The ESTEEM Graduate Program Hosts First Career Fair

Author: Olivia Poole

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Graduating students face a lot of pressure when they come home for the holiday break. One of the first questions they often hear from parents is, 'What are your plans after graduation?' This can be a stressful question for students who still need to make decisions, and the pressure can feel never-ending.

For graduating students, including those in the Master of Science in Engineering, Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Excellence program (ESTEEM), securing a job after graduation is a top priority and a source of stress. Recognizing this challenge, the ESTEEM team came up with a unique solution for their future classes: host an ESTEEM-only career fair exclusively for their students. By doing so, ESTEEM students would have the opportunity to meet with representatives from a curated selection of companies that fit their interests and skills and learn about job and internship opportunities in a more focused setting.

As an Assistant Teaching Professor and Curriculum and Capstone Advisor for ESTEEM, Ellen Dutton recognizes that career fairs can be overwhelming and intimidating for students. That's why she encouraged the ESTEEM students to approach the events as a valuable opportunity for exploration and growth. With proper preparation and a positive mindset, students could take advantage of the fair to gather information and find the right fit for their future careers. Dutton took the initiative to reach out to companies in the South Bend-Elkhart region and the student's capstone sponsors to create a unique opportunity for ESTEEM students bringing together 21 companies for them to meet and learn about job and internship opportunities. To further aid the students, Ellen created one book for students and one for the 21 companies to use as a resource that participated in the career fair. This allowed students to decide which 10 companies they would like to speak with, and the same for the companies that received profiles of the students before entering the career fair. Each company selected 10 students to speak with further.

The program's first hour was dedicated to networking, while the second hour was time for the companies and students to get to know each other based on who they wanted to connect with from the specialized books. At the end of the career fair, a number of students snagged jobs from the companies at the career fair. Overall, Dutton believes the career fair was a success. "I'm glad I can allow the students to learn from companies specifically associated with their degrees. I hope our students find success in whatever career path they choose."


Companies in the ESTEEM 2023 Career Fair:


1st Source Bank

Aunalytics & Graham Allen Partners

Better World Books

Energy Vault



Henkel (Loctite)


Kem Krest

Knights Of Columbus Asset Advisors


Marmon Holdings, Inc.

Martell Services Group

Rise - Regional Innovation & Startup Education

Robert Weed Corporation


The United Village, Inc.

Tire Rack

University Of Notre Dame


Vital View Technologies, Inc.