Texas Convergent holds reverse career fair where recruiters hear student pitches

Sana Hameed

Texas Convergent, a business and technology entrepreneurial organization, hosted the second Side Project Expo on Tuesday evening, where the recruiters came to the students to learn about projects they had been working on outside of class.

At the expo, 10 teams pitched their projects to recruiters from Chevron, Dell and others.

“It (is) a reverse career fair that gives recruiters insights into projects. Instead of having students rotate around, we (have) recruiters rotate around students,” said Tanvi Shah, a Convergent partnerships retail lead.

Shah, a management information systems sophomore, said the officers of Convergent came up with the idea last spring. They realized many members of their organization would build projects but would not have the chance to display them aside from Demo Day at the end of every semester. Unlike Demo Day, the expo is at the beginning of the semester, and the application is open to all students, not just members of the organization. 

“We realized that a lot of students (outside the organization) were actually interested in this … because they’ve been working on things on the side,” Shah said. “I think it’s a great way to help them showcase what they’ve been doing to recruiters.” 

Varshinee Sreekanth, a computer science and plan II sophomore, and her team created a seizure detection application called SleepSafe. Sreekanth said creating this was important to her, in part because her younger sister had a seizure at 6 months old and almost died. SleepSafe won Best Overall at Demo Day last fall.

“There’s a device that’s dropped to the side of the user’s bed and a person with epilepsy can sleep with security because … (the app) will keep track of their motion (in their sleep) for them,” Sreekanth said. “If we detect (any irregular) motion, it will raise an alarm and let their loved ones or emergency services (know).”

 



Isaac Buitrago, a computer science graduate student, pitched his social media application for software developers, Dev Connector, which he created through an online course. 

“It was just a pet project for learning,” Buitrago said. “Now I’m getting feedback from all the people here, which is good.”

Shah said students join Convergent to ensure they understand the process of product management, building products and designing them.

“Having recruiters come out and see that … (is) just a really big reward for (students), and just matches our mission,” Shah said.