WPI students continue to be in high demand, if the recent Fall Career Fair is any indication. The event boasted a record turnout of more than 2,900 students and alumni and 200 employers from industries ranging from engineering and aviation to data science and financial services, and representing everything from international firms with operations around the world to local start-ups.
"It was incredible to see so many students making great connections," said Steve Koppi, executive director of the Career Development Center (CDC). "The skills WPI students and graduates bring to the marketplace are key assets for both small local businesses and large international corporations alike.The Career Fair is a tremendous opportunity for students from all years and majors to network with these companies and explore not just full-time jobs, but summer internships and co-ops as well."
Elia Perez Luna, Industrial Engineering '16, and Sanara Marsh, Management Engineering '16, felt this Career Fair had the most innovative employers in attendance to date. "WPI has brought in a lot of ‘out of the box' firms, and it's exciting to see companies with lots of opportunity," said Marsh.
Colette Pellegrini, Mechanical Engineering '18, and Steven Knott, Civil Engineering, '18, found themselves much more confident this time. "[Some of the] project teams reminded me a lot of the collaborative work that we do at WPI. It's less intimidating when you have experience, and WPI gives you that," Pellegrini said.
Seniors Anthony Ward, Electrical and Computer Engineering, ’16, and Matt Rafferty, Robotics Engineering, ’16, felt the same. Both had used the CDC's resume services and said it was well worth it. Ward was particularly pleased with his experience at the fair this year. "The positive reaction you get out of some of these companies really boosts your confidence. The work from the past four years is paying off, and alumni really understand the depth and value of the Major Qualifying Project (MQP) experience," he said.
Alumni represented many of the 200 employers in attendance. Gabriella Serrati ’09 works for ExxonMobil, where she started as an intern. She says that ExxonMobil keeps coming back to WPI for new recruits because graduates excel working in interdisciplinary teams and many have that global experience.
Andrew Botelho '15 now works for DraftKings, where one-third of the engineers come from WPI. "WPI does more than just teach students, it provides them with opportunity to learn how to learn, and quickly. This is critical in start-ups like DraftKings, where there is no time to spoon-feed employees; if you don’t know how to do something, it's up to you to figure it out as fast as possible. WPI students know how to do that."
Following the Career Fair, the CDC held its first On Campus Interview day, a daylong event that included 24 companies, 37 representatives, and 219 scheduled interviews for summer, co-op, and full-time positions.