Internship fair help students network

Students and businesses crowded into the Centennial Student Ballroom Thursday, February 10 for the Engineering Career and Internship Fair at Minnesota State University, Mankato. 

Students majoring in a variety of STEM related fields gathered to network and find potential employers, as well as explore the possibilities available to them. A wide variety of companies, ranging from representatives from construction and architectural firms to electrical engineering businesses, came in the hopes of attracting interns and future employees.

The event was organized by MSU’s chapter of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Career Development Center.

Cris Solorzano, chair for the MSU IEEE chapter, said, “The event was for engineering students to get internships and jobs with future employers. [We wanted to get] all the engineering community involved and make sure everyone can see what they want to do eventually.”

Students were given printed name badges upon scanning their student ID at the entrance.  Businesses had informational pamphlets and free items for students who came to their booths.

Isatou Njie, a freshman construction management major, talked about coming to the career fair for information. 

“I’m just trying to know more about my field and make sure that this is what I want to do because I’m not really sure yet. I’m a freshman and it’s my first semester. I just want to make sure I’m making the right choice so far,” Nijie said.

Arib Al Razi, a freshman civil engineering major who wishes to work in surveying or steel bridge construction, attended the fair because both his professor and brother recommended the event. 

Razi said, “Even if you don’t get a job, you can come just to get to know people.”

The importance of the event for networking was echoed by several students who came to the fair.

“I just really wanted to get some advice from companies that have been doing this for a while and to put myself out there,” said junior Benjamin Truebenbach, a construction management major.

John Kargel, a sophmore construction management major, said he was looking to gain additional construction related experience, as he has previously worked in the construction industry. 

“I just wanted to get out and talk to a couple of companies. I did come to the career fair in the fall and talk to a few companies and I wanted to keep in touch with them,” Kargel said.

Many businesses came to recruit and network with students as well.

Beth Friberg, representing the Department of Career Pathways at the Minnesota Department of Transportation, said, “We are looking for civil engineering and any student that’s interested in construction or surveying. We have several different positions that are open. We’re hoping to find some good students and let them know about the positions we have open.”

David Lamas, a HR staffing specialist for Duininck Inc., said they were looking for construction management and civil engineering students. “Recruitment of these fine young students from Mankato,” was why Lamas represented his business at the fair.

Header Photo: The Engineering Career and Internship Fair was hosted in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom which offered students information about internship opportunities. (Jeremy Redlien)

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