Fall 2011 Engineering Industry Career Day report

The Vanderbilt Career Center (VCC) hosted an Engineering Industry Career Day at the Student Life Center with 57 companies from across the nation in attendance on Sept. 27. Industry Career Days are invitation-only events which offer a smaller, more intimate atmosphere in order to facilitate connections between employers and Vanderbilt’s top talent.

Nearly 400 students participated, representing 25 percent of the School of Engineering undergraduate and graduate student population. Freshman through Ph.D. students had several hours to peruse the displays from each company, speak to representatives about career paths and hand out resumes for potential internship positions or full-time opportunities. A variety of organizations participated representing infrastructure, aerospace, healthcare, automotive, energy, software, research, consulting, construction, defense, manufacturing, telecommunications, consulting and business solutions fields.

The Engineering Industry Career Day continues to grow in real employment opportunities through the combined efforts of students, faculty, alumni, and the Career Center. Of the 141 individuals representing their organizations, 45 were VUSE alumni who have launched careers in industry and who returned to campus to connect with current students. More than 30 faculty members participated by connecting with prospective employers and introducing students to those who might be a good match.

According to VCC, when employers were asked how the Vanderbilt Industry Career Day compared to other schools’ recruiting events, 69.2% rated Vanderbilt Excellent and 30.8% rated the event Above Average.  The event provided an opportunity for students to market their skills effectively to prospective employers.  Of the surveyed employers 41.7% said they met 11-25 viable candidates and 25% said they met 25-50 viable candidates during the event.

Students surveyed following the event also responded positively.  74.9% said the most important thing they got out of attending was learning about different opportunities in different industries, 57.4% said it was networking with recruiters, and 53.8% said it was hearing about current openings. Students were engaged in the process and found the best matches for their interests during the event, 68.6% of students surveyed said they would pursue an internship or full-time position with one of these companies. The Engineering/IT Industry Career Day also helped to educate students in their field of interest.

In addition to this career day and one in the spring, VCC offers career coaching appointments, workshops, career panels and field trips.