On Sept. 26, Career Development Services (CDS) will host the Fall 2018 Career Fair — a gathering that will bring together hundreds of employers in search of talent and thousands of jobseekers looking for internship and co-op opportunities as well as full-time positions. The career fair returns to NJIT’s new Wellness and Events Center, which provides all attendees a modern, state-of-the art recruitment space in which to meet people and make contacts.
Mechanical engineering senior Eshita Shah knows full well the value of CDS career fairs. The Belleville, N.J., resident, who moved to the U.S. from India as a teenager, was a jobseeker at the Spring 2018 Career Fair. She attended previous career fairs every semester since joining the university community, but admits that her lack of proper preparation prevented her from getting an internship offer.
Fortunately, this past career fair panned out differently. Shah scored an 11-week summer internship with Valcor Engineering, known for making highly sophisticated electromechanical valves for various applications in the aerospace, nuclear, medical and defense industries. She was assigned to the company’s nuclear/scientific engineering department, based in its Springfield, N.J., headquarters, where she was involved in project design and analysis.
Here’s how she navigated the career fair and got the job:
She researched the employers.
“I used the list of participating companies to see … what positions were open. It was helpful to me, because I was able to narrow it down to the companies that I wanted to talk to. I researched about every company on my list and categorized them by different areas: aerospace, medical, defense, chemical, appliances, etc. … Researching companies not only prepares you to talk to the recruiters, but also helps you explore new career paths offered at those companies. Personally, I became more aware of the areas I really like, my ideal work environment and what I expected to gain from the career opportunities offered at different companies. In the process, I also became more confident.”
She prepared her presentation.
“I was very well prepared this time. … I had my elevator pitch ready and rehearsed it a few times. I also brought multiple copies of my resume to the career fair, as well as an engineering project report from freshman year to show employers my proficiency in 3D software I have listed on my resume.”
She met with the companies she researched and then some — with great results.
“I did receive an internship offer from Astrodyne TDI. I researched this company and attended their career fair prep session, in collaboration with SWE [Society of Women Engineers]. At the session, I talked with one of the recruiters to find out more about their hiring process and what they expected from students at the career fair.
Valcor Engineering came up in my research, but I didn’t include it in my list because I wanted to give more time and preparation to the companies that I was more familiar with. … I decided to talk to Valcor Engineering because I read about the company on their retractable banner. They listed their mission and areas of expertise on it. After learning about the company’s reputation and expertise in challenging industries such as space, defense, nuclear and power, I decided to add them to my list of prospective employers.”
She expressed her enthusiasm about the company and internship opportunity.
“I asked the recruiter for her business card, but she didn’t have any at the time. Regardless, I told her to feel free to reach out to me either via email or over the phone if she had any more questions … and I handed her my resume right after saying my elevator pitch. … I heard from Valcor within a week of meeting them at the career fair. I received the offer via email one week after interviewing on-site.”
So how did her internship go? “It went well!” said Shah. “I worked under design engineers and assisted them with design analysis for design reports and code verification to ensure the customer requirements were met.
“It was a pleasure to work with a passionate group of people who take pride in the products they make as well as encourage growth and creativity,” added Shah, who would like to become an astronaut. “I was not only able to apply what I learned at school, but also gain a valuable engineering experience learning from the professionals.”
ATTENTION FAIRGOERS: Take advantage of the following CDS pre-fair preparation events:
– Sept. 17: Practice Interviews With Corporate Recruiters! Visit CDS, 200 Fenster, for more info.
– Sept. 17: Workshop on Career Fair Do’s and Don’ts! Central King Building 116, 4 to 5 p.m.
– Sept. 20: Resume Day – Resume Reviews With Corporate Recruiters! Campus Center Lobby, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
And be sure to use your Handshake account to research, view and apply for openings with employers who are attending the fair!