The ballrooms in the Shepherd Union building were filled with students dressed in their best as they mingled with potential employers. What brought them was the third STEM-focused career fair. This year’s fair was changed to the STEM-PS career fair, since this is the first year that professional sales was included in the event.
The career fair emphasized all areas of the acronym: science, technology, engineering, mathematics and professional sales. Several different companies related to careers with sales, finances and health were in attendance.
The engineering, applied science and technology college (EAST) partnered with Weber State University’s Career Services in order to host the fair.
According to Karen Doutre, director of the STEM-PS career fair, the fair is a way to help answer the employers find people to fill positions and for students to catch opportunities they might otherwise miss.
Doutre said that other career fairs will be held later in the fall semester as well as during spring semester. Doutre commented that since some employers need to have their contracts fulfilled by the end of the fiscal year, they offer their spring and summer internships to students by December.
The number of employers attending the career fair has increased over the past three years.
“Our vision was small. I was hoping for 24 employers,” Doutre said. “We had 48 for the first year, 66 for the second year and this year we have 82.”
Both students, of any year in school, and employers were in attendance at the event. This allows for freshmen and sophomores to plant seeds that will grow and can be of benefit to them while juniors and seniors have chances to secure internships and to look for potential job opportunities after graduation.
“I saw it was for a lot of engineers and had some sales, so I felt like this was for ambitious people,” Sarah Groberg, a professional sales major, said.
Groberg believes that the career fair opportunity gives students a chance to explore their opinions.
“A lot of people’s problem with college is that they think ‘I am not going to be able to get a job in my field right out of school,'” Groberg said. “This gives them an opportunity to explore their options and eliminate a lot of fears that they have with college.”
There were a few companies present that have attended the STEM-PS career fairs from the very beginning. Shirlene Levit, one of the representatives for Autoliv, said that Autoliv is wanting to automate more of their processes, and in order to do that, they need control engineers, as well as employees skilled in robotics.
“Everyone wants the best and brightest, and so you need to get your name out there,” Levit said.
Levit added that they were even working on getting a program at WSU to find those people.
“We want a program because we get wonderful people that want to stay in Utah,” Levit said.
Students and employers can find more information on upcoming career fairs on the website.