|The University of Tennessee’s Office of Engineering Professional Practice Engineering Expo proved successful in a record-setting way.
More than 730 students turned up for Friday’s annual event, setting a new attendance record.
Held each fall in Thompson-Boling Arena, the Engineering Expo is designed to bring students together with potential employers for paid co-op and internship opportunities.
“This is our premier event for recruiting UT engineering students to opportunities like these,” said Todd Reeves, director of the office. “We focus on the educational aspects of these kinds of opportunities and try to help our students find positions that match their academic and career goals.”
This year, student interest was high enough that the line to get into the arena stretched around the side of the building a full hour after doors opened.
As one of the few engineering-only expos in the country, the event has an equally strong turnout from the corporate side. The 80 companies attending this year also set an Engineering Expo record.
Businesses ranging from local titans such as Eastman Chemical, MAHLE, and DENSO to nationally recognized brands like AT&T, PepsiCo, and Nissan filled the arena concourse.
“Having an engineering college like UT’s in our backyard is a major plus for us,” said Tonya Shortt, a recruiter for MAHLE, based in Morristown. “Our partnership with Todd’s office has grown really strong in the last few years, and that really helps both of us.”
The expo offers a “meet and greet” on day one and interviews on day two.
Students spend the first day in the arena concourse, visiting booths that pique their interest. If the student and company hit it off, the student comes back on day two for a more formal interview. This year, more than a thousand interviews were held on interview day.
UT’s Office of Engineering Professional Practice is the second oldest in the South, celebrating its ninetieth anniversary this year.
Since its founding in 1926, it has been dedicated to helping engineering students find educationally relevant paid co-op and internship positions.
In addition to support activities, it hosts several events throughout the year—including a highly successful welcome back cookout, which, like the expo, saw a record turnout this year.