Industry Day draws increased attendance
October 18, 2012
Students in business attire filled the first and second floors of Norris University Center on Thursday for the Society of Women Engineers' annual Industry Day.
Drawing about 800 students, the event was expanded to two floors of Norris in order to reduce congestion. Participation increased to 81 companies this year, said Olivia Gann, SWE's publicity chair.
“I definitely think it has become an increasingly anticipated event, both from the students' end because they hear about and know that this is the place to land your next job, and from the companies because this is where they can get all of their prospective employees in one place and also develop a good relationship with Northwestern,” McCormick sophomore and SWE executive member Abigail Gardner said in an email to The Daily.
Fidessa Corporation, a software company that recently opened a new office in Chicago, attended the event for the first time. The company was hoping to find students to fill new positions created by the expansion of their company. NU has a “very large technology base of students,” Fidessa Corporation representative Rukiya Tuotley said.
Industry Day’s purpose is to provide an opportunity for students to present their resumes and talk to recruiters, Gann said. The event is also a source of revenue for SWE because companies pay a fee to register.
“I think it is successful because it is sort of a win-win for both sides,” Gann said. "It’s great for the companies and it’s also great for the students because there are all these companies in one place so you can talk to all these companies in one place. It’s a really efficient, compact event."
Shmoop, an education startup from Mountain View, Calif., had a booth at the fair and was looking to fill 30 to 40 positions within the company. Shmoop’s chief technology officer is an NU graduate, and the company primarily hires NU students and graduates.
“It’s cool to have a little diversity,” Shmoop representative Josh Jacobson said. "It’s a company with a lot of Northwestern alums."
McCormick junior Hanan Abdisubhan used the fair to look for an internship.
“The competition seems deep." Abdisubhan said. "A lot of the companies I’ve looked at had lines out the door."
Technology company HP used Industry Day as a source for finding potential employees and interns. HP has previously been represented at Northwestern information sessions, but last night was its first time at Industry Day. HP representative Adam Rossio outlined what he is looking for in an applicant.
“Number one, communicate properly," Rossio said. "Number two, present yourself and company well. Number three, think on your feet. Number four, enthusiastic and passionate."
McCormick junior Alex Freedman attended Industry Day for the first time Thursday. He said that it was a worthwhile experience and that he learned relevant information about application processes.
“I definitely need to do more research on the company to see what they do and apply online,” Freedman said.