Technology firms, startups and research laboratories took over Dillon gymnasium Oct. 9, welcoming undergraduates to the first science and technology jobs fair of the academic year. Students in suits and dresses stood in line with resume printouts to talk business with one of the 89 companies on display.
This year’s lineup included established tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft, but also welcomed newcomers such as the room-sharing service Airbnb, the ride-sharing service Uber and Tetra Tech, a consulting firm that helps government and corporate clients solve problems related to water and other environmental resources. Over 1,250 students attended the event, a 25 percent increase from last year’s attendance rate, said Undergraduate Affairs Assistant Traci Miller, who was the chief organizer of the fair.
“Undergraduates were lined up to meet with company representatives before the 10 a.m. start,” Miller said, adding that communication with various university services such as the University Movers and the E-Quad loading dock staff was essential in planning the fair.
“We’ve always regarded it as being an important element in advancing the professional development of engineering students,” Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs at the School of Engineering and Applied Science Peter Bogucki said of the fair, adding that although focused on science and technology, the fair includes opportunities for students from a range of backgrounds.
Google is particularly interested in Princeton students because of their diverse interests, Google University Programs Specialist Michael Bufano said, noting that even if students major in subjects like English, they are often prepared for challenges that extend beyond their academic focus. Google is searching for both summer interns and full-time employees after graduation.
“The companies are pretty impressive,” civil engineering major Russel Archer, a senior, said after touring a few stands. Archer attended the event to stay updated on career opportunities close to his graduation date, and said he was particularly interested in the Gilbane construction company. However, Archer said that even companies whose specialties did not align with his major, such as Siemens, were very flexible about proposing different job opportunities.
OPEX Corporation, a mailroom automation equipment developer and a newcomer to the fair this year, has connections to Princeton through employees who are alumni, and is currently expanding its engineering department.
“Everybody who goes here is going to be some kind of industry leader some day,” OPEX Product Development Manager David Helmlinger said of the University.
Many of the companies at the fair included alumni representatives, such as Patrick Wendell, who graduated in 2011 and is co-founder of the big data service Databricks. Wendell said that he found it exciting and fun to pitch opportunities back to Princeton students.
“There’s a lot of great talent here at Princeton. It’s a huge opportunity for us as a company,” Wendell said, adding that many students also seem interested in entrepreneurship.
TripAdvisor Campus Recruiter Kendra Bingham said the company is particularly interested in Princeton because of its strong engineering program. The company is well established but also operates as a startup, Bingham said, noting that employees break out into smaller innovation groups that give individuals the chance to make more of an impact.
Although she already has an internship lined up for next summer, computer science major Rachel Xu, a junior, said the fair helped her explore future options.
“The fair includes research-oriented groups that I didn’t know existed,” Xu said, citing the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Labs as a particularly interesting option.
Unsure of her future career path, mechanical and aerospace engineering major Madeline Travnik, a sophomore, said that she was impressed by the many directions a career in technology can take. She was particularly struck by Blend Labs, which specializes in mortgage lending platforms.
Students left the fair with lighter resume folders and plenty of “swag,” as Bogucki termed the company t-shirts, stickers, notepads, Rubik’s cubes and other gadgets that disappeared quickly from company stands.
Full list of companies that participated in the event:
Analytics Operations Engineering, Inc.
Applied Predictive Technologies
Applied Research Laboratory at Penn State University
Betterment Holdings Inc
Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc.
Bridgewater Associates, LP
Comcast / NBC Universal
D. E. Shaw & Company
D.E. Shaw Research
Dow Jones & Co.
Elysium Digital, LLC
Five Rings Capital, LLC
General Dynamics Mission Systems
Gilbane Building Company
Hudson River Trading
IBM Mobile Innovation Lab
Innovative Defense Technologies
Institute for Defense Analyses
Integra Life Sciences
Jane Street Capital
MIT Lincoln Laboratory
NYU Langone Medical Center
Optiver US, LLC
Ramboll Environ US Corporation
Schlumberger Technology Corp.
Spire Global, Inc.
Spirent Communications, Inc.
STRATUS Solutions, Inc.
Susquehanna International Group
The Dedham Group
The MITRE Corporation
The Rockefeller University
The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
Tower Research Capital LLC
Two Sigma Investments
United States Marine Corps
United States Navy
Valkyrie Trading, LLC
Venture for America