Wednesday, September 27, 2006

My Old School

Late September is the peak of the college recruiting season, and today I took my annual trip back to my alma mater for their annual Career Fair. I've been to just about every Univ. of Maryland Fall Career Fair for the past decade, and you know what? Not much has changed over the years. The recently renovated Student Union has changed, but most of the same companies are there, most everyone still hands out their pens and frisbees, and the students shuffle through overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of it all.

I focused on College Recruiting exclusively in the late 90s when I was with Vitro>Tracor>Marconi>BAE Systems (same company, just three name changes in 3 1/2 years, talk about a branding nightmare!). That time gave me a deep appreciation for college recruiting as I made alot of friends, had alot of fun, and made alot of great hires. My recent employers have done much less college recruiting, and that's OK, it hasn't fit their talent acquisition needs as well. But still, when I can get back on to campus, especially one as beautiful and as filled with great memories as My Old School, I do so without hesitation.

We did well today as we met a number of students who had very relevant work experience and some even with security clearances. I'm hopeful that we will be able to hire at least a few of them. The competition is fierce once again though, and I'm not even as worried about the big government contractors that were in the room (i.e. Lockheed, Boeing, Northrop, BAE, etc.). Government agencies such as CIA, NSA as well as the various Military Commands that were represented were clearly the most popular employers there today. Universities in the DC area are unique in that respect. I don't think you would see that in most other regions in the country. The federal government is such a major part of our daily lives here in this area (many of these students' parents or close family members likely work for the government), that working for the government is an appealing choice.

The predominance of government agencies and contractors at this event leaves the international student population a bit out in the cold though unfortunately. Citizenship requirements at these organizations make it very difficult for these students to find relevant opportunities, but as frustrating as this must be, the international students that I spoke to were understanding and resilient in their search for a great internship or full-time job.

It was another fun and productive day in College Park, MD today. I get back there often for football and basketball games. It's the recruiting activities there though that really get my blood pumping. FEAR THE TURTLE!!!


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home