The spring edition of Michigan Technological University’s Career Fair will bring hundreds of employers to the Student Development Complex from noon to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 13. Recruiters come with great expectations, advice for job-seeking students and, in many cases, Career Fair memories from the students’ side of the table.
More than 200 companies are registered to attend spring Career Fair 2024 at Michigan Tech, one of the largest campus job fairs in the U.S. The University hosts two Career Fairs annually, each attracting companies from multiple industry sectors hiring for internships, co-ops and full-time jobs. As many as 7,000 student interviews are available during each Career Fair, and each event is preceded by CareerFEST, a series of casual networking events and career development workshops to help students prepare.
Many recruiters attending the semiannual fairs are long-time participants and will be at Tuesday’s event. During last fall’s Career Fair, they shared why they hire Huskies, along with their favorite memories from their own Career Fair experiences and tips for students seeking interviews.
Katie Amar-Fox, a 2019 materials science and engineering graduate, was recruiting for Nucor, the lead sponsor for Career Fair. “We come to Michigan Tech for the Huskies,” she said. “There’s a lot of great talent here.” The atmosphere, which includes spirit-raising by the Huskies Pep Band and Michigan Tech’s mascot, is one of her favorite things about the fair. “We love seeing Blizzard and all of the talent. A lot of us (recruiters) are alumni, so we love coming back.”
Her advice for Huskies attending Career Fair: “Talk to as many employees as you can. There’s so many options out there for everybody. I can’t wait to see the full-time offers, internships and co-ops that come out of this.”
Civil engineering major Jonathan Wright heard about Career Fair from his Grandpa, an MTU alumnus. Watch their story on Michigan Tech YouTube.
Polaris Industries recruiter Kevin Nelson is a 2000 electrical engineering grad. “We feel that the culture at Michigan Tech really fits well with the Polaris culture,” he said. “We’re an outdoors company. Our slogan is ‘Think Outside.’ And of course, just the quality of the students at Michigan Tech is something that we appreciate.”
His favorite Michigan Tech Career Fair memory was “seeing all the different opportunities available to me. As a student, I didn’t realize how many different companies were out there and interested in Michigan Tech students.”
His advice for Huskies attending Career Fair: “Visit as many companies as you can.” He said it’s a good strategy to prioritize the companies high on your list to work for, “but don’t be afraid to explore other companies that you may not have heard of.”
Andrea Udovich, also part of the Polaris Industries recruitment team — an all-alumni squad — graduated in 2021 with a degree in mechanical engineering. Her favorite Career Fair memory is landing her first interview and job offer. “I had an employer that took a chance on me and interviewed me right outside the SDC. It was a great experience,” she said.
Udovich was program manager for the Enterprise team Strategic Education for Naval Systems Experiences, known as SENSE, when she was a student. “Michigan Tech really produces such great students that have the capabilities and skill sets, like in different Enterprises, especially the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineering) teams, and also just people’s different hobbies,” she said. “We really live and breathe our work at Polaris and get to enjoy the products, so people having that passion right off the get-go is a very exciting thing to have in our students."
Her advice for Huskies attending Career Fair: “Be prepared. Take a chance. You never know if you don’t try. Just go for it.”
Recruiting for Oshkosh Corporation, alumna Reagan May’s favorite Career Fair memory is “going to Career Fair and seeing how many alumni come back to recruit — seeing them reaching out and trying to get myself and other students involved in their organizations.” Now she’s one of them.
May, a 2016 mechanical engineering graduate, said the reason companies come to Michigan Tech Career Fair is simple. “Only because it’s the best school there is, obviously! In all seriousness, we see a really good caliber of students come out of Michigan Tech.”
"It’s really cool to see that all the hands-on experience that you get in school here can easily be applied to the workforce."
Her advice for Huskies attending Career Fair: “Put yourself out there. Talk about the specific projects you’ve worked on. It’s a good time to be selfish and talk about the things that you’re good at and what you bring to the table.”
Morgan Duley, a 2021 electrical engineering graduate currently pursuing her MBA from Tech, recruited for Georgia-Pacific at Career Fair. The company she works for is integral to her favorite Career Fair memory.
“I didn’t plan on talking with Georgia-Pacific,” she said. “I walked up with a friend at the end of Career Fair and they said, ‘Are you available tomorrow?’ So then I interviewed with the company — this was five years ago.”
"We love our engineers from Michigan Tech. They know how to be tenacious. They know how to problem-solve, communicate effectively and see a problem through."
Her advice for Huskies attending Career Fair: “Be open. Don’t sell yourself short, talk yourself long. Make sure you’re prepared and look good. Tuck in that shirt and wear a tie if you need to.”
Ellen Bauman, a 1990 graduate in electrical engineering who earned her master’s in the same discipline in 1993, recruited for IBM Power Systems in Rochester, Minnesota.
“We come to Michigan Tech for a couple of reasons,” she said. “We bring in computer engineering majors and computer science majors who have a firm understanding of the application of what they’re picking up and they’re learning in their classes at Michigan Tech. Also, we’re in Rochester, Minnesota. It’s cold there. We know that the type of students you have at Tech are the type who are going to come into Rochester and they’re going to be able to survive and thrive in the climate.”
Bauman’s favorite MTU Career Fair memory? “I loved picking up the swag.”
Her advice for Huskies attending Career Fair: “Ask questions. Ask, ‘What do I need to do to be the perfect candidate for the company?’ Ask the recruiter what they do and what the internship is going to be like for their company — what your day is going to look like when you’re there.”
Another tip demonstrated by Bauman: If you’re a non-engineering major looking for a job in marketing, communications or another aspect of the company, and there isn’t a specific recruiter there for those roles, ask recruiters if they can pass along your resume to the appropriate department. Bauman gladly accepted a resume from marketing major Nathaniel Vogler ’25, who contacted several companies at fall Career Fair and landed a summer 2024 internship at Stellantis.
Talent acquisition specialist Qahhar Islam of Precision Edge Surgical Products isn’t a Michigan Tech alumnus, but he teamed up with current biomedical engineering student Emma Hayhurst ’24 at fall Career Fair.
“We want the best of the best. We want the best engineering students that are out there, and the proof is in the pudding because we have Emma. Emma came to Precision Edge last summer as an engineering intern and has walked away with a very prosperous career in front of her,” said Islam. One of the attributes he likes to see in prospective interns and employees is that they’ve done the homework on companies they are visiting. “Do your research and know about the company,” he advised.
Hayhurst encouraged Huskies to begin attending Career Fairs as soon as they start at Tech. “Getting the experience of talking to companies is a great starting point,” she said. “There's lots of different opportunities here. So many companies are interested in Michigan Tech students. It makes Michigan Tech students very hopeful for future careers.”
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. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, Michigan’s flagship technological university offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.