The Morning Sun

Almost all faculty members at the Kansas Technology Center have ties to industry, where they worked prior to joining the Pittsburg State University team.

For this, and many other reasons, the College of Technology’s Company Day is a special one, as faculty see some of their old firms, alumni return to their alma mater and students network and develop potentials for internships and jobs.

This year was no exception, with a record number of 145 firms registered to come converse with students.

The event began as a day for construction firms, but has expanded throughout the years, according to Bruce Dallman, dean of the College of Technology.

"The construction program were the folks who designed this," he said.

The goal was to allow students and firms to talk and get to know each other in a low-pressure situation.

"What it’s grown in to is that, plus a lot more," Dallman said.

He said firms are able to answer student’s questions and to consider students for internships or jobs.

Dallman said this fits well with the college’s goals.

"We encourage students to have internships as soon as they find positions," Dallman said.

He said the internships help build the students’ skills and help many students have multiple job offers upon graduation.

"What it does is show the level of desire on the part of employers to hire Pittsburg State graduates," Dallman said. "It’s nice to see so many companies here interested in Pittsburg State graduates."

Additionally, many of the representatives from the firms are PSU Alumni, who return for the day.

"It’s nice to have these men and women coming back," Dallman said.

He said relationships with industry also are strengthened by faculty, who retain their ties.

"What contributes to this is our faculty and their ties to industry," Dallman said. "When we hire faculty, they bring those with them. That’s so powerful about the type of faculty we have in our college."

Spencer Kelso, a 2011 graduate of PSU who now works for Union Pacific, said it was nice to be back and to know what type of professionals the university produces.

"Pittsburg State offers a lot of functional knowledge and real world knowledge," Kelso said. "It’s slowly becoming one of the schools that they’re more interested in."

He said his company specifically is looking for engineering managers, with both technological skills and people skills.

"They just do fantastic," he said.

He visited with Josh McLennan, a senior in manufacturing engineering who was using the day to consider firms and distribute resumes.

"I printed off 20 resumes and I hope to give them all away," he said, adding that his goal is to work in a foundry.

Junior Jennifer Sexton, a plastic engineering major who is originally from Houston, also walked around to see what options might be available for internships.

She said seeing the companies’’ interest was a great experience.

"That makes me feel a lot more comfortable that you’re going to be able to find a job," she said, adding that it was nice to see so many Pitt State grads. "Almost every place has at least one."

While the event was not organized by PSU’s Career Services, members of the office were around for the day and enjoying the networking opportunities.

"That’s what the students are here for too," said David Hogard, assistant director of Career Services.

He said his office will help students to maintain lines of communications established that morning.