Career Fair Chairs reply to Staff Editorial: NSBE, SHPE provide opportunities; fewer companies only because of recession

As the current tri-chairs of RPI’s 31st annual National Society of Black Engineers/Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Career Fair, our mission is to correct last week’s Staff Editorial rough draft in regards to this year’s fair. The purpose of Career Fair is not only to create a pleasant recruiter experience, but also provide the entire RPI student body with vast opportunities in their selected fields, a mission statement that no one from our staff is forced to apply or uphold, because what we do is completely volunteer.

Our career fair for the past 31 years has graced this campus on the first weekend of every October. This means the RPI administration, specifically “Homecoming & Reunion” and the illustrious East Campus Athletic Village grand opening, drew the line. They forced you to make the decision. Alongside the predictable event date lies the consistent timing. The Career Fair is a two-day, six-hour-long event, meaning students (including the assorted athletes who found devastation in the fact the Career Fair passed without their additional presence) have the ability to conquer and divide accordingly—which could lead an educated individual to deduce that a student could attend the Career Fair in the morning for an hour or so and wrangle themselves a job and/or interview, all in due time to grab a snack at the Rensselaer Union and head home for some good downhome, old-fashioned study time (a four-day period of time our staff finds none of due to the high pressures of delivering a flawless event for you). Thursday night, when you are tucked into bed dreaming of the success that awaits you that Friday, our staff is working tirelessly to produce a haven for those dreams to take shape. Some members of staff sleep in the Armory for two days so your dreams are possible.

The next stop on this trip of self-analysis is the statement, “In addition to the poor timing, the event was less organized in comparison to previous years.” This statement finds no weight, due to two facts: One, no one from The Poly held a position on this year’s staff, characterizing the above statement as a fabrication, or more colloquially, a lie. To add another phrase, it is an insult, especially noting the time it takes to continuously produce a newspaper every Wednesday; that takes a certain amount of dedication. As a staff, we began our journey at the top of this year, to host a two-day event. Most members of our staff forfeit a summer to stay on campus and handle the relentless calls and e-mails; with regards to the organization we volunteered our time. Secondly, the only disorganization one could claim would be the 2,500 students rushing the floor with hopes to continue their climb to their ideal path of success. Twenty-five hundred students walked the floor Saturday, and all found a way to register for the event, so the excuse of a lack of response from staff, again, holds no weight. Also a majority of those 2,500 students developed a “company plan of attack” before stepping foot into the Armory; one can assume they gained that bead of knowledge from the Career Fair website, which was meticulously maintained and updated with a listing of companies and the majors they were recruiting. Our Web committee of four members, two of which are new to staff, re-developed an operational site for the day of, within the semester (a task that requires a special skill level and a high threshold), because our initial website was hacked, and required us to outsource to an auxiliary company. These selfless acts characterize a form of dedication and discipline all to have the Career Fair operate at peak potential.

This also means 2,500 students expect the Career Fair every year to hand them options.

The NSBE/SHPE Career Fair would like to sincerely apologize to the RPI community for the low numbers this year. Unfortunately, company hiring freezes, layoffs, and lack of finances contributed to the decrease of companies by 50. I do agree with the line, “Given the timing of the event, it wouldn’t have been unreasonable to try to get as many companies as possible to come.” Yes, with all the work involved with Career Fair, our entire staff neglected to notice the lifted economic recession in the first week of October. Ergo, our deepest apologies. To find resolution to our apparent neglect, the 32nd annual NSBE/SHPE Career Fair applications will be available next month; I would suggest all who thirst for the drastic improvement of Career Fair apply!

As for our final notes, this Career Fair is grand; boasted as the largest in the nation, almost Guinness-World-Records-approved, this Career Fair is entirely student-run on a volunteer basis. This Career Fair is a beacon on RPI’s campus, something that should be cherished and not taken lightly; such unchecked, biased publications could lead one to believe that the Career Fair is at fault for your inability to manage your studies and your life accordingly. Or such unchecked, biased publications could lead one to pursue higher entities on the fact that this five-paragraph column lacking any factual basis has slandered an entire organization. Fortunately, in this case, you have a choice in the matter.

Tequisha Hendrickson ’10,

Ayriel “REL” Hunt ’10,

and Ruby Ramirez ’10

31st annual NSBE/SHPE Career Fair Tri-Chairs