The Department of Chemistry hosted its annual Career Network and Recruitment Fair this month. The event was held in-person for the first time in 2 years, and it was great to see so many students, postdocs, faculty and industry recruiters come together. For more than 40 years, the Career Network and Recruitment Fair (formerly known as Sponsors Days) has brought industry representatives and recruiters to the Department of Chemistry in order to meet and interview our graduate students and postdocs as well as discuss science and possible collaborations with faculty.
Students who participate in the Career Network and Recruitment Fair have the opportunity to promote their research through poster sessions, form relationships with companies and industry professionals, and interview for jobs. Each year, many chemistry students are hired because of the Career Network and Recruitment Fair.
Christopher Reynolds, a graduate student in the Cremer Lab, had the opportunity to present a poster this year. Of his his experience he said "many recruiters came by to talk with me and it was interesting communicating my very biologically motivated research with some very non-biologically oriented people. It was an excellent opportunity to practice presenting to an audience that doesn't have a direct background in my research. I was offered an interview after the poster session. All in all, it was a very helpful event."
“There is a clear culture of community outreach in the Department of Chemistry,” says Michael Smith, Senior Manager COI at Quaker Houghton, a chemicals company where process fluids are developed. “Many of the candidates I’ve interviewed the past 7 years at Penn State have been very engaged in the community, both outside of the university and inside its graduate and undergraduate communities. These are students that you can be proud of as well-rounded individuals, and this is very attractive and consistent with Quaker Houghton’s core values.”
Ganesh Anand, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, headed the Career Network and Recruitment Fair committee for the first time this year. “It was most exciting to host this year’s in-person CNRF events as Chair. It was gratifying to interact with the industry professionals and watch the energy of students at the poster sessions and various fora. A big shout out to the committee, Phil (Department Head), Claire (Department Head's Assistant) and Kathryn (Communications Coordinator) for successfully hosting this event.”
The committee consisted mainly of new personnel to the department so many of the logistics were learned on the spot. However, the committee came together and was able to put together a very successful event that brought in several interested recruiters hoping to meet and learn more about our students looking for jobs after graduating. The committee hopes to further improve and develop the Career Network and Recruitment Fair to create an even bigger and better experience for the future.
One of the returning recruiters who attended this year’s event was Elaine Masser who is a NA/EUR Tech Service Manager from the chemicals company Dupont and a former graduate student in the Eberly College of Science. Masser commented on how the 2022 Career Network and Recruitment Fair was “very organized and informative. I was glad to attend in-person this year after being virtual for the past 2 years. The highlight of the Career Fair is the poster session, where students showcase their research and present it to industry recruiters. I attended this event as a MatSE Ph.D. student 10 years ago. I have been attending to recruit for DuPont for the past 5 years. This event used to help me and my classmates to find industry positions and is now helping me as a recruiter to identify new talent for hiring and replenishing DuPont’s talent pool. I look forward to joining again next year!”