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Getting Down to Business: Student-Run Career Fair is a Record-Breaking Success

Jeffrey Mounzer

DeCAF chair Jeffrey Mounzer explains what made this year's event the best ever:
   Video 1: Length: 1:23
   Video 2: Length: 0:47
   Video 3: Length: 1:06

March 1, 2006 -- By any measure, the 2006 Disciplines of Engineering Career Fair (DECaF)  was a success for both recruiters and student job seekers.  The student-organized event raised $36,000 in corporate sponsorship fees, making it the largest single fundraiser to benefit engineering student organizations.  In all, 50 companies sent over 150 recruiters to DECaF, more than doubling last year’s participation of 20 companies.   Those employers saw nearly 1,500 engineering students eager for internship or full-time employment opportunities.  

DECaF Chairman Jeffrey Mounzer, a sophomore in electrical engineering, worked with a team of 100 student volunteers to organize, market and execute the most successful DECaF in the event’s eight-year history. 

“The Jacobs School of Engineering is skyrocketing through the national rankings, and that makes DECaF an easy sell,” says Mounzer who credits DECaF’s success to his team of committed volunteers and the support of the Jacobs School Corporate Affiliates Program members. “This year, electrical and computer engineering seemed to be the hottest fields, and we saw a new influx of bioengineering companies.   Across all disciplines, employers are eager to hire our students.”  

 ViasSat
Ricardo Rodriguez talks with ViaSat recruiter Nik Devereaux.
Among the DECaF corporate sponsors was ViaSat who fielded a team of four recruiters, including Jacobs School alumnus Nik Devereaux.     “ViaSat has sent me out on a number of career fairs, and I’d have to say that this is by far the most well organized event that I’ve attended.  The quality of the engineers I’ve seen today is very impressive, and I will be recommending that ViaSat follow-up on a large number of the candidates.” 

Ricardo Rodriquez was one of the students who stopped by the ViaSat booth.   Rodriquez will graduate this spring, and says he received great leads:  “DECaF makes it easy to talk to several companies at once.  I’ve seen several companies who seemed very interested in me.”

Nik Devereaux

ViaSat recruiter Nik Devereaux says, "I was impressed," and explains why:
     Video: Length: 3:48

Another job seeker, Ryan Davis, says he likes the personal nature of the event.  “This career fair is geared towards engineers.  This is so much better than just submitting your resume the employer’s website.  You can make a connection with a real person.” 

Large and small companies had students lined up to visit their booths throughout the four-hour job fair.   The room buzzed as job hopefuls gave their pitch in speed interviews while recruiters took notes as fast as they could write.  By the end of the day, the corporate sponsors had gathered stacks of resumes with the “yes” pile sometimes more than two inches thick.  

“The UCSD students we met were stellar,” says Arete Associates’ Nancy Balbuena.  “They did their research on our company, their presentation skills were excellent, and they seemed more career-oriented than many of the students we see at other campuses.” 

DeCAF students
                             Fifty companies and 1,500 engineering students participated in the
                                             2006 Disciplines of Engineering Career Fair.
 

“We saw a great pool of candidates,” says Invitrogen recruiter Stanford Tuupo.  “Our hardest decision will be narrowing these down to the list we want to call back for interviews.”  And what was Tuupo’s easiest decision?  “There is no question, we will be back again next year with at least one more recruiter.” 

Wendy Tung

Veoh recruiter and CSE alum Wendy Tung on what her company looks for:
     Video: Length: 0:34

First-time DECaF participant Bob Atkwell says Texas Instruments will also be a repeat customer.   “We only take resumes from candidates who show potential, and I’d say we have about 100 resumes,” says Atkwell, who was looking to hire three to five mechanical, electrical and computer engineers after the fair. “The atmosphere here is superb, the organizers have been incredible, and we will absolutely come back again next year.”

The Disciplines of Engineering Career Fair is held annually on the last Friday of February during National Engineers Week.  The event is coordinated by the Triton Engineering Student Council and the engineering student organizations of the Jacobs School of Engineering, and all proceeds support student organization activities. These engineering societies represent the spectrum of disciplines at the Jacobs School, and they work together to market DECaF to all of the Jacobs School's 5,300 undergraduate and graduate engineering students. 

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