March 5, 2013

The PMAC was buzzing with representatives from about 200 companies looking for students to fill internships, co-ops and full-time jobs at the spring Science, Technology and Engineering Expo. This year’s event was one of the largest in the last five years, with 120 companies from engineering fields.

The semi-annual Career Expo, hosted by Career Services, presents numerous opportunities for LSU students. Because the economy in areas of science, technology, engineering and math is rebounding strongly, companies are investing more time in the Expo. The Expo also helps students discover companies that they may not have thought would hire from a particular discipline.

Dean Rick Koubek stressed the importance of the College of Engineering’s relationship with the industry in his opening remarks at the Expo.

 “We want to make sure that the skill sets we teach students will be valuable to them as new hires or as leaders down the road,” Koubek said.

More students are enrolled in the College of Engineering than any other engineering college in the state, Koubek said. He credits the companies and the connections the College has with them for this achievement.  

Several companies expressed similar criteria for what they sought in undergraduates at the event.

Representatives from Marathon Petroleum Company said that their primary concern was how students presented themselves at the Expo. They looked for strong communication skills, self-presentation and good GPAs.

“If you can’t really sell yourself, you aren’t going to get a job in the industry,” Jason McClung, a Marathon representative, said.

Danny Kais, LSU alumnus and president of Sigma Engineers and Constructors, Inc., said that companies like to train and mold students early through internships and co-ops so that they’re better prepared for a job within that company or with another company after graduation.

“The most valuable thing students can do is get as much experience as possible,” Kais said. “Don’t go to school during the summer; take a summer job in your field, instead.”

Albemarle Corporation employee and LSU alumnus Garrett Dupre said that the information he learned through his engineering degree provided him with a strong foundation for his internship with Albemarle, which eventually led to a full-time job.

Dupre also expressed the value of being able to meet with several employers in one day at the Career Expo and the uniqueness of that experience.

The Expo proved to be a huge success with more than 1,200 students attending the Science, Technology and Engineering Expo.

“Students truly benefit from the face-to-face interaction with the employers,” said Trey Truitt, associate director of employment services, LSU Career Services. “Many of the employers in attendance were hiring managers, decision makers and LSU alumni. Simply applying online doesn’t afford a candidate the same level of networking as the direct contract afforded by attending the Career Expo.”

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Article written by Elise Bernard, communications intern. For more information, contact Cassie Thibeaux, College of Engineering, carcen6@lsu.edu or (225) 578-0092. 



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