The mission statement of the UNH-IOL is two-fold involving both the fostering of multi-vendor interoperability and also the education and empowerment of the next generation of engineers. Throughout their years of employment our students gain valuable professional and technical experience and have unique opportunities to network with industry professionals in their chosen field. Additionally they acquire tremendous interpersonal and communication skills as well as the ability to effectively troubleshoot and solve complex technical problems.
One opportunity to interface with industry is the annual Career Fair which takes place during UNH’s Spring Break. Of the eight companies in attendance-- including big names like HP Storage and Liberty Mutual Insurance-- most have a history with the UNH-IOL either through the testing of their devices, sponsorship of our STEM initiatives or through the hiring of our graduates. These companies were all excited about the opportunity to meet our students as potential future employees. Joe McEachern, founder and CEO of QA Cafe, stated, "As a former IOL student myself, I know firsthand the valuable experience and training that students receive. The IOL has always played a big role in helping us find high quality employees right here in New Hampshire." Shannon Hathaway of Single Digits echoed this, saying, "We have had incredible success hiring from the UNH-IOL in the past. The caliber of the employees turned out by the IOL is so much higher than the traditional graduate that often we can offer them positions that are higher than entry-level. They are so well-trained, and have such a wealth of knowledge, that they are prepared for more advanced positions."
As a smaller-than-typical career event, students have the opportunity to have unhurried conversations with the companies that attend. This helps students identify positions that best suit them, and allows companies to reach out in confidence that each student is a quality candidate with valuable skills and experiences. Emily Gagnon, of Albany Engineered Composites, remarked that she enjoys these small events where she has a better opportunity to engage with students. At large events, companies must often initiate conversation and convince students that their positions are worth pursuing. Here, students approach with questions and enthusiasm, since the fair has been specifically tailored to match their skills and interests.
During the career fair, Engineers and Human Resource representatives are given a half-hour to present to the students about their company-- both to give an overview of the purpose of the company, as well as to give an inside look into working there. Students have the opportunity to consider different jobs and workplace environments, all close to home and open to UNH-IOL graduates. Attending companies receive a Resume Binder containing resumes of upcoming graduates and can come prepared to hold interviews during the fair.
In an effort to better coordinate with companies' summer internships next year's career fair will be held in January during UNH's Winter Break. Please contact Christina Dube for more information or if you would like to attend.
Amy Davies, iSCSI Technician