For those who have ever owned a fish, the routine of regularly cleaning the tank, or the hassle and cost involved with replacing the filter might be familiar.
Mankin Ho, a second-year Mechatronics Engineering student at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT, has a cheaper, greener solution to these problems. Ho created a water filter using recycled materials such as straws from McDonald’s, bottle caps and a medicine bottle – which has a a motor and propeller inside – and is powered by a 5-volt battery which stores energy via a USB drive plugged into a computer.
This was just one of the items Ho had on display at a reverse career fair on Oct. 8 attended by more than 200 students in UOIT’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science (FEAS) and Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science (FESNS) programs.
Students laid their futures and projects on the table in hopes to impress employers from 27 companies at the fourth-annual FEAS & FESNS Reverse Career Fair.
The reverse career fair features a simple concept. Registered second, third and fourth-year FEAS/FESNS students set up a table-top display of projects they’ve been working on via bristol board presentations, physical aids and other means in attempt to draw the attention of employers from various companies. Employers are free to walk around and discuss the students’ projects or presentations.
For Ho, this is exactly the venue he needs to display his work.
“For all the companies, they require you to submit your résumé through their website…you can’t show photos, you can’t present more in-depth to them. So with this fair, [you’re able to] bring whatever is in the résumé, out to life,” said Ho.
This event provides a unique experience for students to showcase their materials and impress company representatives for the shot at a co-op, internship or possibly a position following graduation.
“Just to showcase [our projects] to the employers themselves so it’s just not just a list on a resume [is a benefit],” said Kimberley Fernandez, a third-year Health Physics and Radiation Science student.
Employers resonated the same feelings surrounding the reverse career fair.
“I think our future generation of engineers and scientists coming through the programs are going to make a huge impact, a positive impact, on not only the nuclear industry where I’m from, but also the other industries,” said Dennis Kazimer, section manager of Fuel Handling & Reactor Tooling Design at nuclear generating company, Bruce Power.
Employers also had the opportunity to tour some of UOIT’s research facilities including Software Engineering facilities*, Borehole Thermal Energy Storage System, Integrated Manufacturing Centre and the Nuclear Simulation Laboratory.
Reverse career fairs are rarely seen in Canadian college and universities, but are fairly common in U.S. institutions.
*Edited to reflect last minute change to event scheduling