Students seeking jobs and internships in the construction industry at the fall 2012 Career Fairs hosted by the Texas A&M Department of Construction Science had more companies to choose from than in recent years, said George Eustace, the department’s industry relations coordinator.
“The diversity in the type and size of companies recruiting at this fall's career fairs was also noteworthy, as was the increased interest from companies in the oil and natural gas sector of the construction industry such as ExxonMobil, Shell, Bechtel and Turner Industries,” said Eustace, adding that residential homebuilders such as the Pulte Group, Lennar and Highland Homes also enhanced the event's diversity.
“Most companies were seeking students from the department for key project management jobs requiring professional knowledge in key skill areas such as estimating, planning, scheduling and cost control,” said Eustace.
A total of 79 companies recruited students at the Sept. 19 career fair, held at the Brazos County Expo Center and featuring companies with membership in the department's Construction Industry Advisory Council, which supports the department and its students. Eleven of them were first-time participants.
About 20 companies not affiliated with department's advisory council attended the second career fair held Sept. 28 at the Langford Architecture Center on the Texas A&M campus.
Both fairs accounted for 20 percent increase in recruiting companies compared to the department's spring 2012 job fairs. Eustace said 124 students from his Construction Ethics class, a record number, prepped for the fair by preparing a cover letter and resume and sharpening their interviewing skills. They also crafted 125-word maximum “best shot” paragraph in their cover letters, describing how they used their knowledge and skills in a significant achievement or major decision.
“The ‘best shots’ were very helpful in getting to know the students on a more personal level and learn where I could best direct them in their research of the companies prior to the fairs,” said Eustace.
Students also created an terse “elevator” speech, a presentation short enough to deliver to an executive during an elevator ride, which they could also use at the fairs.
“Both assignments proved helpful in boosting the students’ confidence in earning that coveted personal interview at the career fairs,” said Eustace.