More than 1,000 students from The University of Texas-Pan American and surrounding area colleges attended the College Students Career Day during Hispanic Engineering, Science and Technology (HESTEC) Week in the hopes of finding and learning about their dream jobs.
More than 30 companies and organizations from across the country were in attendance to talk to students about their products and companies, and possibly hire students interested in the fields of math, science and technology.
Among the companies participating in Career Day included Boeing, Raytheon, Coca-Cola, the Department of Energy, NASA, Border Patrol, Coast Guard, 3M, Time Warner Cable and many others.
For some people attending Career Day, it was an opportunity for them to look at the different jobs available from the companies and also fill out job applications.
Elisa Moreno and Mariela Salazar, graduate students from The University of Texas at Brownsville made the trip to Edinburg to talk to company representatives and fill out many job applications in the hopes it will land them a job.
"We basically came here because we are looking for jobs. As a biologist, there is not a big job market for us, so we were hoping to find something here today," Moreno said.
Salazar, a UTB math major with a minor in chemistry, said she has had no luck in finding a job in Brownsville and would like to see something develop from attending the Career Day. She said she was thankful for the opportunity to meet with company representatives and get her resume out there.
"We heard about the event and decided to come out and see what we could find," Salazar said. "More job fairs like this should be held for graduate students. We really need these companies to come down and offer their products in the Valley because there are a lot of people down here that want to work."
Rick Rangel, a Coca-Cola representative and major sponsor of HESTEC, said they were looking to hire people in a variety of positions from engineering to finance and marketing. He said Coca-Cola is not just a soft drink, but also a company that needs bright minds to create its next line of products.
"The good thing about Coca-Cola is that if you have an interest, we probably have a career for you," Rangel said.
Mauricio Salinas, a 1996 UTPA graduate, currently working with Raytheon as a thermal analyst was one of the companies many representatives at Career Day. He said he hopes to serve as an example of a hometown kid who made it in the field of engineering.
"I would like to encourage a lot of people here to go into engineering because it is a fun field, you do get to play with a lot of toys. It's technically challenging, but it's definitely a fair paying job and it's fun," Salinas said. "Our primary goal (as a company) is to promote engineering in the Valley and our secondary goal is to recruit students, we've had a lot of success from this University in getting quality students."
Salinas, one of the first UTPA graduates to get hired at Raytheon, said the UTPA Engineering Department is becoming well known for its quality students by many major corporations.
"We are definitely making an impact because people now know where UT Pan American is," Salinas said. Hoping to make that impact with many of the companies were UTPA mechanical engineering students Albino Rodriguez and Rodrigo Lavat. Both attended the Career Day to learn about the organizations and companies and find out what is available in their field.
"I've experienced that going to job career fairs helps one see what industries require before getting out of school - like higher GPA and doing more research with professors before hand," Rodriguez said. "I think it is a good opportunity for us as undergraduates and maybe even people in high school and elementary to learn about the work they should look forward to in the future."