Fifty employers recruited students for engineering internships and full-time jobs at the 23rd Annual iExpo Industry Career Fair, held on the University of Arizona campus on February 16, 2015. Many of the 700-plus College of Engineering students attending scheduled interviews, some for the very same day, anticipating that job offers would follow.
Presented annually by the UA Engineering Student Council, iExpo is the state of Arizona’s largest student-run career fair specifically for engineers.
Recruiters from Honeywell, Intel, American Express, Tucson Electric Power, United Health Group, Garmin International, BNSF Railway Company, and other major employers advertised hundreds of jobs around the United States and the world.
Kelly Maroney, a sophomore majoring in systems engineering, helped organize the program.
“iExpo is really cool because it is totally student-run,” she said. “We organize it completely on our own. Every company was brought here by us.”
The experience is almost like a job itself, she said. “You get so much real-life experience talking to company representatives and working with other students to bring them on campus.”
Strong Alumni Presence
Dozens of recruiters were UA College of Engineering alumni who returned to campus from across the United States.
Honeywell, one of the largest employers of UA Engineering students and graduates, sent three alumni to iExpo to recruit for 30 internships and full-time positions nationally and overseas.
“Year after year, UA students are recognized within Honeywell as highly motivated and enthusiastic employees bringing fresh ideas to the workplace,” said Julie Riccitello, who earned her bachelor’s degree in systems engineering in 1986 and works in strategic product development at the company’s Phoenix and Tucson offices, where several UA alumni from the class of 2014 are now working.
Jessica Kelly, who earned her bachelor’s degree in engineering management in 2009, traveled from the greater Houston area to recruit for CB&I, a global energy infrastructure company.
“The UA is very invested in helping students get jobs,” Kelly said. “It actively encourages and helps students build their professional networks, improve their résumés, sharpen communications skills and gain practical experience to make them more attractive to employers.”
In fact, engineering management majors are not just encouraged to gain experience outside class; they are required to, with internships.
Kelly worked as an intern for CB&I during her senior year and was hired by the company right out of college. She worked as a trainee for the company in Houston, Trinidad and Tobago, and Dubai, and is now a project controls engineer overseeing $10 million budgets.
National electrical consulting firm ECI sent five UA alumni -- three design engineers and two managers -- to iExpo to recruit civil and electrical engineers for the company’s Tucson office, Montana headquarters, and several other offices nationally. Three of the recruiters were class of 2012 civil engineering graduates, all hired at a UA job fair. Another recruiter, ECI engineering manager Brad Stringham, graduated from the master’s program in civil engineering.
The College of Engineering’s Senior Design Program was a frequent topic of conversation at iExpo.
Gary Spangenberg, director of engineering at Sargent Aerospace & Defense, earned his UA bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 2001. Sargent sponsored his senior design project and hired him right after graduation.
“Today, when I look to hire engineering students from any university, one of the first things I want to know about is their senior design project,” he said.
Flexible and Productive
Several iExpo recruiters commented on UA students’ broad perspectives, adaptability and other qualities important for professional success.
Salt River Project recruiter Herjinda Hawkins has hired many UA students over the years.
“UA students are so well versed from a flexibility standpoint,” she said. “They look at problems with a macro and holistic view. They are not just focused on solving a technical problem, but on understanding the broader issues.”
Nate Morgan has recruited for Lockheed-Martin’s Denver offices since earning his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the UA in 2000. “We hire people from the UA because they are high producers,” he said. “We’re looking at strengthening our relationship with the College of Engineering and bringing more Wildcats to Denver.”
After graduating in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, Dylan Moriarty was hired by Sandia National Laboratories, which paid for him to earn a master’s in energy resources engineering at Stanford University. He now conducts research on energy efficiency in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
iExpo 2015 allowed UA Engineering students to meet alumni like Moriarty and line up interviews for internships and full-time jobs.
Halfway through the day’s program, iExpo organizer Kelly Maroney, who secured her own upcoming summer internship with Honeywell months earlier, said she was hearing great feedback from other students.
“Students say they’ve already gotten interviews scheduled for later this week,” she said. “Some even have on-campus interviews today.”
One of those students, Jason Scott Teich, spoke with several company reps at iExpo, including Michael Morales of Sundt Construction.
“Michael asked if I was available to interview the next morning,” said Teich, a junior majoring in engineering management. “The interview went very well. He said he would be putting my résumé at the top of their stack for summer internships.”
Sponsors of iExpo 2015 were Sandia National Laboratories, Raytheon, State Farm, General Motors Information Technology, Electrical Consultants Inc., Axosoft, iFactor and Tyler Technologies.
Top picture: Honeywell recruiters and UA alumnae Marla Peterson (left) and Julie Riccitello (right) took a break to pose with UA sophomore Kelly Maroney, an iExpo organizer who will intern for Honeywell this summer. (Photos: UA College of Engineering/Jill Goetz)