Industry partners gathered at the OSU Institute of Technology Spring Career Fair Feb. 12 in hopes of finding students to fill internships and job openings.
This spring’s Career Fair, aimed at students in the schools of Construction Technologies, Energy Technologies, Engineering Technologies, Information Technologies, Diesel & Heavy Equipment, and Visual Communications brought out 47 industry partners and 267 students.
“The Career Fair gives the students an opportunity to practice some soft skills and communicate their learning with representatives from the businesses they hope to work with during internships and in their careers after graduation,” said Viki Little, senior administrative assistant for the vice president of Academic Affairs.
The Career Fair took on a different format this year, adding in a color-coding system, as a suggestion of the industry partners.
To enable company representatives to easily identify students, each student was given a name tag with a color dot representing the school under which their program lies. Industry partners were given cards with color dots representing the schools that had been identified as an interest. Each student was also given a color-coded list of industry partners who had expressed an interest in meeting students from their school.
“The color-coding system was very helpful in identifying students that matched our employment needs,” said Tabitha Lockhart, human resources manager at Timberlake Construction. “The hiring of skilled talent is an ongoing challenge in this industry.”
Timberlake Construction, a fairly small organization of around 40 employees, said they have experienced all levels of success from OSUIT hires.
Jordan Eddy, an OSUIT Construction Management graduate is now employed at Timberlake. Eddy said he believes the Career Fair is very beneficial for internships. Many of his classmates obtained internships after talking to the companies at the Career Fair.
“Coming to the Career Fair as an employer versus a student, I saw more of the importance of the event,” said Eddy. “I saw many students with resumes in hand who were looking for opportunities and how important it was for them.”
Lockhart said that one of their senior project managers is also a graduate of the program. “We are hopeful that other OSUIT graduates will have the same success with us,” said Lockhart. “As students graduate and progress in their careers, we hope they will remember seeing Timberlake at the Career Fair and consider us as an employer of choice.”
New to the Career Fair this year, Harrison Energy Partners also employs many OSUIT graduates. Ben Dye, vice president of Oklahoma for Harrison Energy Partners said they were very pleased with the high caliber of the Career Fair.
“The students were outstanding and very focused on their career paths,” said Dye. “They didn’t require a lot of introduction into our industry. This was refreshing compared to others where we spent a lot of time teaching students about our business and industry.”
Just starting out in the Oklahoma market, Harrison Energy Partners said they have been fortunate enough to have several OSUIT alumni currently employed with them. About 30 percent of their workforce in Oklahoma is a graduate from OSUIT.
“Each graduate is incredibly impressive – the product speaks for itself,” said Drew Harrison, vice president of operations at Harrison Energy Partners. “The value and solutions we provide to our clients are very hard to achieve. It requires employees who are dedicated and willing to go the extra mile to take care of the client’s needs. It also requires employees who can learn quickly and display critical problem-solving skills mixed with a good dose of common sense. The alumni that we currently employ and several of the students we talked to at the Career Fair met this mold.”
Harrison Energy Partners already has two interviews set up and around seven students
to follow up with in-person meetings from the Career Fair.
Little says the Career Fair was established before she came to OSUIT. “I am eternally grateful for those who came before and set up such a firm foundation.”