do. They should have a vision for what they want to do and ask us some good questions,” Parikh said.
Trenae Johnson, a computer science senior, knew the drill. She earned an internship with J.P. Morgan after attending the expo last year, and planned to visit this time with recruiters at Amazon and Hewlett-Packard.
“I am hoping now to get a job in e-commerce or artificial intelligence,” Johnson said.
If the past holds true, her chances are good. A 2013-14 Career Center survey showed that about 88 percent of UT Dallas graduates had landed jobs or were enrolled in continuing education.
Anas Ahmed, a mechanical engineering junior, hoped to end up with a summer internship from contacts made at the expo. He had already mapped out locations of employer booths, thanks to resources from the Career Center.
“I have an app for that,” he said.
Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].