UT students meet with Facebook, Whole Foods reps at Technology & Science Career Fair

Felix Kalvesmaki

More than 100 companies recruited students Thursday in fields such as data science and software engineering for the College of Natural Sciences’ Technology & Science Career Fair.

Alumni and current students attended the fair at the Frank Erwin Center, where companies lined the concourse and arena floor. 2019 CNS graduate Casey Tang said she came to the fair looking for a job in user experience software design.

“I actually was supposed to be in pharmacy school right now, but I decided that I wanted to pursue user experience design,” Tang said. “After I graduated, I took a boot camp for user experience design. I’m here now to look for a junior role in user experience.”

Although large companies such as Facebook and Microsoft were recruiting at the fair, Tang said she was more interested in connecting with Austin-based Whole Foods.

“I had been really interested in working with Whole Foods, and I know they have a user experience design department,” Tang said. “I’ve heard a lot of things online about how they’re one of the best places to work.”

Estephany Castillo, a senior tech recruiting specialist at Whole Foods, said the company has not attended the fair before despite being based in Austin but decided to this year to recruit UT students. She said the company only hires for corporate positions, including software designers, in Austin.

“We’re trying to keep it local,” Castillo said. “People from Austin are so familiar with Whole Foods because we keep everything here. What better way than to start at a local school like UT?”

Some students aren’t interested in working for bigger companies like Whole Foods and Amazon. Computer science junior Joseph Graham said he’s mainly looking for a smaller company.

“(Bigger companies) are highly competitive,” Graham said. “People all across the country are joining them. I’d just prefer a smaller team where you get to know people more.”

Because many UT students like living in Austin, that makes them a good fit to work at Whole Foods, Castillo said.

“(Loving Austin is) a big reason why they want to come to (UT),” Castillo said. “UT students tend to have a flair for the city. They have a true love and dedication to being able to maintain that weirdness that Austin’s known for.”