Engineering students network, look for internships and jobs at “Techfest”

More than 30 companies came to campus to recruit students and distribute information at the TechFest event held by the College of Engineering and Computer Science and SUNlink Wednesday.

The event packed the Northridge Center with students who passed out resumes, introduced themselves to company representatives and got tips on applying for internships and jobs.

“I printed out a bunch of resumes, researched the companies,” said Christopher Crawford, 24, a mechanical engineering major who attended the event to find an internship before he graduates next year. “It looks like there are a lot of aerospace representatives here. I have undergraduate research experience so that should help me.”

Several of the booths were coordinated by CSUN graduates such as Nathaniel Torian, 28, Tool Design Engineer for Hawker Pacific Aerospace, who had attended TechFest in past semesters.

“We’ve been through here as students and know how good of an event it is for exposure,” Torian said.

The company had tried to hire an intern using online advertising recently but had received very little response.

“It’s hard to get people to notice you, so when we come here we really get some good quality interns available,” Torian said. “Otherwise our candidate selection is poor and we felt like we needed greater exposure and I felt like this was the way to do it.”

According to Sarah Le Long, SUNlink administrator and events coordinator, the event was attended by students from all levels- from freshmen interested in ways to fill out their resumes to juniors and seniors looking for internships and jobs, to graduate students.

“They can have a little interview where an employer can see you face-to-face and you can stand out easier than if you were just sending a letter to HR,” Le Long said. “They can make a connection with you and they can put a name to the face. You can highlight the projects you’re working on and your skills. It’s a great way to find a job.”

Torian said networking with other students was integral to getting the internship that lead to the job he holds now, which he got even before he graduated.

“I have a really good job. It’s creative but it’s also methodical,” he said. “It’s also a lot of paperwork involved but I still love that I’m able to design and apply the things that I learned in school and be hands-on. I’m really happy with it.”

Torian advised students to come with questions and have resumes prepared for the representatives. Those with “high initiative” could research companies and keep open lines of communication.

“I’d like for them to have experience with SOLIDWORKS, be hands-on with different machine tools or types of tools, even just standards wrenches and sockets, measuring tools such as calipers, potentiometers,” he said.