ECU students flock to spring career fair

As Josue Arteaga nears his graduation from East Carolina University, he knows exactly what he wants to do.

Industrial engineering technology major Josue Arteaga talks to representatives of SPT during the career fair. (Photo by Ken Buday)

“I want to become a good leader, a supervisor everyone can count on,” said Arteaga, a senior industrial engineering technology major in the Department of Technology Systems. “Some people need help, and I want to become that example and that person everyone can count on.”

Arteaga was one of hundreds of students who came out Wednesday for the Science, Engineering and Technology Fair at the Greenville Convention Center. From Elizabethtown, Arteaga set his sights on SPT, a company that designs, manufactures and markets products for the industrial automation market.

“It’s a company that’s really close to home,” he said. “I’m on standby, waiting for them to reach back out, and hopefully I will get an opportunity to work with the company.”

While Arteaga graduates in May, others in the College of Engineering and Technology came to the fair for the opportunity to network, find internships or get more information on companies they may want to work for when they do graduate.

Christian Mooring won’t graduate until 2024. Still the engineering student with a mechanical concentration came to the fair with an idea that the companies needed to recruit her as much as she needed to sell herself to them.

“I’m looking for a company that will allow me to showcase my skills,” she said. “I’d like to be a project manager or maybe manufacturing, but I’m really leaning toward project manager.”

She said her classes in the Department of Engineering are putting her on the right track toward a good career.

“What we use in our engineering courses as far as the software, most of the companies use the same thing or something slightly different, but I feel it wouldn’t be too hard to catch on,” she said.

Engineering student Christian Mooring talks to a representative of American Tower during the career fair. (Photo by Ken Buday)

Construction management sophomore Jaden Armstrong already has an internship for the summer, but that didn’t stop him from coming to the job fair.

“I just wanted to talk to everybody and try to pick up my communications skills, just talking and making eye contact,” he said. “I just wanted to make sure I could network and pick up those skills.”

His internship is with Whiting-Turner, a company that provides construction management, general contracting and design services for both small and large projects. He wants to turn that internship into a full-time job.

“I’m going back for my second internship,” Armstrong said. “Basically, I’ll be out in the field with the superintendent doing quality control, safety and things like that, just working with the team.”

Armstrong said he was impressed with the job fair, which features about 150 companies and businesses.

“It’s great. I’m glad to see everyone out here, and I’m able to talk to all these different companies,” he said.

Rodney Cole, a 2001 ECU graduate, represented one of those companies, S.T. Wooten, a construction company that builds highways, prepares commercial and residential sites, and does project engineering and designing.

“There are a wide variety of things you can get your hands on, and it’s a great team to be a part of,” Cole said of S.T. Wooten.

The project manager described employment in the construction industry as steady, adding that S.T. Wooten is always looking for quality employees.

“We’re looking for good people, and we’re going to try to help them out anyway we can,” he said. “The kids coming out of college, their minds are going in every different direction, so we’re just here to help guide them and put them in the right places.”

With a steady stream of students at the S.T. Wooten table, Cole stayed busy talking about the company to students.

“I think it’s a great thing that they put on,” he said of the fair. “There are a lot of vendors here and a lot of opportunities here for the kids coming out of college.”

Students or alumni who missed the fair can still find job resources through the ECU Career Services website. Another career fair will be scheduled in the fall.

Rodney Cole, a project manager with S.T. Wooten, talks to students during the career fair. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)