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SMC engineers aspire to impress at Industry Day

By TABITHA RICKETTS | Wednesday, September 11, 2013


The Career Center’s Engineering Industry Day drew more than just corporate representatives to campus Tuesday, namely, engineering students from Saint Mary’s.

The Engineering Industry Day (EID) event brings engineering companies and students together through a variety of events at the Joyce Athletic and Convention Center.

Azunne Anigbo, a chemistry major at Saint Mary’s and chemical engineer at Notre Dame, said last year’s EID Fair helped her advance her career goals.

“I went to the Industry Fair last year, and it was really good,” Anigbo said. “I met with a lot of people [and] got an interview out of it.”

Saint Mary’s chemistry professor and engineering program administrator Dr. Toni Barstis said like the Notre Dame Career Expo, the EID Fair hosts companies looking to hire students in specific fields. The Fair gives students the opportunity to network with recruiters while researching and applying for positions.

Jenna Troppman, a Saint Mary’s math and Notre Dame civil engineering major, said she was pleased by the variety of businesses at the Fair and found some firms with which she would like to intern.

“It was very enlightening, seeing all the companies and all the different [things] that they do and all the different locations,” Troppman said. 

Barstis said the Saint Mary’s engineers met with career exploration specialist Laura Flynn from the Career Center on Thursday in order to prepare for the EID Fair. Flynn worked with the students to improve their resumes and interview skills.

Saint Mary’s junior Mary Kate Hussey, a chemistry and chemical engineering double major, said working with Flynn prepared her for her future job search.

“I think that it really helps make you aware of what you need to do in the future at interviews and other career fairs,” she said.

In addition to the Fair, Engineering Industry Day included a dinner for minority engineers, a breakfast for chemical engineers, a civil engineering lunch and other, major-specific events. These activities enable students to meet engineering companies in a more intimate environment that provides ample opportunities for networking and learning more about a specific industry, Barstis said.

Haley Gordon, a chemistry and chemical engineering major, said most of the EID events were during class times, which made it difficult for Saint Mary’s engineers to participate. 

Neverthless, Chanler Rosenbaum, a math and mechanical engineering major, and some other Saint Mary’s engineers managed to attend. Rosenbaum said after attending a event specific to her major Monday, she was excited about the EID Fair.

“I went to the Aerospace/Mechanical Engineering Night [on Monday],” Rosenbaum said.  “I thought it was a great experience. I learned about the different departments that were most interesting to me in each company. I talked to a few companies … and will talk to them [at the Fair] to show that I am very interested in interning at their company.”

Saint Mary’s alumna Megan Gin, a chemist and cellular biologist representing British Petroleum (BP) at the Fair, said the dual-degree engineering program made her an asset to her employer.

“It’s a very challenging program, to say the least, but it is something that’s very rewarding in the end,” Gin said.

Gin said when she was a student, the dual-degree engineering program was in its early years.

“I think the program was still growing,” Gin said. “I think as more and more people become aware of the program and understand it, each year it gets a little bit bigger and it gets a little bit better.”

Chemist and cellular biologist Madeline Powell, another Saint Mary’s alumna, represented the SPX corporation at the Fair. She said the dual-degree program gave her an analytical understanding of what it takes to work in a lab as an engineer and a scientist. The senior composition experience at Saint Mary’s also gave her confidence and an advantage when presenting in professional and technical environments, she said.

“I was able to experience a technical degree in a small setting like Saint Mary’s but also able to experience the large lectures at Notre Dame,” Powell said. “That was invaluable.”