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Tech’s Annual Spring Engineering Fair Set For Thursday

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Tech’s Annual Spring Engineering Fair Set For Thursday

Some 1,000 Tennessee Tech Engineering students will have the chance to rub elbows with potential employers Thursday at Tech’s annual Engineering Fair.

Tech Director of Career Development Russ Coughenour said the marquee event is centered around convenience. He said he could think of no other way for students and employers to have such close contact with one another at such a large scale.

“They get to actually see,” Coughenour said. “They get to actually put their eyes on the candidate, shake hands with them, hear them speak, hear them interact, hear them answer questions. So they can formulate a pretty good idea about whether this candidate is right for the company.”

He said employers often leave the event with some 50 resumes. He said the fair offers opportunities for students looking for internships, cooperative education assignments, or full-time careers. The fair will run from 10:00am-2:00pm at the Hooper Eblen Center Thursday.

“For freshmen who have never seen anything like this before, it can be a little bit intimidating,” Coughenour said. “So it kind of desensitized them to a large-scale recruiting event like this.”

He said while freshmen are just getting their feet wet and sophomores are after internships, about 90 percent of seniors are looking for full-time positions. He said the event is also open to Tech Alumni. He said the fair is a vital first step in the enriching experiences students can get outside of a classroom.

“They can feel it,” Coughenour said. “They can sense it. They can be around people who do it for a living on an hour-to-hour, day-by-day basis. They get mentored. They also build references.”

He said students often come back from employment experiences with a new perspective on their academics. He said not only do students frequently return more serious, but they also have real, hands-on experience with many of the concepts being discussed and practiced in the class. The practical approach and greater depth of understanding add more substance to a student’s mindset and bolster the scope of what they can achieve.

“In some cases, employers stay over the next day, and they then interview students right on campus,” Coughenour said. “So a student could walk into the job fair on Thursday, talk to an employer, and actually have an interview the very next day. That next interview could lead to another interview, which ultimately leads to a full-time career start opportunity.”


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