When more than 1,100 freshmen flood the campus of Missouri University of Science and Technology on Saturday, Aug. 11, landing a job after graduation won’t be their main concern — meeting roommates and scheduling their classes will be the priority. But university officials know that the sooner students are introduced to the companies that will need them in a few years, the better prepared they will be for the future.
The professional development “mini-career fair” that is a part of Missouri S&T’s Opening Week Orientation activities gives students an opportunity to get acquainted with a few of the companies that hire S&T grads. This year’s participants include Brewer Science Inc., Caterpillar Inc., Cerner Corp., Missouri Department of Transportation, Union Pacific Corp. and U.S. Geological Survey. Company representatives will set up booths and meet with the incoming students Tuesday through Thursday at Norwood Hall.
“It’s not about recruiting at this point,” says Dr. Edna Grover-Bisker, director of career opportunities and employer relations at S&T. “It’s a branding opportunity for companies and a chance for students to network and get a feel of the fall career fair, which will be held in September.” Last year’s fall career fair brought 210 employers to campus.
Grover-Bisker says freshmen are encouraged to attend the fall and spring career fairs, as employers want to get to know them early in their academic careers. “Many instructors require that students attend the career fair, or offer extra credit for attendance,” she says.
Students who ask the best questions during the mini-career fair are rewarded with vouchers to buy supplies for their Project X team design project. One of the most popular events during Opening Week, Project X gives students a chance to get to know each other while learning their way around campus. Student teams, along with their student mentors, spend the week designing and building remote-controlled vehicles for a competition at the end of the week. The vehicles are then auctioned off to benefit a local charity.
Opening Week Orientation is organized by Missouri S&T’s new student programs and begins on Aug. 11 and ends on Aug. 18. Events will include an ice cream social, a welcome picnic, a performance by a comedian, academic workshops, Vegas night, an outdoor movie and a free concert. New Student Convocation, the official Missouri S&T welcome, will be held on Monday, Aug. 13. A complete schedule of activities is available here.
Classes begin on Monday, Aug. 20.