St. Thomas School of Engineering’s annual “Meet the Engineers” Reverse Career Fair attracted 160 engineering students this year. They spent the afternoon of Oct. 5, 2022, speaking to more than 170 company representatives from a variety of engineering industries who were looking to find interns and future employees.
This event, which brings together talented St. Thomas students with employers, is a career fair in reverse – the students are stationed at tables, and employers come to them.
“The practice in preparing material, advertising myself, and being interviewed was by far the most valuable part of the event,” said Luke Freimuth, a first-year mechanical engineering major.
Potential employers sign up in advance, so they can look at students’ resumes online before they attend. This gives employers the ability to seek out the skill sets they are looking for and cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time.
Companies represented included 3M, Boston Scientific, Coloplast, Graco, Minnesota Department of Transportation and Polaris, among others.
Harrison King, project manager with Ames Construction, was impressed with the students. “All the students that I met and talked with were well prepared,” he said. “Everyone was very outgoing and presented themselves very well. We will be following up with several candidates and if everything goes well will be sending out offers.”
Mechanical engineering major Claire Bentfield has already received several internship offers as well as follow-up emails from every employer she met.
“I love the logistics of a reverse career fair,” she said. “The best part was having the opportunity to speak with employers in a relatively relaxed setting. I don’t feel like I have to convince employers to talk to me because they already want to and they’re seeking me out instead of the other way around.”
Other students are also getting offers, even first-year students, such as civil engineering major Ian Hensley. “To me, the reverse career fair created a better atmosphere for students (than traditional career fairs). I felt more like they wanted to talk to me since they came up to me and showed an interest, so I felt more wanted. I got many internship offers,” he said.