Over 70 Companies Attending March 9 Career Fair

More than 70 companies will attend Polytechnic Institute of NYU’s spring Career Fair tomorrow. Attendance had dropped to 46 at the height of the economic downturn two years ago.

That increased participation may be a promising sign of the times for job and internship seekers. According to a National Association of Colleges and Employers survey, employers plan to hire 13.5 percent more new bachelor’s graduates from the class of 2011 than they did from the class of 2010.

It’s not just quantity that is expected to draw students to tomorrow’s fair. Top companies such as Booz Allen Hamilton, UBS, NASA, Fujitsu, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Northrop Grumman will be in attendance.

Booz Allen has expressed an immediate need for at least 30 new hires in the New York area, mostly in cybersecurity. Both Booz Allen and Northrop Grumman will also hold company presentations following the fair where students can learn more about the company, the positions being offered, and in the case of Booz Allen, potentially connect with a recruiter for an on-campus interview.

James Sillcox, director of the Career Management Center, said he was optimistic about where the job market is headed for NYU-Poly graduates and NYU-Poly’s ability to attract leading organizations to future fairs (it holds annual fall and spring fairs). That optimism has a lot to do with the historically resilient engineering sector during tough economic times, as well earning potential rankings. Forbes, for example, placed NYU-Poly in the top ten of “Colleges That Will Make You Rich” in 2010.

While NYU-Poly students may have brighter prospects than others, they should still aggressively plan their careers. For freshman, sophomores, and juniors, that means getting internship experience. “More companies are leaning on their interns to fill their full-time positions,” explained Mr. Sillcox. “That’s a trend across industries, but especially in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields.”

What are graduating seniors and master’s students to do if they haven’t had an internship yet? Many companies offer internships to graduates and have training programs to help mold new hires. Research and lab experience can also substitute for formal internships.

Whether it’s internships or full-time positions that students are looking for, Mr. Sillcox stresses that they prepare in advance so they can talk intelligently with recruiters. Before walking up to a company representative, a candidate should know what the company does, the positions they have open, and how she or he is the best match.

The Spring Career Fair will be held on Wednesday, March 9, from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm in the Gymnasium. It's open to all students and alumni of NYU-Poly and NYU free of charge. (See a list of participating companies.)