In an new spin on the typical career fair, engineering project and research teams demonstrated their engineering prowess through a ‘reverse career fair’ on Monday that showcased their best work to recruiters.
Hosted in Duffield Atrium the day before the engineering career fair each semester, the showcase provides an opportunity for students to personally interact with employers.
“Basically, it is a reverse career fair,” Yubin Kim ’20 said, president of the Engineering Career Fair Team. “The students are tabling rather than the employers, which creates an environment that is a little more relaxed.”
Projects ranged from robots to nanotechnology to dominos and involved undergraduate and graduate students from a wide array of engineering majors.
Of the 29 teams, many prepared their projects specifically for competitions.
“We got the rules in October and the competition is in March,” Julia Trahan ’22 said, member of Cornell Seismic Design. Her team showcased a five-foot-tall tower that is intended to withstand earthquakes.
CUAir presented an search-and-rescue air system that will compete in Maryland at the Student Unmanned Air Systems competition in June.
“In past years we’ve had a task where we had to drop a water bottle to a specific target,” Jack Defay ’22 said. “This year we’re dropping a vehicle, which is a whole separate system.”
Jamie Gray ’21 hoped this event would bring in new sponsors for CUAir so that the team can continue to expand its scope. The team’s current sponsors include Google, Altium and Mathworks.
“Our project is not cheap to do,” he explained. “The more sponsors we have, the more creative we can be and the more we can learn as a team.”
For newer teams, the showcase further offered the opportunity to gain visibility on campus.
Ruojia Sun ’20 is part of Cornell Micro-g, a project team that responds to space technology challenges posted by NASA, which is only in its fourth year. She said she hoped “more people will get to see what [they’ve] worked on” after the showcase.
Participating students also viewed the Duffield showcase as an opportunity for professional development.
“We let the students give tours of the Upson project team spaces so they get a chance to talk to employers a little more personally,” Kim told The Sun. “And then the employers can actually see the projects, which are not on the resume.”