Last week, over 400 students attended two industry nights that brought STEM companies to campus to meet with and recruit students.
As part of the University’s effort to grow its emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the Office of Career Strategy (OCS) is expanding support for students interested in STEM careers, scheduling a slew of career-oriented events for STEM students this semester.
Associate director of OCS Brian Frenette said the high turnout at the industry events was a sign of strong interest on campus and bodes well for future relationships with employers.
Moving forward, Frenette said OCS hopes to continue to grow these industry nights and consolidate individual company events into larger ones.
STEM companies have traditionally been underrepresented during the recruiting season, Frenette said. While industries like finance and consulting receive a lot of attention because they participate in on-campus recruitment, many industries, STEM included, simply do not have the resources to have a constant physical presence on campus.
Students may notice the lack of STEM recruiters and mistakenly think that these employers are not interested in hiring Yale students, he said.
“I think sometimes people misinterpret a lack of physical presence to say they’re not interested,” Frenette said.
Increasing employers’ physical presence on campus has recently become easier with the opening of the Center for Engineering Innovation and Design two years ago, said Vincent Wilczynski, deputy dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Having a new, physical space that represents Yale’s commitment to STEM adds vibrancy to networking events that are held there, he said, adding that it also gives employers a more thorough understanding of the engineering community at Yale.
OCS also publicizes STEM job opportunities published on Symplicity, Yale’s online jobs database.
Many companies who cannot physically travel to campus demonstrate their interest in Yale talent by posting jobs to Symplicity, Frenette said.
“Big companies like Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky [Aircraft Corporation] have voluntarily come to our database and posted positions,” he said.
Last year, OCS decided to discontinue its annual career fair in favor of smaller, industry-specific recruitment nights. Brooke Tlasky — a recruitment coordinator for ESPN who attended last week’s industry night for the first time — said the more intimate environment allowed her to give more individual attention to students.
Still, Hannah Mae Robinson ’15, a mechanical engineering major who attended one of the industry nights, said engineering students would benefit from even more face time with employers.
“Because [Yale’s] engineering numbers are small compared to schools with bigger engineering programs, it isn’t always worth the recruiter’s time to make the trip,” she said. “Yale engineers often have to turn to the black hole of the online resume drop with big engineering companies.”
Symplicity job listings have not helped much either, she said, adding that she finds that non-finance, non-consulting and non-software job are still “slim pickings.”
For Pablo Napolitano ’15, another mechanical engineering major, it is difficult to ignore the draw of consulting or finance. Though he has wanted to be an engineer for years, going into consulting feels safer and better-paying, he said.
“It’s hard to put your eggs in the proverbial engineering basket, considering how much more demand there is for a Yale consultant than for a Yale engineer,” he said. “I think a greater presence from design firms and major engineering companies would do a lot to change that. Hopefully as time goes on, companies will see greater value in Yale engineers.”
41 percent of the class of 2017 matriculated to Yale with an intention of majoring in a STEM field.