Posted October 9th, 2009
Looking for a job? Planning to look for a job or internship this summer? Interested in a great career in engineering, science, technology management, digital media, or computer science?
If so, NYU-Poly’s Career Fair is for you. Mark your calendar for Wednesday, October 14, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., in the gym.
The Career Fair will bring students together with representatives from more than 60 companies that are hiring. Herb Scheftel, manager of the Career Fair, points out that many of the companies will have multiple job openings and internships, so there may be hundreds of jobs and internships available.
These are likely to be desirable, well-paying jobs, based on NYU-Poly’s top 10 ranking in salary potential among engineering colleges. That ranking by way of a PayScale.com survey also found that engineering, economics, physics, and computer science majors are among the top 10 that lead to high salaries. The survey also placed NYU-Poly at number 11 among the top Northeastern colleges for salary potential, behind Ivy Leagues schools like Harvard, Yale and Princeton.
The fall Career Fair has drawn an average of 71 companies over the last five years, and was up to 89 last year. “But when the economy took a turn, that dropped off; if you’re not hiring, you’re not coming,” notes Scheftel. The spring Fair had just 46 companies, but slightly over 60 are registered for next week — an encouraging 30% increase.
Many of these companies are perennial visitors — offering mechanical, civil and electrical engineering, plus defense, computers and research jobs. New this year are NASA, companies in the fields of medical devices and energy, and more than a dozen startups from NYU-Poly incubators, including its new 160 Varick Street location.
What goes on at the Fair? You’ll drop your résumé with companies that interest you; bring 40 to 50 copies. To prepare, research each company you plan to visit so you can come armed with pertinent questions. You’ll have the opportunity to speak with representatives — many of them NYU-Poly alums — about real-world prospects and procedures.
Nina K. Weber, director of the Career Management Center, urges students to “go over to the table and ask questions. Maybe be a little provocative. For example, you might say you’re interested in the Army but you’re not sure it’s suitable for women.”
She notes that entrepreneurial firms might be looking for interns rather than offering paying jobs. “Over the past two years, students wouldn’t work without pay, but now, in this recession, we encourage them to consider it,” she says. “They get work experience and something on their résumé, and they never know who they’ll meet.”
According to Scheftel, even students who aren’t looking for a job can benefit. “Networking is what you want to do,” he says. “Pick up literature and see what you might be interested in. Maybe ask a company rep questions, and listen to what other students are asking.”
Will you get a job offer on Wednesday? Probably not. Some companies do stay and interview students on campus the next day; others will have you apply via their web site. You should feel free to ask about their process.
Workshops, e-learning courses, and classes are available to help students prepare for the Career Fair and other employer interactions (details below). “Companies want to hire people who will fit in,” says Weber. “That’s what we teach them.” Counselors will assist in honing every aspect of their presentation, from updating résumés to helping with students’ personal image, such as what to wear (and not wear) and how to shake hands. “We help them prepare the ‘short introductory speech (elevator speech),’ when they have two or three minutes to say something important,” she says. “Most important, we remind them to thank everyone they speak with.”