Peer Perspective: Employer Expo Recap by Mary Bathon ’16

The following is a nice recap from our CDC Peer Specialist Mary Bathon ’16 with an engineering audience in mind (it appeared in the Engineering Newsletter). Don’t let that particular slant deter you – it is filled with many great tips from alumni, recruiters, employers, and Mary!

On September 17, Gerhard Fieldhouse was transformed into a host venue for the 2015 Employer Expo. Recruiters and alumni were eager to talk to Bucknell students and even hire quite a few of them! Among the 108 companies that attended, there were over 50 companies recruiting engineering students (and over 100 overall!). Representatives from the construction, manufacturing, chemical, energy, and financial industries were all eager to see what Bucknell students had to offer. They gave great feedback and even offered advice to students looking for jobs and internships in these industries.

Know your company- Employers can tell when you are excited about their company. Just a few minutes of research can go a long way. For example, if you want to work for a construction firm like Whiting-Turner, know that you will be spending most of your days on-site and probably getting your hands dirty. Look up market trends and news articles about the companies you are interested in. A tip from Wacker Chemical: no one is interested in everything! Find one or two divisions in the company that interest you and match your experience with the skills required.

  • CDC tip- Alums are great sources of information! Use the Bucknell Alumni App to connect with alumni eager to talk to Bucknellians and even set up informational interviews!

Think on your feet- These industries operate at a fast pace, and employees must be able to adapt to any last-minute changes. Manufacturing firms Avery Dennison and Essroc Italcementi stressed that no day is ever the same. You may be asked to start a project in the morning and by lunch that project is either completely changed or you will be needed in a client meeting off-site. Highlight those organizational skills!

  • CDC Tip- Be prepared to answer the question: Describe a time when you were working on a project and something went wrong. How did you react to this change?

Smile!- Okay so your resume is prefect- you have all the technical background and research experience for the job you want. So what then is most impressive to employers? You! How you present yourself will have a major impact on whether you make it to the next stage of an interview. When asked what the number one thing they look for when hiring college graduates, every single employer interviewed replied, “communication skills.” As a Jaros, Baum, and Bolles recruiter put it, every area of their company requires you to work with a team every day and work closely with clients. Employers want someone who will fit in with their team and represent their company well.

  • CDC Tip- Hate talking about yourself? Schedule a mock interview with a CDC Career Counselor!

A final point worth mentioning- every employer interviewed remarked how impressed he or she was with Bucknell students this year! Alums were especially excited about how the engineering department has continued to grow over the years to better prepare its students for the job market. So give yourselves a pat on the back students and good luck!

Think that it’s too late to put these tips into practice? Have no fear. We have several more career fairs that will be happening throughout the year … speaking of which the deadline to sign up to attend the NYC Finance Fair is 9/28

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