The Engineering Career and Internship Fair took place in the CSU Ballroom on Thursday, Feb. 9. The Internship Fair was sponsored by the MNSU branch of the Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers (IEEE).
Dominique Torres, the president of the IEEE organization at MNSU, explained that the IEEE is “a national institute for engineers and people in the industry. It ranges from students through our branch here at MNSU to professional engineers who have been in the field from maybe two to fifty years.”
Engineering students were able to network with professionals in their field through the IEEE organization.
The Engineering Job Fair provided an opportunity for engineering students to network with employers and establish connections. There were about 65 employers at the fair, and most were looking for computer, electrical, civil, and mechanical engineering students. Some employers were looking for computer science majors and IT majors, as well as some looking for construction and project management.
Torres explained why it is important to have a job fair specifically for engineers:
“In the past we’ve noticed that with the larger job fairs, a lot of companies don’t have the opportunity to reach out to specifically engineers,” she said. “We saw that opportunity to bring in specifically engineering and construction management companies that would allow the students a more specific and direct route to get those jobs.”
The fair provided opportunities for internships, co-ops, and full-time positions in engineering. Internships would last for three months and co-ops for six months. Torres explained that there were a lot of companies at the fair that would support students on the road to taking the PE exam.
“[These companies] have engineers that have worked and taken the PE exam,” said Torres. “All you would need to do is work under them for five years in order to take your PE exam.”
After passing the exam, one would have a professional engineering certificate, which is required in order to become a professional engineer.
The National Society of Professional Engineers explains this further on their website, nspe.org. The website says that a professional, licensed engineer is different than just an engineer, because “only a licensed engineer may prepare, sign and seal, and submit engineering plans and drawings to a public authority for approval. PEs shoulder the responsibility for not only their work, but also for the lives affected by that work and must hold themselves to high ethical standards of practice.”
In order to become a professional engineer, one must prove themselves to be competent and highly skilled. They must reach this level of competence by learning from and working for other professionals for five years.
Torres also explained why it is more convenient to have an engineering job fair early in the semester:
“There is a lot of paperwork and stuff that needs to be done prior to your start date. So if you can get that stuff done and under your belt, then they know when the hard parts of the semester come like mid-terms and finals week, you’re not trying to stress and find a job as well as take your test and do well in school. If you don’t do well in school, you’re not going to get a job, and if you don’t have a job, what’s your motivation to do well in school?”