Recruiters from more than 350 companies are heading to Michigan Tech University’s career fair this week — to resume an in-person event that fills local restaurants and hotels as well as job openings at their companies.
The job fair runs from 2-7 p.m. Wednesday, September 21, at the Student Development Complex at Michigan Tech. Hundreds of follow-up interviews will take place around campus the following day and approximately the next day. This event is a major factor in the average 93% job placement rate at Tech within six months of graduation. There are no statistics on how many meals and memories will be shared, but it’s safe to say that accommodation and dining establishments roll out a welcome mat for new and returning visitors.
As of early September, hotels and most other accommodations within two hours of the university were almost fully booked, said Cody Kangas, executive director of corporate and institutional relations and acting director of Employment Services at Michigan Tech.
Career Services operates year-round to help students obtain co-op opportunities, internships, and full-time jobs, and offers programs for both Huskies and businesses. Students are offered individual training in basic skills. The bi-annual Tech Career Fair, held in the fall and spring, these hands-on interviews, CV building sessions, and industry networking culminate in one of the largest events of its kind in the country.
It’s been two years since the students took the trek up MacInnes Drive to the Student Development Complex, which features their best work, to shake hands with their future.
“Demand is unprecedented. Employers want to be here – and they are ready to come back,” Kangas said.
Michigan Tech President Rick Kubik said the response reflects Michigan Tech’s excellence in building partnerships and preparing students for the job market.
“A degree from Michigan Tech is highly regarded in the marketplace, as evidenced by the large number of employers attending the university’s career fair this year,” he said. “It is this level of corporate engagement that helps differentiate the Michigan Tech student experience. This is one of the many reasons we are thrilled to welcome employers back to campus this week.”
Technical events have a regional impact
The most recent study of Michigan Tech’s impact on the state and regional economy was conducted in 2016. It didn’t take visitor spending into account, but it is a new study. Online visitor dashboard It was developed by the Keweenaw Convention and Visitors Bureau (KCVB). Brad Barnett, CEO of KCVB, said it would be interesting to compare the figures for the time period of the in-person career fair in the past two years. Statistics for the last three years are only available, and are updated approximately every three months. Meanwhile, he said the qualitative data is clearly positive.
“We are excited to be back at Tech’s Career Fair, bringing visitors from across the country seeking to hire our talented MTU students!”
“Many of the recruiters are technology graduates, so the job fair gives them a chance to come back to Houghton to patronize their favorite local restaurants and relive the days on campus,” Barnett said. “I know downtown businesses are happy to see in-person hiring come back, along with other university events.”
Huskies at MTU are ready to hire
For recruits, it’s a welcome trip to campus. For many students, it is a new opportunity to meet employers face to face. Most current Huskies have only experienced the virtual version of the job fair, a necessary pandemic for the past two years. “For the vast majority of students attending this week’s job fair, this is the first time they have been able to participate in person,” Cangas said. “Virtual fairs have filled a great need during what was a very stressful time, but the importance of being able to meet potential employers face to face cannot be overstated. It allows for connections and conversations that are sometimes not possible online.”
Environmental engineering student Katie Peterson faced both forms of the event. Head to head wins hands. “I went to the job fair when I was a student,” she said. “A lot of people encouraged to go, just to see what it was about. I spoke to DTE; the recruiter was really nice. I was invited to breakfast the next day to find out more about the company.”
“It would be really exciting to have that personal experience again.”
It was more difficult to make a first impression over video, Peterson said. “Having a physical presence makes a big difference.”
Peterson is one of the career coaches at Tech, working with fellow students to help them get co-op opportunities, internships, and full-time jobs. In the days leading up to the job fair, she and other coaches help students hone resumes and interview skills. “A little guidance goes a long way,” she said. “I’m glad we’re here to help.”
Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Ranked among the nation’s top universities in terms of return on investment, Michigan’s leading Technological University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate programs in science, technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business, economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is located just miles from Lake Superior on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.