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College of Engineering to host one of the largest career fairs in the nation

Students+attend+the+engineering+career+fair+at+Hilton+Coliseum%2C+Sept.+19%2C+2023.
Quinn Kelly
Students attend the engineering career fair at Hilton Coliseum, Sept. 19, 2023.

Whether looking for an internship, building a connection with companies or just practicing an elevator pitch, Iowa State engineering students have an on-campus opportunity to scout out job and internship opportunities. Iowa State will host a free-for-students engineering career fair Sept. 13 in the Scheman Building and from Noon–5 p.m. Sept. 19 in both the Scheman Building and Hilton Coliseum. 

As one of the largest career fairs in the nation, almost 600 companies come to meet and engage with students. Big-name companies, non-profit organizations and small businesses will be present at the fair with recognizable names like Casey’s, the city of Ames and 3M.

Brady Swartout, a freshman in mechanical engineering said he was looking forward to networking with the plethora of companies attending.

“My goal is to start relationships with companies I could see myself working for in the future,” Swartout said.

About 4,000 students participated in the career fair last year, and over 4,500 engineering students are estimated to attend this year. 

“The career fair is essential for students,” Kate Cossa, an engineering student career advisor, said. “Having this many employees face to face, all in one space, allows students to weigh their options and choose a path optimal for their future.” 

Incoming freshmen are strongly encouraged to partake in the career fair as well. Attending your first career fair without looking for a job or an internship is helpful. Not every student attending the career fair is looking for a job, yet it offers an opportunity for students to see almost 600 companies in one space. 

“Although I didn’t get an internship, I made a great connection with a company and got his contact for the future,” said Carson Shannon, a sophomore in software engineering who attended last year. 

It is essential to come prepared for the career fair, Cossa said. 

“The career fair is similar to a test,” Cossa said. “You wouldn’t show up to take a test without doing your homework or studying beforehand.”

Students planning on attending the career fair can research companies with a booth and figure out who is hiring certain majors and positions and offering internships. The biggest piece of feedback from employers who attended previous career fairs is that they wish students would prepare more beforehand. Students can find companies attending in the MyState app or CyHire

Many opportunities are available before the engineering career fair, allowing students to present their best qualities and qualifications. On-campus preparation at Iowa State includes Rapid Resume Reviews, career development seminars, One-Stop Career Fair Prep Event and the ISU Clothing Pop-Up Shop. 

Early registration for the career fair can be completed from 8–5 p.m. until Friday at 3200 Marston Hall. Students can skip the line by swiping their ISU ID card to get a name badge. 

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