Wright State’s Career and Internship Fair focuses on jobs for alumni, students and international graduates

Wright State students and alumni can connect with employers at the Spring Career and Internship Fair on March 13 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Apollo Room of the Student Union.

Wright State University’s Spring Career and Internship Fair is chock full of employment opportunities not only for local students and alumni but also for those who are far from home and learning about a job culture that is foreign to them.

The Career and Internship Fair takes place Wednesday, March 13, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Apollo Room of the Student Union on the Dayton Campus. Students can register for the fair on Handshake.

Kim Gilliam, Ed.D., director of career education and success in Wright State’s Career Center, said the fairs, which are held in the fall and spring terms, typically draw about 500 students and about 70 employers.

“It’s the main event for employers and students to get connected in person with each other,” she said. “It’s open to all students and alumni. Many nonprofits, government agencies and corporations from multiple disciplines recruit Wright State students and alumni.”

All students include those from other countries. Michelle Streeter-Ferrari, director of the University Center for International Education, said the fair helps international students find internships and post-graduation jobs that provide them with useful experiences in U.S. work culture.

“Kim’s team provides the career fair and career advising. My team works with international students to process the paperwork that allows them to have experiential learning opportunities while they are in the United States as students, such as internships and post-graduation work for up to three years depending on their degree,” Streeter-Ferrari said. “What Kim and I try to do is highlight internships and jobs so that we can spread the news that there are opportunities for them to come her and have good experiences not only in the classroom but in their career fields as well.”

More than 1,300 students, or about 12% of Wright State’s total enrollment of 11,000 students, are international students.

Gilliam said many students from other countries choose Wright State because of the university’s accredited programs and because international students have a good success rate for internships and jobs.

“It’s important we continue that trend moving forward,” said Gilliam.

“Wright State has recently been ranked in the top 8% of all universities in the world for best value for international students by Study Abroad Aide,” said Susan Schaurer, vice president for enrollment management. “We know they greatly value the way in which Wright State supports their success securing internships and post-graduation opportunities. In working with employers and partners in our region and beyond, we hope to provide connections for real-life experiences in the United States that will then add even more value to their educational investment.”

One of those international students is Sri Lakshmikanth Dammu, who earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering in 2022 from Wright State and is now a mechanical engineer at Caterpillar Trimble Control Technologies.

“My decision to choose Wright State was informed by extensive research, which revealed its advantageous location in Ohio, a region surrounded by hundreds of manufacturing companies,” he said. “The university was incredibly enriching and provided me with a wealth of opportunities for personal and professional development.”

As a student at Wright State, Dummu said he received a well-rounded education that combined theoretical learning with practical application, leadership development and exposure to cutting-edge industry practices.

“These have undoubtedly prepared me for success as I embark on my professional journey within American industries,” he said.

Wright State’s five career consultants serve all the colleges and meet individually with students to help with resumes, cover letters and interviewing skills and develop job-search strategies and career assessment.

“Wright State has a positive culture for international students,” said Joe Carroll, engineering manager for AmeriWater, a Dayton water purification company.

“We’ve seen firsthand how willing and how far the university goes to take care of international students,” said Carroll, who earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Wright State in 2019. “Wright State made the hiring process easy for us as an employer and for the student employees as well.”

Carroll said his company hired two international students last fall.

“Both of them are here to learn — that’s the biggest thing. They obviously want to grow as individuals and as future engineers,” he said.

“There’s a reason we went only to Wright State,” Carroll said. “We were confident in the process, and we knew we’re going to get the best of the best.”

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