Fair helps students grab jobs by the STEM

By Molly Packer

After the cancellation of the 2010 STEM (Science/Technology/Engineering/Mathematics) Job Fair due to jobs cut by the economic recession, recruiters from more than 15 companies are returning to Baylor for this year’s job fair.

On Wednesday, representatives from companies such as Mars North America, Hewlett Packard and SpaceX will be searching for potential employees and interns.

Carolyn Muska, associate director of career services at Baylor, said one of the best aspects of the STEM Job Fair is the convenience of talking face to face with potential employers.

“It’s an atmosphere where the students and employers can learn about each other before a company brings them back for an interview,” Muska said.

Students need to be prepared to make a good first impression on employers when they go to the job fair.

“I tell students to treat the Career Fair as a potential interview,” Cindy Fry, assistant dean of engineering and computer sciences, said. “Dress professionally, bring copies of your resume, and be ready to discuss the possibilities right there.”

Muska said students have a 30 seconds to make a first impression. She said students should prepare an “elevator conversation” about who they are and what they’re looking for that they can deliver in the time it would take to ride an elevator one floor.

The number of companies returning to the STEM Job Fair this year is a good indication the economy is looking up, Fry said.

Companies at the fair will potentially be offering jobs and internships to qualified students.

The job fair is not only for students ready to graduate. Fry said freshmen and sophomores should attend to get a grasp of available opportunities.

Fry also encourages students to visit all the companies that will be at the fair.

“Just because they may not be familiar to you does not necessarily mean that they are not doing some amazing things,” Fry said.

Part of coming prepared means doing research on the companies that will be at the fair.

“Students can find information at www.hireabear.com with links to employers and ways to prepare,” Muska said.

Students are encouraged to stop by Career Services anytime during the year.

Dr. Carolyn Skurla, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Baylor, encourages students to interact with the potential employers.

“Don’t be afraid to meet the recruiters. Many of them are Baylor grads and have been in your shoes at some time in the past,” Skurla said. “Do not hang back, and do not allow yourself to be intimidated by the process. Walk around the room with confidence.”

Leigh Ann Marshall, director of advancement for the department of engineering and computer sciences at Baylor and one of the primary organizers of the event, said confidence and politeness are key at the event.

“Dress professionally, make eye contact and be polite,” Marshall said. The absolute best strategy to use is all-natural, Fry said.

“Smile; be yourself, don’t be shy,” Fry said. “No one is going to know how much potential you have unless you show them.”