Materials science and engineering students sought at SWE Career Fair

Students within the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) at The Ohio State University with sights set on securing careers, co-ops and internships are specifically in high demand at the Society of Women Engineers Career Fair at the Ohio Union Tuesday, Jan. 30.


Nearly 40 companies are looking for MSE majors at the 33rd annual SWE Career Fair, held from 1 to 6 p.m. Hiring representatives from 34 of those companies are looking to fill internship and co-op positions, while 33 companies are seeking students interested in full-time employment.


SWE at Ohio State and Engineering Career Services encourage all engineering and computer science students to step out of their comfort zones, come out and connect with hiring representatives from 140 companies and organizations at the event sponsored by SWE in partnership with the College of Engineering.


“Coming to a career fair is a big step for some. Career fairs can be daunting,” said Amy Thaci, director of Engineering Career Services. “But it’s your opportunity to network with employers face to face, tell them what you can do or want to learn more about and see if that company is one you’d want to work for. There aren’t many chances in your life where you’ll get to actually meet face to face with all of these employers in one place.”


Companies and organizations with representatives set to attend Tuesday include AK Steel, the City of Columbus, Delphi Technologies, Ford Motor Company, Honda of America Mfg. Inc., Intel Corporation, Microsoft, NASA’s John Glenn Research Center, the National Air and Space Intelligence Center at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, the National Security Agency, Nationwide Insurance, the Peace Corps, PepsiCo, Raytheon, Rockwell Automation, Texas Instruments, Toyota, and the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy.


SWE at Ohio State focuses its efforts on community service and outreach, with the aim to help women succeed in engineering and technology fields. The chapter facilitates professional and social events throughout the year in an effort to prepare students for engineering careers and leadership roles.


Kelsey Riffle

“Our biggest goal is to prepare our members for their future careers in engineering,” said Kelsey Riffle, president of SWE at Ohio State and fourth-year material science and engineering major. “Being a minority in engineering is definitely not easy. We’re trying to prepare students for not just how to get jobs, but how to succeed in those jobs after they get them.”


Vicky Doan-Nguyen joined Ohio State in August 2017 as an assistant professor in MSE, and Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. She was recruited through the Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability Discovery Theme, which enables Ohio State students, faculty and staff to focus on translational innovation and research in technology, science and manufacturing as they apply to future energy systems and sustainability from the nanoscale and macroscale.


Doan-Nguyen said she feels the landscape has more opportunities than before for women in engineering, as well as women and underrepresented groups in science, in general.


“Part of inventing something new is bringing your perspective with it and making it be as inclusive as possible. The field can grow with diversity now, as opposed to backtracking and trying to reintroduce diversity. The field of metallurgy is male dominated because that was a really strong field, especially at Ohio State in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s, but now we have fields like 3-D printing and nanotechnology, and they’re such open fields that they not only can be contributors, but they can be leaders, and infuse diversity that way as well.”


Students attending the SWE Career Fair have the opportunity to network with recruiters and graduates of Ohio State, said Allison Whitney, member recruitment director for SWE at Ohio State and second-year material science and engineering major. The fair also allows an opportunity to get a feel for different companies’ expectations and what they have to offer prospective interns or employees.


“The career fair is a really great chance to meet with recruiters. And a lot of the recruiters that come are Ohio State grads, so they have been in the same shoes as a lot of the students; they understand students are nervous,” Whitney said. “There is no better way to prepare yourself for a professional-world atmosphere than going to the career fair.”


Admission to the Tuesday event is free, though students are required to have their BuckIDs and name badges, available Tuesday, from 11:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Engineering Career Services at 199 Hitchcock Hall.


“Take advantage of this opportunity at the SWE Career Fair to see how employers position themselves and present what they have to offer. See how well you connect with certain employers,” Thaci said.


“Online presence is one thing. Actual networking with employers is another and one that is absolutely necessary in securing the internship or job of your dreams.”


Additional information is found at the SWE Career Fair website and through the Career Fairs Plus app, available via Apple’s app store and Google Play marketplace.


The Institute for Materials Research is an interdisciplinary institute that works across colleges and departments at Ohio State to facilitate, promote and coordinate research and infrastructure related to the science and engineering of materials.


Story by Mike Huson, IMR Public Relations Coordinator


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