Grad. schools co-host own career fair

by Christine Paquin | 10/14/05 5:00am

An array of 48 prominent companies from Burton Snowboards to Microsoft will be on campus Friday to recruit Dartmouth students during the Ninth Annual Engineering and Technology Career Fair.

The fair, co-hosted by the Thayer School of Engineering and the Tuck School of Business, provides an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students pursuing careers in science and technology to get a sense of their career options.

E. Chandlee Bryan, director of career services at Thayer, said the fair serves as a means for younger students to casually learn about prospective careers, allowing older students to meet prospective employers.

"The purpose of the fair is to connect students with employers in the engineering, technology and computer science sector," Bryan said. "It is also a fantastic opportunity to learn."

The fair also seeks to dispel popular sentiment regarding the availability of careers in the science and technology fields. Since the dot-com crisis during the spring of 2000, many have assumed that software engineering jobs are scarce, Bryan said.

But the number of companies in attendance at Friday's fair is a testament to the increasing demand for skilled professionals to fill positions many still believe to be obsolete, he said.

"A great many of these positions were not as actively recruited for when the dot-com bubble burst," Bryan said. "Now we are returning to the 1999-2000 levels of demand for software engineers."

Although the fair appeals mainly to students focused on engineering and science, the fair also presents opportunities for individuals with other interests.

While many employers are indeed recruiting for technologically-oriented positions, Bryan said the wide range of companies at the fair provides an interesting composite of positions from which students may choose.

"Companies attending the fair run the gamut in terms of career opportunities, from engineering and software positions to consulting and patent law. While some of these companies are specifically seeking engineers and software developers, others are simply looking for strong analytical and quantitative skills," Bryan said.

Among the students strongly encouraged to attend the fair are those majoring in the fields of economics, biology, chemistry, computer science, environmental science, math and physics.

Although all students are welcome at the fair, the fair is of particular value to graduate students who are encouraged to bring their resumes and converse with prospective employers in hopes of getting job interviews.

Even if students are not granted interviews or follow-up calls as a direct result of this week's fair, Bryan said employers may contact them later in the year.

The fair will run from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Friday. Employers will be stationed at both the Top of the Hop and Alumni Hall.