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Working To Help Students Plan for Future Careers

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Center for Career and Professional Development Hosts Annual Spring Career Fair

February 13, 2013

It’s never too early to start planning for future career opportunities. To help Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute students who are interested in identifying, planning for, and achieving future career goals, the Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) is hosting the annual Spring Career Fair today.

More than 2,000 Rensselaer undergraduate and graduate students will have an opportunity to meet and talk with more than 300 representatives from more than 117 public-and private-sector employers.

Now in its 12th year, the fair is designed to help students think ahead to potential full-time, co-op, internship, or summer employment opportunities.

“Today’s employers really desire students who have had some experience while in college,” said Dawn Cairns-Weaver, director of experiential learning and cooperative education, who is also serving as chair for the Spring Career Fair. “This is what gives a student the competitive edge when it comes to landing a full-time job.”

Cairns-Weaver noted that last year, as a result of participating in various co-op opportunities, Rensselaer graduates landed jobs within the Capital Region and beyond with companies that included: Advanced Micro Devices, American Airlines, Bank of America, Cisco Systems, Cleveland Clinic, Deutsche Bank, Ecovative Design, Face book, GlobalFoundries, Hasbro, Hershey Company, IBM, Intel, MIT/Lincoln Lab, NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center, Naval Research Laboratory, NYSE Euronext, PepsiCo, and Vistaprint .

“Career fairs create an opportunity for employers to meet with many students informally in a relatively short period of time,” Cairns-Weaver added. “Most important, for students, attending career fairs is an ideal way to network with prospective employers, obtain information about various industries, and generate a list of contacts. In addition, as a result of our targeted residence hall outreach programs developed for the CLASS initiative, we have seen an increase in the number of first-year students and sophomores who are visiting the career center, who also plan to attend the career fair. Many of the students have expressed that they understand the value of starting early – and this is great news for us to hear.”  

This year, 37 employers participating in the fair hail from New York state and the Northeast, including several Capital Region-based companies. More than 30 employers are new to recruiting at Rensselaer. Participating companies include: Accenture Federal Services, Amazon, Apple Inc., Blue Sky Studios, Blue Water Media, Boeing, GE, Google, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, JP Morgan Chase, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Originate, Palantir Technologies, Schlumberger, Tripadvisor, and ZS Associates.

In addition, to further help students plan and prepare for their first encounter with participating companies, the center will set up a “Pitching Corner” in collaboration with the Archer Center for Student Leadership Development.

“The overall mission of the center is to be a catalyst in the development of Rensselaer students to become world leaders in a technologically based global economy,” Cairns-Weaver said. “The center is focused on providing programs and services to assist students in discovering and clarifying career choices, and to teach them to manage their careers effectively.”

Additional initiatives under way include programs to support and prepare graduate students for careers in academia or within the public-and private sector industries; as well as efforts to streamline the career process for veterans in order to connect them with prospective employers.

In addition to the Center for Career and Professional Development, other Rensselaer groups that helped to support the event include the Division of Student Life, several academic departments and administrators, student athletes, ROTC students, and Rensselaer Union student clubs.

Contact: Jessica Otitigbe
Phone: (518) 276-6050
E-mail: otitij@rpi.edu