Logo: University of Southern California

Career Fair

Thousands of students and dozens of companies meet for the Viterbi School’s fall Engineering Career Fair

October 22, 2004 —

Sixty-two engineering companies gathered in the Viterbi School E-Quad Oct. 21 to meet undergraduate students and discuss employment opportunities during the Fall 2004 Engineering Career Fair.

Students were advised to dress up and come armed with resumes for engineering companies attending the fall career fair.

Turnout at the biannual fair was “awesome,” said Chris Noll, a member of Engineering Career Services in the Viterbi School Student Affairs Office. “Company participation was higher than it’s been in recent years, up by about 20 more companies this time,” she said, “and students turned out in droves.”

“These students are great,” said Zena Harris, a representative of the Parson’s Corp. Human Resources Office.  “They’ve got great skills and they’re eager to dive in to some of these projects.”

Jeffrey Beaupre, a senior in computer engineering/computer science, is but one of many examples.  A co-op student at Boeing Co., he is working as a technical lead on a maritime aircraft systems design project while he finishes his undergraduate degree.

“I’m learning a lot about management skills in the job,” he said.   “I like the work environment too.”
Zena Harris, left, of Parson's Corp.,chats
with Jeffry Beaupre, a CE/CS senior.

USC’s Engineering Career Fair provides businesses with an opportunity to increase their visibility among the School’s top engineering students.  Many of these companies will return to campus later in the year to conduct formal interviews and information sessions, but students are advised to dress in business-casual attire for the fall event and have a one- or two-minute presentation to give potential employers, in addition to their resumes.

Approximately 2,000 students attended the all-day event and chatted with companies such as Boeing, Parson’s Corp., Raytheon, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Northrop Grumman, Walt Disney Imagineering, Los Angeles County Department of Public Works and many other companies.

James Simmons, a systems engineer at Northrop Grumman and a Viterbi School graduate student in systems architecture and engineering, said many of the students were asking about summer internships, “but some of these students may find other ways of getting a foot in the door.”  For instance, Simmons found his own job at Northrop Grumman by getting the company to sponsor his senior thesis project.

Elisa Pitts, a sophomore in industrial systems engineering, hopes to land a job at the aerospace giant’s El Segundo headquarters because her mother and older sister have worked there.

Elisa Pitts, left, makes a good impression on Northrop Grumman representative Dave Blancett. 

“We’ve got about seven or eight USC kids working there right now,” said Dawn Carter, manager of Sector College Relations at Northrop Grumman.  “And we’ve hired about 40 USC engineering graduates in the past two years.”

Students are encouraged to attend USC’s spring Engineering Career Fair to connect with potential employers who will be recruiting for summer positions.  Other career information and services are available in the Career Planning and Placement Center or by visiting the Career Services Center at http://viterbi.usc.edu/students/.

--Diane Ainsworth