UW News

October 16, 2015

Engineering career center opens to connect students, employers

Photo of student at career center

At the new Career Center @ Engineering, associate director Arianna Aldebot offers electrical engineering student Uloma Okoro tips on using LinkedIn most effectively for job searches.University of Washington

The Career Center @ Engineering — a new career center focused on the needs of University of Washington engineering students and employers looking to hire them — has opened its doors in the basement of Loew Hall.

The new center offers a full range of career services for engineering students: honing resume-writing and interviewing skills that are put to the test during career fairs and recruiting events, connecting students with internship or job opportunities to help them narrow down fields of interest, offering guidance on everything from salary negotiation to networking and using social media effectively.

Located in Loew 014, the new career center will primarily serve students during walk-in hours from noon to 2:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

It will also help spread new ideas or practices that certain departments or faculty members are using effectively — from job-shadowing programs to career-oriented spring-break field trips to leveraging alumni connections.

The Career Center @ Engineering will also help employers who may be hiring across a range of disciplines — mechanical or chemical engineers, computer scientists, students with expertise in construction or transportation or bioengineering or aerospace — by offering a single point of contact to reach all of the UW’s 10 engineering departments, as well as corporate and foundation relations representatives.

“If Boeing wants four different kinds of majors, they can come to the center and easily access any and all talent,” said director Gail Cornelius. “We want to be the one-stop shop for the College of Engineering for corporate employment and internships.”

The new career center, developed in partnership between the College of Engineering and The UW Career Center,  will serve everyone from new undergraduates looking for professional experiences to help them choose an engineering major to active job-seekers to graduate students.

It’s never too early to start exploring career options, said Cornelius. Internships are an important way for students to figure out what kind of corporate culture they’re most comfortable working in, or whether they really are attracted to the work that a mechanical or computer or civil engineer actually does on a daily basis.

The Career Center @ Engineering can help students identify and pursue those opportunities, as well as how to get credits that will fit into their academic and professional trajectory.

“The biggest thing for them to get their heads around is that this is an opportunity not only to test their skills but to figure out: ‘Is this a job I want to be doing when I graduate?’ and ‘Is this a place where I fit?'” said Cornelius.

“The answers to those questions have a lot to do with a student’s field of study, their personality and the culture that’s most conducive for them, so we do a lot of coaching around those issues.”

The Career Center @ Engineering will work with and help connect students to the wide range of resources offered at The Career Center in Mary Gates Hall, which offers everything from resume reviews to mock interviewing workshops to advice on applying to graduate schools.

The new engineering center also aims to make it easier for local employers — some of whom hire from far and wide to meet their needs — to gain access to UW students who can fill that talent pipeline.

“We can facilitate the conversation between the college and employers to determine what skills are necessary for that next-generation workforce,” said Susan Terry, executive director of The Career Center at the UW.

“Our engineers are critical to this economy, and it’s crucial for employers to have access to UW students. We want to do the best we can in supporting and helping students succeed in those positions where they can make the most difference,” she said.

For more information, contact the Career Center @Engineering at enghire@uw.edu (students) or engrocr@uw.edu (employers and on-campus recruiters). For media questions about the new center, contact Cornelius at gailcorn@uw.edu.