The CAMEO Career Fair
With the Spring semester well under way, there are still many students looking for summer plans. Some students may be looking forward to relaxing or traveling, but there are many under the pressure to find a summer internship. Luckily for the engineering students, they once again had the opportunity to dress up, polish off their resumes, and practice their elevator pitches as the CAMEO Career Fair gives every engineering student an opportunity to fulfill their pursuit of an internship. Virginia Tech holds many career fairs geared toward specific people in certain demographics, which range by disciplines you’re studying, to certain groups of peoples, to overall career fairs. In February, the annual CAMEO Career fair took place, to appeal to the group of minority engineering students.
Council for Advancement of Minority Engineering Organizations, or CAMEO for short, was hosted on February 23rd in the Squires Commonwealth Ballroom, with February 24th as an exclusive-interview-only day for individuals that impressed recruiters. CAMEO is an umbrella organization for the minority engineering organizations, connecting Virginia Tech Engineers with incredible companies. Cameo is an entirely student-run organization, consisting of representatives from every minority engineering society, including the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE) and the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). The representatives along with Dr. Bevlee Watford and her Assistant Mrs. Taylor Cupp have put together the focal point of opportunities of making connections between students and their future employers.
The career fair had opportunities for everyone who wanted to get more involved, from planning, to volunteering, to an active participant. Students had the opportunity to volunteer as a general helper which helped set up the fair and set it into motion. Other options included shuttle drivers for company representatives to and from their desired locations or check in helpers which gave student’s the opportunity to put their best foot forward with their name and major as the first thing employers see. Alex Zapata, a senior Mechanical Engineering student and Vice president of Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers has stated that it’s challenging but rewarding being one of the student representatives helping plan this career fair. He states that the board only consists of 9 students and 1 faculty, so they must delegate the responsibilities by org to lead the way of their task. One organization will handle name tags and another catering, but at the end of the day it takes a collective effort to organize an event of this magnitude to keep all the companies and their representatives well informed, fed, and given the best opportunity to meet with students.
The career fair has a lot of time and effort going into it, but as Alex Zapata says, “ I really enjoy seeing students walking away with jobs, connections, and all the free merch companies give out! I remember being a Sophomore desperately looking for a summer internship and I wasn’t certain if I would get one”. Everyone at one point was nervous to go talk to recruiters, and some may still be even with internship experience. But what makes it so exciting, is the opportunity to show your best professional persona and landing the interview, and eventually the position, and that makes all the anxiety worthwhile.
This year’s CAMEO Career Fair held 100+ companies, many of which had notable reputations. Companies like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and General Electric were there to recruit students for internships or full time positions. There were many opportunities to prepare your elevator pitch and shake off the nerves. Before the CAMEO Career Fair, there was the opportunity to attend the CAMEO Summit on February 19th, a few days before showtime at the career fair. At this workshop, you can have your resume reviewed, practice your elevator pitch, or discuss strategies on how to have a conversation with employers. Whether you’re there to shoot your best shot at a recruiter or there to volunteer, the CAMEO Career Fair is an opportunity for many students to solidify their plans for the summer, gain some experience, and most exciting of all, make some money!