Texas A&M ASCE Career Fair
Johnathan Pressler, President, ASCE Texas A&M University Chapter
The student chapter of ASCE at Texas A&M has developed a sought-after career fair with the hard work and dedication of its officers. In 2018, the first career fair was created from an idea that civil engineering students and companies were not getting enough time together at other career fairs. This idea was pursued to create more personal communications and opportunities for both parties. From this, the annual ASCE Civil Engineering Career Fair was born. This event has come far from its humble beginnings in just three years.
The first Civil Engineering Career fair was small with 16 companies and was held in our own building the Dwight Look Engineering Building (DLEB). During the planning of this first event, we made many strides to enable the future growth of this career fair. Through careful planning and exploring many options, the outcome was better than expected. Although this event paved the way for future events, the 3rd annual career fair in 2020 faced many unique difficulties.
Amidst a global pandemic the possibility of a career fair seemed impossible as we approached the fall semester. Thanks to the careful planning of our officer team this year, we were able to host a career fair in a virtual setting after all. Our head officer for this event is Marissa Tulio who is a senior general civil engineer. The process of planning our event in a completely new environment has been challenging. “The most challenging part has been keeping track of all the moving parts. I had to juggle company registration, student invitations, and training the officer team, all as I was learning the ins and outs of the new platform myself”. Marissa worked along with Aidan Robicheax, the assistant event coordinator, that made a great team. They started planning the event in May and collaborated with Texas A&M’s Career Center to utilize their HireAggies/ Symplicity platform. This site enabled useful options for companies, such as reaching out to students to chat, receiving their resumes, and adding notes after chatting with a student.
Some other important tasks included updating our website and other forms of communication during this virtual time. The main form of contact we have between members is through social media or group messages. Our team in charge of these media platforms includes Griffin Kuhnsman and Julia Westerberg. Griffin, the webmaster, states “I loved the challenge of being the hub where everything comes together. The website was where all of the students and companies went in order to register for and attend the career fair, so making it visually appealing and easy to navigate was a fun but difficult process.” A great effort went into advertising online and making an easy interface for both students and companies online. As the marketing manager, Julia created advertisements for the career fair. She says, “This was somewhat of a challenge with social distancing as there wasn’t much promotion on-campus. Promotion was mainly done through social media and messaging apps. It was like virtual networking, getting our officers to post on social media and in classes groups so that the people they interact with know about the event.” We would like to also give a special thank you to our team of officers that have put in hard work wherever it was needed over the past few months.
Overall, this 3rd annual career fair was a success despite the challenges of adjusting with so many uncertainties. We hosted 38 companies, about 285 students, and more than 800 conversations between them. The Texas A&M Chapter of ASCE is waiting to host its 4th annual career fair in 2021 with gained knowledge of how to better handle unforeseen situations.