Career Fair: Record amount of companies visit in search of engineers

February 13, 2019

Shown from above: the basketball courts at the Rec Center, filled with black and gold employer booths and students dressed for success.

More than 150 companies attended the Spring Career Fair on Tuesday, a new record for a Spring Engineering Career Fair.

Nearly 90 percent of Mizzou Engineering students are employed full-time, continuing their education, volunteering or serving in the military within six months of graduation. The starting salaries for engineering graduates nationally is approximately $70,000 per year. Mizzou Engineers factor heavily into the state and regional economy and its workforce, and many of them start their careers with internships and jobs found at the Career Fair.

A student in a suit shakes hands with an employer.

The fair itself is the centerpiece, but additional events included information sessions, on-campus interviews, resumé reviews and more.

More than 150 companies — the most ever for a Spring Career Fair — traveled from across Missouri and the Midwest to seek out the best and brightest engineers for their jobs and internships at Tuesday’s Spring Engineering Career Fair, held at the MizzouRec Complex.

The MU Engineering Leadership, Engagement and Career Development Academy works year-round with companies interested in hiring Mizzou Engineering students and provides them with a multitude of opportunities to meet and cultivate their future workforce.

The days surrounding the Career Fair are no exception. The fair itself is the centerpiece, but additional events include information sessions, on-campus interviews, resumé reviews and more. This spring, the Academy introduced a few new options to their robust offerings:

  • Academy Mentorship Program (year-round): A program in which mentors (engineering professionals) will mentor protégées (sophomores, juniors, seniors). Protegées may then choose to mentor mentees (first-year students). Pairs of mentors and protegées and pairs of protegées and mentees will meet throughout the semester (sometimes virtually).
  • Employer-Student Social: An opportunity for upperclassmen to showcase their communication skills in a more relaxed setting and get to know their potential employers before the Career Fair.
  • Career Studios: The week before the Career Fair, employers reviewed resumés, conducted mock interviews and provided any other student support needed.

“The entire setup is fantastic,” said CRB USA’s Jon Ficken, a 1994 Mizzou Engineering graduate. “The social gatherings they do the day before the Career Fair, being able to come in and interact with students, it allows us to follow up immediately. We have a small window to find interns and full-time employees. “

The total number of employers rose from 118 last spring, an increase of about 22 percent. Nicole Fickel — the Academy’s coordinator for employer engagement — is hopeful to bring in 200 companies in the fall.

The events and additional programming help drive employer attendance, Fickel said, but the key motivating factor for prospective employers will always remain the same.

“I think building relationships with employers is part of it. But the real key is our engineering students,” she explained. “They come back because of the quality of our engineering students.”