Career fair connects students with potential employers

Career fair connects students with potential employers
A recruiter from Teradyne, an automation equipment company, converses with a Northeastern student at Thursday's career fair. / Photo by Brian Bae.

By Alyssa Lukpat, news correspondent

Employers set up booths with colorful signs advertising their companies as students waited in line to speak with recruiters at Northeastern’s annual Spring Engineering and Technology Career Fair Thursday. The fair brought more than 4,000 students and 140 companies to Cabot Center.

Among the companies recruiting students were Google, Amazon, Oracle, Bank of America and PayPal. Students like Priya Puranik, a first-year information assurance and cybersecurity master’s student, came to the career fair to meet these employers in person before submitting co-op applications online.

“Career fairs are better for networking than applying online because employers get to know me better before I apply, which is an advantage,” she said. “For me, I get to know the culture of the company and if it’s a good fit for me.”

Ben Zinser, a second-year mechanical engineering major, is confident he secured interviews at a few of these companies after networking with employers.

“I felt like companies had a screening process but wouldn’t tell me,” he said. “Teradyne, [an automation equipment company in North Reading], said to apply online but the recruiter wrote ‘interview’ on my resume, circled it and put it in a stack. I think that’s a pretty clear indicator of an interview.”

Mounica Kamesam, a second-year computer science major, came to the career fair to find a job in data science for her first co-op next fall.

“One company I heard of is Wayfair. They have cool data science stuff I want to check out,” she said.

This was the first career fair for Matthew Pashkowsky, a first-year mechanical engineering major. He is hoping to find an internship this summer in preparation for co-op.

“There’s opportunities for summer internships, so I figured I might as well show up and try,” he said. “This is my first career fair so it’s nice to get into one before I start looking for co-op.”

Oracle campus recruiter Emily Miller was also attending Northeastern’s career fair for the first time. She was impressed by the caliber of the students who came to network with her.

“We’ve heard great things about Northeastern as a university, specifically the engineering school, so we’re hoping to hire some great Huskies,” she said. “I’ve noticed that Northeastern students come to our table prepared with a solid understanding of what they’re looking for, which doesn’t always happen.”

Students like Connor Mullaly, a second-year computer science major, improved their networking skills at the career fair.

“I don’t have a lot of experience talking to employers, so I got that experience today,” Mullaly said. “There are more opportunities beyond NUCareers and a lot of companies I didn’t know existed until I came today. I handed out a lot of resumes.”

Amazon Robotics recruiter Margot Brown said she can relate to the nerves students felt at the career fair. Brown is a fifth-year sociology major who is on co-op as an Amazon campus recruiter.

“We’re here for co-op students because obviously that’s Northeastern’s specialty,” she said. “We’re looking for students with some type of co-op or internship experience. Ninety-five percent of our co-ops come from Northeastern and we choose to continue this partnership year after year.”

Mullaly was grateful for the opportunity to attend a career fair because he discovered a company that matched his interests.

“I talked to New Age Micro because there wasn’t anyone at their booth,” he said. “It ended up being very interesting and pertinent to my field so I was pleasantly surprised.”

Lauren LaBreck, a sales territory manager at Techtronic Industries, said TTI comes to Northeastern every year to employ new students.

“There’s a bunch of Northeastern alumni within our company who are great engineers and salesmen, so we have roots within Northeastern,” she said. “Tech is a mad race to be the best and brightest and most innovative and we want Northeastern students for that.”

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