Building career opportunities and structuring networks, Wednesday the Parson Construction Management Technology (CMT) program hosted its largest career fair to date.

The fair showcased 28 exhibitors ranging from industrial and residential to commercial construction companies gathered at Weber State University’s Davis Campus.

(Tony Post/ The Signpost)
Students talk to Matt Cederholm, a CMT graduate and project manager for Okland Construction, at the construction career fair on Jan. 29. (Tony Post/ The Signpost)

“For the companies, it’s beneficial because they get to know our students and offer them internships and employment eventually,” CMT Associate Professor and Program Coordinator Chris Soelberg said. “On the reverse side of that, it’s good for the students because it gets them jobs.”

Attendees were provided pizza and drinks as they explored their career advancing options.

Matt Cederholm, a project manager at Okland Construction, graduated from the CMT program in 2008. Cederholm said his education was very beneficial in getting hired.

“Personally, I think Weber grads are very hireable candidates,” Cederholm said.  “They’ve learned about commercial construction and also what to expect as far as contracts and scheduling and all the finite details of what construction management is about.”

Nate Nielson, a detailing and building information modeling manager for Superior Air Handling, is currently in the CMT program.

Nielson said it’s valuable for companies to interact with students who are actively working on a degree in the program.

“We can see if there’s a good fit,” Nielson said. “In construction, there are a lot of niches and if we can line the right person up with the right niche … it’s a win-win for everybody.”

Most of the CMT program students already have jobs in the industry, Soelberg explained. The career fair was an opportunity to explore promotions, internships or other options.

“It’s a great opportunity for our students to build relationships with companies,” Soelberg said.

To prepare for the career fair, a resume and interview workshop was held a week ago. Emerging leaders, or graduates of the CMT program, assisted in tweaking resumes and practicing mock interviews.

Andrea Stuart, the CMT department secretary, said it’s more efficient for the construction career fair to operate separately from the WSU Career Fair. That way the fair can focus only on construction and be offered in the evening, a time that is more convenient for the CMT students.

Karen Doutre, an employment advisor for the College of Applied Science and Technology, worked with Stuart to organize the career fair. Doutre said the number of companies present was especially beneficial for students.

“It’s hard for you to spend any amount of your time and be able to talk to 28 lead persons in the industry,” Doutre said. “There’s also networking opportunities with those individuals who may become a mentor for you in your career.”

The proceeds from the fair went to support the CMT program’s student competition team. Their upcoming Associated Schools of Construction competition will be in Sparks, Nevada, where WSU students will compete against other universities in a variety of categories.

“It really doesn’t matter where they are in their program; there are opportunities to promote careers,” Doutre said. “Whether you just need to meet some people and see what’s out there or have your eyes opened into the opportunities that might exist in the future.”

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