Students pack Engineering & IT Industry Career Day for shot at internships, jobs

TVA recruiter Michelle Woods, left, talks to chemical engineering major Alexandra Smith. (Heidi Hall/Vanderbilt University)

Nearly 400 Vanderbilt University engineering students in their best interview attire packed the Student Life Center on Tuesday, all hoping to land internships or permanent jobs with companies eager to attract them.

For the 50 companies represented, a visit to Engineering & IT Industry Career Day is a must, several recruiters said, because Vanderbilt offers top talent to fill challenging positions.

“We hired our first Vanderbilt student three or four years ago, and we’ve hired at least one every year since then,” said Paul Stanley, vice president of marketing and business development for Nashville-based mobile app developer Mercury. “We’re looking for the best and the brightest.”

It’s important that Mercury, the developer behind the New York Times, Washington Post and Showtime mobile apps, gets the publicity of attending career day even if recruiters don’t immediately find a candidate there, Stanley said.

Chemical engineering major Alexandra Smith, who will graduate in 2017, stood in line for a chance to talk to a Tennessee Valley Authority representative about a summer internship and planned to talk to Noranda Aluminum recruiters as well. “I’m interested in renewable energy,” she said.

Smith also attended a fall career day on her internship quest. The September event attracted a record-breaking 607 students.

See a photo album from Tuesday’s event.

DENSO North America attends the event to find candidates “to help us take our business to the next level,” said Brian Crawford, a recruiter at Tuesday’s career day.

Ben Cook

He said DENSO is the second-largest Tier 1 automotive supplier in the world and hires mechanical, electrical and industrial engineers. Britt Autry, vice president of DENSO’s North American Production Promotion Center, serves on the School of Engineering’s Board of Visitors.

Ben Cook, who plans to graduate with degrees in computer engineering and cognitive studies in 2016, said he attended career day looking for a summer internship that will strengthen his computer science experience.

“Every once in a while, I find a company that really fits both my majors,” he said. “And then I think, ‘I want that!’”

Engineering & IT Industry Career Day companies

Amazon, Aon, AT&T, Bedroc, Bell Associates Construction, Big Ass Solutions, BNY Mellon, Brasfield & Gorrie, Brooksource, Bury Inc., Camgian Microsystems, Capgemini, Capital One, Computer Tech Solutions, DCS Corporation, DENSO Manufacturing, Digital Reasoning, DISH Network, Emdeon, Epic, Eventbrite, Fast Enterprises, HCA Healthcare, Institute for Software Integrated Systems, InVivoLink, Jackson National Life, Manhattan Associates, Mechanical Resource Group, Mercury, Messer Construction, MetLife, Metova, Microsoft, National Instruments, Neel-Schaffer Inc., Noranda Aluminum, Peace Corps, PharmaSys Inc., PowerPlan Consultants, QGenda, Quality Manufacturing Systems Inc., SFEG Corp., Skanska USA, Smith Seckman Reid, Stantec Consulting Services Inc., Tennessee Valley Authority, UBS, UnitedHealth Group, Urban Science, Whiting-Turner Contracting Co.


Heidi Hall, (615) 322-6614
On Twitter @VUEngineering