Tech, all-career job fairs keep growing

Job fair

Career fairs are popular with students and employers. / Marc Studer photos

By Douglas Esser
To meet growing interest from employers and students alike, the University of Washington Bothell Career Services held job fairs on two days — instead of one — in October at the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) on campus.

The Tech & Engineering Fair Oct. 17 and the All-Industries Career Fair Oct. 18 brought together about 70 employers and 800 job seekers. Because of crowds at previous fairs, this was the first time they were scheduled on two days, said Kim Wilson, interim director of Career Services.

The fairs are open to UW Bothell and Cascadia College students as well as alumni and community members, said Susan Vinson, employer relations manager.

Prepared by Career Services, many of the students arrived well-dressed, resumes at the ready, with a 30-second “elevator pitch” to make a good first impression. The ARC hummed with the interactions, and lines formed at many tables.

Genie posterGenie, the Redmond-based manufacturer of industrial lift equipment, was looking to fill 40 engineering and supply chain internships, said Daisy Apigo, human resources program manager.

“We’ve met a lot of smart, great students, and we’ve got a ton of resumes to pore through,” Apigo said. “We’re excited to see the candidate pool and then to move forward with offers.”

Alana HudsonFast Enterprises, a Denver-based software company that provides services to state governments, met with more than 70 students in one day and set 13 follow-up interviews on campus, said Alana Hudson, a recruiter who came from Memphis for the event.

Hudson was surprised by the interest as well as the number of students who had researched the company in advance, instead of just asking at the fair what they do.

“It puts their best foot forward as well as helping me figure out if we’re the company for them,” Hudson said. “I am thoroughly impressed with UW Bothell, and I’ve never been here before.”

T-Mobile bannerHelping represent T-Mobile, one of the biggest employers of UW Bothell graduates, was Mariam Gewida, a June graduate from the School of Business who first started with the company as a summer intern. She’s now a technical account manager at the Bellevue headquarters.

T-Mobile is looking for employees with a combination of business and engineering knowledge and the flexibility to take on challenges, Gewida said. From its cybersecurity internship program, T-Mobile knows UW Bothell students “have the ability to grow and expand on their knowledge,” she said.

James Solis, a Finance major still two years away from graduation, was first in line for the opening of the all-industries fair, looking for an internship. It was his first career fair outside of high school, and he was glad to find the Career Services pamphlet that pointed him to employers seeking his major.

“Having this opportunity on campus is extremely helpful in trying to get your name out there and to be able to see what there is,” Solis said.

Laura Frankland, due to graduate in fall 2018, had just finished classes for her double major: Society, Ethics and Human Behavior; and Interdisciplinary Arts.

“I have many, many interests,” she said. “I’m here to see what the options are today, to see what’s out there. I’m able to walk around, talk to different people, interview them about what their activities are and see if it’s something I would like to do.”

Alexandra Likholetova, a Media & Communications Studies alumna who graduated in August, just started looking for a position after taking some time for travel in Russia. “Now I’m ready,” she said.

With her experience and interest, Likholetova is looking for work in public relations, social media management or communications in a creative setting “where my voice is heard.”

Compared to applying for a job from only a computer, she added, the one-on-one contact at the career fair is an “amazing” opportunity. “My face matches the resume now,” she said. “I’m able to give the first impression.”

In a related activity, the School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and UW Bothell Career Services take students on “tech treks” to local technology companies. On the trek set for this November, 35 students will visit Microsoft and Expedia, said Michael Kimball-Bryant, graduate career counselor for the School of STEM. The treks give students a firsthand look at engineering and computing work places.

Job fair