Students sat at the crisp white table clothed dining tables, chattering amongst themselves and adjusting their name-tags, as they eagerly waited for the company representatives to arrive. Some hoped the dinner would lead to a potential job, others were hoping to score an internship, and still others simply wanted to sharpen their networking skills and perhaps make a valuable networking contact.
On February 18, 2015 SWE held their third annual Evening with the Industry, a networking event that allows students to have dinner with a company representative of their choice– giving them a chance to find out what these companies look for when hiring students, and perhaps even impress a representative enough to score an interview. Companies that attended included Target, Southern California Edison, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, VACCO, Computer Sciences Corporation, and Fluor.
As an attendee of Evening with the Industry, I got a chance to sit with a company representative from Target, who is also a UCR alum. The dinner was an interesting and informative experience, as I not only learned about how Target operates, but also the qualities they look for when the hire new graduates. It was also very educational to hear about how our company representative established his career after graduating from UCR, and the steps he took in college to land the job he has today.
After dinner, Rachel Lomax, who represented Computer Sciences Corporation and is a UCR and SWE alumni, presented as the keynote speaker for our event. Lomax, who graduated as a Chemical Engineering major from UCR, talked about how she deviated a bit from her major and landed her job at CSC. She also discussed life after college, emphasizing that although you have more free time and income, it is still necessary to stay on top of your skills in order to have a successful career.
Overall, Evening with the Industry was a great opportunity to network with companies looking to hire the next generation of engineers. SWE would like to thank all the companies that attended and for helping to make the event possible. We would also like to thank the Evening with the Industry Committee and everyone else who helped organize the event. Finally, thank you to all the students who came out to Evening with the Industry, and we hope you see you again at future SWE events!