ECU job fair draws more than 220 employers

The Greenville Convention Center proved very familiar to Khadeem Dublin. The East Carolina University graduate attended a career fair earlier this year at the center and landed a job as an assistant project manager for Environmental Air Systems.

Construction management student Dawson Dupree, right, speaks with Adam Kelly, left, executive director of safety, and Khadeem Dublin, assistant project manager, both of whom are ECU graduates, at the EAS booth.

On Wednesday he returned, hoping to recruit more ECU graduates to his new company as managers, engineers, designers and control technicians as part of the fall Science, Engineering and Technology Fair.

“It’s a full 360 for me,” Dublin said. “I was just on the other side of the table about six months ago.”

He recalled his strategy at the job fair that helped him earn a position at EAS.

“I kept an open mind and talked to as many people as possible,” he said. “I talked to everybody that I could, and I didn’t hesitate to talk to people who I didn’t think we’re looking for someone with my major.”

One of those students he talked with at the event was Dawson Dupree, a senior construction management major who will graduate in May. He said he enjoyed the opportunity to meet with various companies in person, as the last job fair he attended was online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m hoping to land a job,” he said. “I’m just seeing what’s open in different areas.”

Hundreds of ECU students and alumni circulated among the more than 220 employers interested in hiring for positions in construction management, computer science, engineering and technology systems. There were so many employers, they overflowed into the hallways outside of the main convention center floor.

Senior Josh Hamilton is graduating in December. He was among the students who lined up at the Cisco table.

Student John Hamilton speaks to a representative of Cisco.

“They are a very prominent company that a lot of people are looking to get an opportunity from,” Hamilton said. “Cisco has been a great help for ECU students. They are connected to ECU, and ECU loves them.”

The information and computer technology major said he received some good advice as he hopes to get a job as a technical consulting engineer.

“I spoke with one of their recruiters, and she helped me greatly,” he said. “She told me what I needed to do to apply. She gave me some tips on my resume, so after I update my resume to fit what they are looking for, I can apply and hopefully get hired.”

As someone who is about to graduate, Hamilton said he would not trade his experience at ECU.

“It’s been surreal. I love ECU. If I was to do it all over again, I would,” he said. “The kind of connections you make at ECU never diminish. There are always alumni here who are reaching out — whether to connect on LinkedIn or whether they come here or speak at events — you’ll always find someone you can connect with at ECU.”

The job fair wasn’t for only seniors. Junior engineering major Sydney Bosworth stopped at a booth for 35 North, a project management company that develops life sciences facilities, laboratories and manufacturing plants.

“I’m looking for an internship, and hopefully a future job if it works out,” she said.

Bosworth said the job fair was her first.

“Everyone has been really nice. I really like it,” she said.

Despite her relative inexperience in approaching employers, she knew what she had to do to make the most of the event.

Engineering student Sydney Bosworth speaks to a representative from 35 North.

“Prepare. Make sure your resume is good. Practice in the mirror. Call your parents. They know what they’re doing, but definitely prepare,” she said.

Madison Clark is just a sophomore at ECU, but the information and computer technology major saw a lot of value in attending the career fair.

“It’s more networking myself, getting my name out there and getting vendors who have to do with information technology and computer services familiar with my face and my name so that when I do get close to my senior year, maybe they will recognize me and they will see the effort that I’ve been putting in to pursue working for their company even from the early age as a sophomore,” she said. “Hopefully that networking can get me a job when I graduate.”

She came away from the fair impressed and appreciative.

“The number of vendors who want to come out and support ECU and support the students trying to find jobs after graduation has been great, and the inclusivity,” she said. “As a female in a male-based field, it’s very nice to get talked to by vendors and get the familiarity that you don’t always get.”

Clark joined forces with fellow information and computer technology majors Brandon Webster and Daiquan Dabney to hit booths together.

“We actually work together and we’ve had class together, and we all have a different concentration,” Clark said. “We’re just talking to vendors and seeing what every company offers for each different concentration.”

And each company at the fair had a lot to offer.

“We have over 300 intern positions across all the different curriculums,” said Tony Capps, director of telecommunications for Duke Energy. “It doesn’t matter if it’s mechanical or electrical, finance or economics, we have a broad curriculum for people to get interns or co-ops. We also have some full-time job openings for people who are graduating in the spring or the fall.”

He said students seemed surprised when they learned of all the different types of jobs available at Duke Energy.

“When they look at Duke, they think we’re just a power company,” he said. “They don’t think about all of the things we do other than generate and distribute power. They don’t think about the construction management that it takes to make all of that go together. They don’t think about all the telecommunications it takes to make it work. We’ve got doctors and lawyers and chemists and everything at Duke. You can find a job at Duke if you want to take a look.”

ECU Career Services put on the job fair and offers a variety of services to students and alumni such as seminars, career planning, virtual and in-person appointments in which resumes and general career advice can be discussed, and job and internship searches. More information is available through the career services website.

Tony Capps, director of telecommunications for Duke Energy, speaks to students during the Science, Engineering and Technology Fair.