RIT university-wide career fair attracts thousands of students seeking new paths
RIT student Praneeta Sambaraju came to the RIT university-wide job fair hoping to find a summer or fall co-op experience working with medical devices or products pharmaceuticals, all with a strong research component. She looks forward to speaking with representatives from Johnson & Johnson and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.
Sambaraju, a sophomore biomedical engineering major from Buffalo, NY, joined approximately 4,000 other students and alumni seeking co-ops, internships or full-time employment Sept. 21 at Gordon Field House. Recruiters from nearly 230 local, regional and national companies, including Thomson Reuters, Kodak Alaris, Collins Aerospace, L3Harris and O’Connell Electric Co., were in attendance.
“The job fair is very fast, so I hope to do my best to make a good first impression quickly,” Sambaraju said. “I’ve done my homework when it comes to reading about employers, so I think I’m ready to offer them the skills they’re looking for.”
RIT’s co-op program is one of the oldest in the nation, dating back to 1912. More than 5,000 RIT students typically complete a co-op program each year.
“Students are so excited for this year’s fair,” said Maria Richart, director of career services and cooperative education at RIT. “There has always been incredible turnout from our students, from prep events to the actual job fair. And our employers are great as usual and know the quality of the students they’ll be hiring. .
Career fair preview events included lessons on how to write cover letters and resumes, how to deliver effective elevator pitches, and mock interviews.
Kaitlin Lockhart, a second-year biomedical engineering student from Binghamton, NY, took full advantage of the offers.
“My goal was to be prepared and confident and these co-op classes helped me a lot.”
Jamie Howard ’08 (BS/MS Computer Engineering), senior design architect and project manager for the ASIC engineering group at Ciena, is back on campus to recruit.
“I love the energy of co-ops and new recruits. That’s where the innovation comes from, that energy paired with experienced people who have been in the industry longer,” said Howard, who is also a member of RIT’s Industry Advisory Board for Computer Engineering. “When I ask an interview question, I don’t necessarily care if they’re successful, but I do want to see that sparkle in their eyes that indicates they’re interested in the issue.”
Jake Colucci ’22 (computer engineering), an embedded systems software test engineer at MKS Instruments, is hiring after graduating last spring. “I’m thrilled to be back here just because I was nervous being here at the job fair as a student, and so I wanted to at least be an approachable person to talk to,” a- he declared. “And to be honest, I wanted to see my little brother walk around here too.”
Jake’s brother, Joe, a third-year industrial engineering student in Canandaigua, NY, is looking for co-op experience related to renewable energy.
“I love that we’re able to connect with hundreds of potential employers who are all in one place,” Joe said. “And I’m delighted to see my brother in his role as a recruiter, but I won’t be having an interview with him,” he joked.