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Employers Seek UW’s Best Graduates and Interns

March 1, 2016
Senior Recruiter Carie Raddatz, left, discusses summer internships with Trevor Schilling.
Senior Recruiter Carie Raddatz, left, discusses summer internships with Trevor Schilling.

As far as Carie Raddatz is concerned, there’s one thing that sets a potential employee or intern apart from the rest of the pack.

“I’m really looking for those who have a strong passion for engineering,” she says.

Raddatz, a senior recruiter for Rocky Mountain Power, was among 55 employers to attend the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Job Fair on Wednesday at the Rochelle Gateway Center. Hosted by the University of Wyoming’s Center of Advising and Career Services, the fair brought hundreds of students from the STEM fields in direct contact with employers in the same fields.

Megan Richter of Sheridan, Wyo., has been to job fairs since her first year in college. Now a junior in mechanical engineering at UW, she’s a seasoned veteran.

“Every single year, you can learn a little bit more about the company you want to invest in,” Richter says. “That way, around your junior or senior year, you’re ready to show them your best.”

Richter has accomplished that, already landing internships and job offers due in part to successful job-fair interactions.

“No one really cares if you’re a unique individual and show up in sweatpants with messy hair,” she says. “You’ve got to play the game. If you ask for advice and listen to it, you’re going to be set.”

Raddatz is eager to give advice to aspiring engineers. They represent the future of her electric utility company. She’s recruited for nine years and came to UW looking for mechanical and energy systems engineers to serve as interns at the Jim Bridger Plant near Rock Springs, Wyo.

“With students coming right out of college, I like to see what they’ve done for their thesis and capstone,” she says. “It doesn’t matter what area or what kind of equipment they’ve worked on. It gives me a quick look into their skills. It helps me as a recruiter. Sometimes I can even refer them to another position other than the one they applied for.”

Trevor Schilling of Gillette, Wyo., visited the Rocky Mountain Power booth to learn more about the opportunities. He is a junior studying chemical engineering, and was looking for a summer internship.

“It’s good to get your resume out and to keep in touch,” he says. “You’re building connections, which is pretty key at this point in my life.”

At least one UW engineering alumnus was among the employers at the fair. Stuart Williams graduated in 2015 with a degree in architectural engineering and now works for Facility Engineering Associates (FEA) out of Lakewood, Colo. He and Senior Project Manager T.R. Hernacki answered questions at their booth, hoping to find a crop of interns to learn under their guidance.

“We’re excited about picking out another set of UW grads,” Hernacki says. “Wyoming has been great for us.”


Want to distinguish yourself from the crowd? Here’s a few pointers for job-fair preparation.

Have a resume at the ready: This shows you’re serious about finding employment or internships. If you give resumes to recruiters, oftentimes they’ll share them with managers and you get your name out there.

Be active: Talk to every potential employer you can. The fact that you’re attending the fair gets you face time with recruiters and builds networking skills.

Know who is there: Do some research on the companies with which you hope to interact. Learn what the company does, how it’s structured, what you could offer them as an employee, etc.

Ask questions: You can impress recruiters with focus-driven questions about the type of work they do, where they are located and the like. It also could help you narrow your choices—you may find out some things about a company that could affect your interest level.

Present your best self: Dressing professionally, introducing yourself, speaking confidently and maintaining eye contact is a surefire way to leave a lasting impression.

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