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Companies recruiting more UW engineering students

Madison, Wis. — Business is booming again at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Engineering Career Services, and that’s great news for student job-seekers.

“This is the best hiring situation we’ve seen for [bachelor of science] students since 2001,” said Susan Piacenza, associate director of ECS. “Fall 2004 recruiting was double that of spring 2004.”

More than 100 employers are expected to attend Career Connection, the college’s spring job fair, this Tuesday and Wednesday – the highest number attending the spring fair in several years and an increase of 40 percent compared to last year’s fair.

2004 had an extremely slow spring recruiting season—the worst in 16 years, Piacenza said. Fall 2004 recruiting was up about 25 percent over fall 2003, and while it’s not yet up to pre-recession levels, Piacenza said the growth is extremely encouraging both to students and to ECS staff assisting with job searches.

The boom in interviewing and job offers is occurring across all engineering majors. While majors like civil and environmental engineering held steady even during the recession, ECS is again seeing a huge demand for IT employees. Consulting positions also are resurging. For example, “Accenture“ and ZS Associates have greatly increased their recruiting presence on campus and have extended numerous offers to graduates. Microsoft also made several recruiting trips to the engineering campus this fall.
For the past several years, multiple offers had pretty much evaporated for engineering students. Now such offers are returning, particularly in hot areas such as health-care consulting and chemical and biological engineering, along with the return of signing bonuses and relocation packages.

“We have students who are getting multiple offers and are having to decide between using their skills in consulting or technology,” Piacenza said. “One student was so happy with his multiple offers, he bought pizza for our entire office.”

Chemical and biological engineering senior Megan Gullicksrud attributes her multiple offers in part to her own extra effort. “I have done a lot of extracurricular activities to differentiate myself from other students and have completed multiple co-ops and internships to expand my experiences,” she says.

Still, she says, “I was surprised that I got as many offers as I did, since the job search for graduates in the last few years had been so difficult.” She also reports receiving incentives after the final offer, including more money and more vacation.

Civil and environmental engineering senior Scott Hughes also fielded multiple offers, including one from a company where he completed a co-op term last summer. With a certificate in construction engineering and management, Hughes chose to accept an offer at M.A. Mortenson’s Minneapolis-St. Paul division. The company is located near family and friends, but “the final factor was that it was a very competitive offer,” he said. “They offered a good salary, good benefits, a signing bonus and a relocation reimbursement.”

Employers are getting creative to compete for the best students. One industrial engineering senior, who enrolled in a co-op program at a large medical device company, received an offer from the company to pay for her remaining three semesters of school on the condition that she would work for them full time for at least a year after graduation.

“Of course, she’s strongly considering it,” Piacenza said.

It’s particularly gratifying to see companies return to campus for recruiting after an absence of several years, said ECS Director and Assistant Dean Sandra Arnn. Companies returning after an extended recruiting absence include Carrier Corporation, Advanced Micro Devices, Cisco Systems, United Conveyor and Bose. Ford Motor Company returned to campus recruiting this fall after a three-year absence and scheduled more than 100 interviews.

“We are delighted to see the return of these employers.” Arnn said. “This is a major shift.”

A wide range of first-time recruiters joins the returning companies. These include Google,, Clorox, Stockamp & Associates, Bobcat, Biodiesel Systems and Brunswick.

Also seeking engineers is a large contingent of federal employers, including national research laboratories, the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, the National Security Agency, National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which has 700 job openings to fill.

All in all, Piacenza said, it’s a good time to be earning an engineering degree.

“It’s especially good to be a graduating engineer from UW-Madison,” she says. “Companies know our graduates are well-prepared and have a strong work ethic. They’ve participated in extracurricular activities and co-ops, and they reflect well-developed leadership skills. Those qualities are high on any employer’s list for potential employees.”

Karen Walsh of UW-Madison can be reached at


mousumi pramanik responded 10 years ago: #1

I am a 3rd year biotech student in the dpartment of biotechnology in west bengal.I want to know about the job prospect of a Btech Biotech student.I have a question that if the companies can take a Bsc student why cant it take a Btech student.

Amit responded 7 years ago: #2

I'm in btech 3rd year in computer science and engineering. Our college is not providing us any type of placement (not even off campus). I want to know that can I apply in 3rd year in any company for off-campus interviews and for online interviews.

mohd shaqib responded 7 years ago: #3

I am a 3rd year engineering student. I want to know that how can I apply for off campus or online interviews.

akshay responded 7 years ago: #4

I am a 3rd year engineering student. I want to know that how can I apply for off campus or online interviews.

Shreelakshmi SR responded 7 years ago: #5

I'm doing my 3rd year Enggineering.i'd like to know how i can apply for off campus interviews.Are there companies willing to interview students or should i have to wait till i finish my graduation?

shyam krishna responded 7 years ago: #6

i'm doing 3rd year engineering in bio medical.i'd like to know how i can apply for off campus interviews.Are there companies willing to interview students or should i have to wait till i finish my graduation?

neha responded 6 years ago: #7

I am a third year student Iwant to know how can I apply for off campus placements

Ruby Pandy responded 6 years ago: #8

I am the 3rd year student of B-tech biotechnology. I want to know how to aply for off campus placements in companies like Panacea biotech, Shanta biotech Dabur, Biocon, Dr. Reddy's and others.

s.ramesh responded 6 years ago: #9

I am a 4th year chemical engineering student. I want to know that how can I apply for off campus or online interviews

udaya kumar responded 6 years ago: #10

i am a 3rd year student of can i apply for off campus selection .my branch is electonics and telecommunication.upto 5th semester i got more than 60% mark .now iam in 6th 12th mark is 50%.please give me list of companies who can allow me to sit in the offcampus as i have only 50% in 12th.please email me to my id.

omprakash mallah responded 6 years ago: #11

iam a third year student of computer science(65%) can i apply for offcampus selection...

payal bhardwaj responded 6 years ago: #12

i am a (c.s.) final year can i apply for the off campus aggregate percentage is 63.please mail me to my id as soon as possible.

mukesh kumar singh responded 6 years ago: #13

iam a 3rd year 6th sem btech branch-cse student my 10th marks(75%)& 12th(68%) btech upto 5th sem my %age is 74% how can i apply for off campus

supriya responded 6 years ago: #14

i am a 3rd year computer science nd engg student 5th sem ...i hv got more than 65%till my 4th sem,as i have got 78%in my 10th and only 54% in 12th please give me the list of companies for which i am,as i have got inly 54%in my 12th..please reply soon...and how can i apply for off campus?

shifali responded 5 years ago: #15

i am a 4th year student of biotechnology i i wanted to know off campus lacements and about online interviews

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