Carnegie Mellon University
September 07, 2012

Press Release: Carnegie Mellon College of Engineering To Host Innovative Career Conference Featuring Broad Range of Employers

Contact: Chriss Swaney / 412-268-5776 /

PITTSBURGH—More than 300 companies will compete for the attention of Carnegie Mellon University’s best and brightest at the annual Technical Opportunities Conference (TOC), Sept. 11-12 at CMU’s Wiegand Gym in the University Center.

“The two-day conference is designed to attract CMU’s engineering, computer science and science students and allows recruiters to personally meet talented students interested in full-time work or summer internships,” said Kelly McQuoid, director of outreach and special projects for the College of Engineering. The TOC is sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers and the College of Engineering.

This year’s TOC sports a broad swath of recruiters from Apple and Intel to Union Pacific and Nucor Steel. Unlike other career fairs, the TOC provides a mix of both high-tech and more traditional companies from the transportation and manufacturing sectors.

“Union Pacific is a leader in the transportation industry. As a Fortune 200 company, we leverage a large IT department to support the company’s financial, environmental and safety initiatives. We are looking for employees who have an eye toward the future and want to be challenged. Every day provides a new opportunity to touch a different part of the industry,” said Thomas Bolster, Union Pacific recruiter and human factors engineer. Bolster is a 2009 CMU graduate from the School of Computer Science’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute.

Gabriel Gerson, a Nucor Steel process engineer and a 2010 CMU graduate in materials science and engineering, praised the TOC as an invaluable forum for both recruitment and summer internship opportunities. “I obtained my own position with Nucor as a result of an internship secured from a 2008 TOC recruiting session,” said Gerson, who will be recruiting CMU students at the 2012 TOC.

“With the uncertainty of a weak global economy and the need for a more skilled workforce, the TOC is an excellent way to address any mismatches in supply and demand for educated workers,” said Kumar Bhagavatula, interim dean of CMU’s College of Engineering. “Our recent history shows how a commitment to science and engineering education can drive technological advances and economic growth. The TOC helps promote the highly skilled STEM (science, math, technology and engineering) workforce,” Bhagavatula said.

According to the National Science Foundation, there are now two million unfilled STEM positions at a time when U.S. unemployment hovers at 8 percent.

TOC organizers point out that new industry sectors like cybersecurity, which did not exist 25 years ago, demand IT expertise. And a new online job survey reports that a bachelor’s degree or more is required for 43 percent of jobs today.

For more information about the TOC, see