Students packed the SICE Fall Career Fair pursuing their tomorrow.
Earning a degree from the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering is all about using technology to impact the world.
It’s also about taking the first step into a rewarding career.
More than 1,300 students had the opportunity to visit with 109 employers as SICE held its Fall Career Fair at the Monroe Convention Center Sept. 19. SICE students looking for full-time jobs and internships met with potential employers with the dream of expanding their skillset and moving into a broader world.
“Our goal at SICE Career Services is to help students be successful, however a student defines success for themselves,” said Jodie Sackley, the director of career services at SICE. “Our office has been working to provide opportunities that help SICE students be successful, including our Connect with Tech series that allows students to learn from an interact with employers in Luddy Hall, and adding programming exclusively for freshmen and sophomores. Those are great practice for more formal career fairs, and our students have enjoyed a lot of success thanks to their hard work and preparation.”
The Career Fair is part of a suite of events that included a Women in IT panel, the career fair, and a host of next-day interviews that allowed students to meet with companies in the familiar setting of Luddy Hall.
“I’m really glad SICE invites so many companies in to meet with students in a face-to-face setting,” said senior Kaylee Camp, who was pursuing a full-time job. “It gives us an edge vs. other students who may just be sending in a resume, and the chance to talk directly to an employer instead of just being another resume is really important.”
Master’s student Ishita Kumer prepped for the fair by visiting the Career Services office where she polished her resume.
“I’m excited and a little nervous to be talking to employers today, but it’s a great opportunity,” Kumer said. “I did a lot of research into the companies, and I practiced my elevator pitch and ways to sell yourself to the company. The Career Services office gave me a lot of tips on how to do well at the career fair, and it has made me more comfortable with the process.”
Senior Xavier Martinez spent time preparing for the career by focusing on cultures inside of companies to find a good fit.
“I went to the SICE Careers website and looked at the list of employers who were going to be here,” Martinez said. “I researched my top picks and tried to discover which companies I would mesh well with and the jobs that best suited my skills. I wanted to have a clear strategy when I came here because I know things can get very packed and crowded, and I wanted to be ready.”
Senior Andy Huynh focused on developing a concise elevator pitch.
“I know employers don’t want to listen to a super long pitch,” Huynh said. “I wanted to be sure to make it short and to the point. I want to sell myself quickly and show I can be efficient.”
The career fair was an opportunity for Jong Sung Park, a first-year master’s student, to find out what the hiring process is like in a new country.
“I haven’t lived in the United States for long, so I had no idea how to go about finding an internship or a job,” Park said. “Bringing these companies to one place near us gives me a chance to talk to a lot of them in one day and will hopefully make finding a job easier.”
Not so long ago, Megan Mullen was on the other side of the table. A 2017 SICE graduate in informatics, Mullen is now a senior associate in the cyber risk division of Grant Thornton.
“I definitely remember the anxiety I had as I walked around and tried to pick out the companies I was most attracted to when I was at the career fair,” Mullen said. “I spoke to a lot of companies to get comfortable when I was going through the process, and I’m looking for someone who is collected and is ready to talk to us. We love candidates who can mix a technical background with good communication skills, and that’s one of the traits SICE really excels at when it comes to teaching students.”
Madison Pierini, a campus recruiter for Ernst Young, appreciated the interdisciplinary nature of SICE students as well.
“They have knowledge across the business and technical sides of subjects, which is critical,” Pierini said. “We want our consultants to do technical work for our clients, but they also need to be outside facing and have interactions with those clients. We always see great, well-rounded candidates at the SICE Career Fair.”
Jeff Lenz is an IT business management advisor at Exxon Mobile, and he also is a 2014 SICE graduate with a degree in informatics. He remembered his time at the career fair and encourages all students to build experience.
“I came all four years I was at SICE, and I recommend that to everyone,” Lenz said. “Even if they’re a freshman, it helps them get their foot in the door. I served a software internship when I was in school, and that came about because I came as a freshman to network with people, and I spoke to those same people the next year when I was more prepared to fill an internship role. It was really valuable to my career.”
Melanie Ruiz, a senior consultant with Aptitive, was at the fair looking to hire a pair of interns for summer 2020. She was confident she would find quality candidates.
“SICE students get a great technical background, and there is a real breadth to the information they’re taught,” Ruiz said. “They aren’t pigeon-holed into one area, and that’s a real strength of the school.”
SICE students will have another opportunity to meet with employers during the Spring Career Fair, which will be held Jan. 29, 2020.