The Technical Opportunities Conference (TOC) and Business Opportunities Conference (BOC) were held in Wiegand gym last Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. Every year, Carnegie Mellon and the Society of Women Engineers sponsor the TOC, and a committee is formed by Carnegie Mellon Business Association (CMBA) to coordinate the BOC. The events are primarily for seniors and graduate students looking for jobs, but they're also geared toward underclassmen in search of summer internships.
Thirty-seven companies presented at BOC, an increase from 22 last year. Students attending the TOC were welcomed by 120 companies, up 25 from last year. Both conferences are an opportunity for students to meet professionals from many industries, and for companies to meet America's upcoming workforce. The morning was reserved for juniors and seniors at the TOC. A senior networking reception was held at the Wyndham Gardens Hotel for BOC participants Tuesday night, and the conference was reserved for seniors in the morning.
Laura Sperduto, a senior CIT student and president of SWE, was delighted by the turnout. Sperduto estimates 1,000 to 2,000 people attended the TOC.
'The TOC went really well this year. I was really happy to see an increase in the number of companies, which I think is a good sign for the economy," said Sperduto.
The companies that attended the TOC varied in disciplines. There were very technical firms like BOC Gases, Cisco Systems, IBM, and Lockheed Martin, as well as financial institutions such as Bank of America, the Vanguard Group, and UBS Investment Bank. Georgia Tech, Johns Hopkins, MIT, and Carnegie Mellon's own Software Engineering Institute sent representatives to recruit. L'Oreal and Abercrombie & Fitch made surprise appearances. The BOC attracted government agencies, such as the FBI, the CIA, and the Peace Corps. International companies like Ford Motors, Johnson & Johnson, and General Electric were also in attendance.
SWE and the BOC Committee require professional attire and do reserve the right to turn students away if not properly dressed. They also encourage students to make use of electronic resume submitting tools and online employment websites in addition to attending the Conference. Both the BOC and TOC give students a chance to be interviewed by working professionals, submit resumes, make contacts, collect business cards, and become familiar with the job market.
Michael Shoupe, a junior in CIT, attended the TOC.
"There were companies that I had never heard of, so it gave me an opportunity to learn about them. It was good to be able to talk to engineers in the field and not just recruiters from business departments. I had the chance to get my resume out there. Plus, there was free stuff," Shoupe said.
Brian Sylcott, also a CIT junior, was looking for an internship, but was frustrated by the limited number of positions available.
"[The TOC] was a good experience, but most of the companies were looking for full-time employees. A lot of companies said come back to the [Technical Internship Expo]."
Sophie Wong, the Operations Co-Chair for the BOC and a TSB senior, was pleased with the results.
"[The BOC] was a very successful event. I definitely think recruiters were pleased and happy with the professionalism of the students. The recruiting team tried to get the students what they wanted," said Wong.
For students that could not attend the BOC or TOC, the Career Center in the basement of the University Center is open year round. The CareerCenter is a tool for students looking to improve their resume, sharpen their interviewing skills and meet company representatives.
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