Spring Career Day welcomes a record 248 companies

Colorado School of Mines hosted the largest Spring Career Day in its history Feb. 13, with a record 248 companies present.

Hundreds of students entered the Student Recreation Center for the chance to speak to recruiters about opportunities. For some students, that meant waiting in the long lines that formed at larger companies. Among the larger employers at Career Day were Kiewit, Martin/Martin, Orbital ATK, Denver Water, BP America and Halliburton. 

Many recruiters are Career Day veterans. They come back each year ready to hire Mines students because they are "very intelligent, well-formed students," said Jason Berumen, senior global talent manager for Webroot, a Colorado-based cybersecurity and threat intelligence services firm.

Additionally, many companies use Career Day as a chance to market themselves, even if they do not have jobs currently available. 

"We want people to recognize us as a competitive employer in Colorado," said Allison Martindale, HR analyst for the city of Thornton. "I have noticed that a lot of students can support our infrastructure department once we have jobs available."

Many recruiters strongly suggest that students thoroughly research the companies they are interested in talking to. Being prepared demonstrates interest in the company, and for many recruiters, this interest translates into passion. 

"We are looking for a degree, first and foremost, and then students who have good interpersonal skills and enthusiasm," said Cameron Matthews, associate director for Turner & Townsend, a multinational project management company. "We want our employees to be passionate about what they do."

Additionally, recruiters seek students with a good attitude and enthusiasm for the company. 

Excellent communication skills are a necessity for many companies. In fact, for Sundt recruiters Jim Pullen and Mike Morales, it was the most important thing for students to have mastered. In addition, "we are looking for a good GPA and students willing to travel," Morales said. 

The general contracting firm was also looking for students who were confident in their technical abilities, which, for them, was demonstrated through consistent eye contact and a good handshake.

And while students are often told to apply online for open positions, the trip to Career Day is still worth it, they said. 

"People just tell you to apply online, but showing up here is helpful because maybe they will remember your name in the hundreds of applicants," said Olivia Eppler, a junior studying mechanical engineering. 

Many students also view Career Day as a way to get more information about internships.

"Coming to Career Day mostly just gives me information on what I might want to do," said Tristan Collette, a senior in mechanical engineering. 

Emma Miller, a junior majoring in environmental engineering, said going to Career Day before she needed an internship helped prepare her for when she was actively looking for one.

Oftentimes, the information listed online can be rather vague. Talking to recruiters allows students to ask what the company culture is like and get further details on the jobs they have available. 

While some students experience nerves, Collette said remembering that recruiters "know what it's like to go here and know how hard it is" makes talking with them easier. "They know we have learned to problem-solve and create solutions."

"Have some notes written down to refer to in case you get nervous and forget what you are saying," Eppler said. "Remember, they are just people."

Networking events that are held before Career Day by various clubs can also help to alleviate some of the nerves. 

"Martin/Martin was at an American Society of Civil Engineering networking event yesterday, so I already knew them," said Ken Sullivan, a senior in civil engineering. "Today, I just got to drop off my resume and say hello."

The best advice, students said, is to stay true to yourself. "They want to hire who they interview, not someone who is trying to fit a mold," Collette said.

Katharyn Peterman, Student News Reporter | kpeterma@mymail.mines.edu
Emilie Rusch, Public Information Specialist, Colorado School of Mines | 303-273-3361 | erusch@mines.edu

2018 Spring Career Day