UT Engineering EXPO attracts engineering students, companies

Tanya Raghu

Among 5,000 students crammed into the Frank Erwin Center were tech giant representatives for Amazon and Google during the annual UT Engineering EXPO.

The EXPO, hosted by the Student Engineering Council, is one of the largest student-run career fairs in the nation and has been hosted for over 30 years. 

Computer and telecom giants Dell and AT&T also sent representatives to the EXPO, which attracted students of all ages. The EXPO is a two-day event and continues today. 

“It’s a great time to get face-to-face time with a lot of the different companies but in a not-too-tense setting like in an interview,” said Ciara McDaniel, Engineering EXPO director and petroleum engineering senior. 

The EXPO Committee is comprised of 21 Cockrell students and is led by directors McDaniel and Zachary Miller who have been planning for the event since December 2017. 

“It’s a great opportunity for students to check out all the employers and speak to them to gain more interview, public speaking and professional experience, especially for the underclassmen to see what the real world is like,” said Sophia Song, chemical engineering senior and EXPO publicity committee chair. 

This year, organizers streamlined the process of registration for companies and students by allowing them to register and post job openings at the same time using the program Symplicity. 

“It’s brought its own challenges, but it’s been much better,” McDaniel said.

Sulzer, one of the companies in attendance, is a Swiss industrial manufacturing company and is one of the leading providers of rotating equipment around the world. 

“It’s always been a great experience since (Sulzer) is a Houston-based company. People don’t always know what we do, but it has been a fun process to tell them what we do and what their interests are,” said Jennifer Gaines, Sulzer mechanical design engineer. “Sometimes, you do have people who come up to us and say, ‘I want to work for you,’ and those are the people we are excited to talk to.” 

Both underclassmen students looking to gain experience with professionals and seniors seriously looking for full-time jobs were in attendance. 

“I want to start working part time in the spring then hopefully find a part-time job,” architectural engineering senior Abigail Thompson said. “At first it was interview practice and as I’ve built my confidence, I’ve gotten more out of it.”